Students are not taking AP tests


Photo Credit to Yuval Shachar

According to College Board, AP tests will be full length, ranging from 2 to 3 hours depending on the subject. As many students signed up for more than one AP class, some might not want to study and sit for numerous 3-hour tests, and therefore have decided to opt out of the exam.

Many students have decided to not take the AP exams, for various reasons. Online school is especially tough during a pandemic, and the majority of students are concerned about information retention in this model.

“So I am taking AP English Literature, AP Calculus AB, AP Spanish Language, AP CompGov… and AP Statistics… I’m not taking any of them [AP Exams],” senior Sophie Kotlove said.

The students not taking the tests are mainly seniors, either those who are already committed to a college or don’t need the credit to be accepted into the college they want, or they are students who feel they haven’t learned enough this year to take the exam for it.

“For the most part, I’m doing fine in the class, but it’s kind of like what most students are experiencing, which is like: ‘I’m not really learning it, I’m just kind of hearing it, remembering enough of it to do well on the test and then it’s kind of like in one ear and out the other.’ And so, I didn’t feel like I was super prepared,” senior Quinn Harris said.

Generally, the tests range between two to three hours, with two parts: multiple choice and free-response. Most students take more than one AP class, and therefore, would have to sit through multiple three hour exams. Not to mention the hours of studying students have to do to prepare.

“Last year after school went virtual, I was signed up for all three of mine last year, and it was just very stressful… and I really didn’t want to go through studying for that especially because I feel like I haven’t had the same learning experience I would have had in person,” Kotlove said.

One of the main reasons students take AP classes, other than the college credit, is the GPA boost. And whether or not the student takes the test for the class they completed, they still receive the weighted GPA boost.

“AP classes are weighted one point more, so if you get an A, it’s a 5, if you get a B, it’s a 4, if you get a C, it’s a 3… it [not taking the test] wouldn’t affect your grade in the class, it doesn’t affect your GPA, it just would determine whether or not you’re going to get that college credit,” counselor Heather Dodge said.

The tests range in difficulty, depending on course difficulty. And, even if the score a student receives on the test is a low one, they can decide not to count it, and instead take no credit for the test as if it was never taken.

“It really depends on the person, depends on the situation, depends on the class… You don’t have to submit your scores if you chose not to,” Dodge said.