For everyone else there are 4 seasons, but for some high school students there are 5: AP exam season. According to the CollegeBoard, the purpose of AP Exams is to evaluate a students’ level of mastery of the knowledge and skills covered in a particular AP course. They are classified as standardized tests that have either an end of year exam or alternative methods to evaluate what a student has been taught over the course of the year.
In reality, what does this “season” entail? In principle, AP exams are designed to benefit the students later in life. They allow students to take a more intense and vigorous class in high school. Furthermore, once they enroll in college, they may be able to earn college credit and/or skip some general education requirements if they do well on the corresponding AP exam. For example, I am took the AP Biology exam on May, 10, and if I score higher than the certain standard for the schools I apply to, then I can be exempt from a beginner Biology class in college.
Now, the new question stands: Are they truly worth it?
To develop a better view of if these exams are worth it for the general student body, I took a poll in my own high school. It should be noted that my high school is an all-girls, Jewish institution.
And so, I posed the question to 10, 16-17 year old girls taking varying AP classes: Is the class you chose worth it? To make matters simpler, I demanded a simple yes or no answer from each of my fellow classmates. The AP classes I chose to include in this survey were Chemistry, Biology, English Language and Composition, and U.S. History. In my school, only 8 students took AP Chemistry. So, out of the 38 students that I asked, 23 said that their chosen AP was in fact worth their time. While all the students I asked complied to the yes or no answer, many added that it would only be worth it if they receive the credits in college.
For me, I see it as making my “not so hard” high school experience slightly more difficult so that my college academic experience is easier.
If someone has the resources, capability, and guts, then I would definitely recommend it. Investing in yourself can go a long way.
Talya Lippman is a student contributor for the Bellmore and Merrick Heralds.