Teachers need to stop assigning work during AP weeks

The end of the school year is nearly over, with a short seven weeks left, and four left for seniors. Students are counting the days on their calendar until summer break until they see written in May: “AP exam.” The dreaded exams AP students have been preparing for all year are finally in sight. 

The three-hour tests evaluate content knowledge from the first day of school up until the exam. They tend to include a timed multiple-choice section in addition to three or so writing prompts. Depending on one’s class schedule a student from all grade levels can have from one to seven AP exams. a

The amount of content knowledge needed to take one of these exams takes weeks of studying on top of already assigned school work for all seven classes. Though many students have been studying for weeks leading up to the exam, the bulk of studying takes place within the week the exam is given. 

Teachers are well aware of the stress upon these students yet they still push assignments, quizzes, tests and homework onto overwhelmed students. The workload AP students have during the three weeks of AP exams is extremely stress-inducing. It is imperative, for the mental health of AP students, that teachers lower the workload to relieve stress.

Though the curriculum is pushed through non-AP classes, AP classes are finished with the curriculum leaving study time in those periods. AP classes are taking the time these weeks leading to the exam to review and refresh content knowledge. This built-in study time shortens the study time outside of class allowing time for other classes. 

Junior Anjali Bhargava writes down homework in her AP lang class. The exam is quickly approaching yet she still has homework both in Lang and other classes. Bhargava has six AP exams in the next two weeks and is overwhelmed with work. (Photo by Grace Willis)

However, time during AP class periods is short and doesn’t account for the stress of cramming so much information into one’s brain. It is important for teachers to decrease students’ study time because it is already out of the norm.

Quick homework assignments are okay, they make sure students stay up to speed in their other classes without adding too much stress. Alternatively, lengthy projects and unit tests are highly frowned upon by AP students as they are extremely draining and time-consuming. 

Coming from an AP student and a peer of students in five to six AP classes, I know that AP students would be extremely grateful for a decreased workload for just three short weeks. The school year is almost done and after this three-week speed bump the end will be right in sight.