Is the AP exam stress worth it?


Ibrahim Saxe

On the way to the AP Calculus AB exam, students are seen walking to the St. Paul Apostle Church where the exam was taking place.

Ibrahim Saxe

Generally Advancement Placement exams have given Ayala students lots of stress. This year has been no different as May’s exams pile up for students. Starting on the first day of the month with the AP United States Government exam, they would continue until Friday, May 12th.

Students have a variety of reasons to both take these classes which vary; some want a challenge, others take them to prepare for their major, others just do it for the GPA boost but most do it for a combination of these reasons.

I’m taking the AP exams for the college credit and so I won’t have to handle these classes as extensively in college,” Albert Cheng (11) said.

The minimum exam score on the test in order to receive college credit varies by school and even within the same school system, for example the University of California system and the California State system. The courses may also vary in weight within the school with some being worth more credits than others. If one scores below a three, no credit can be earned. However, colleges and universities claim to not use failing scores against students applying to their campus and thus recommend students take the test even if they think they will fail.

AP classes are well known for their high workload, but that does not seem to be the main concern for students nor are the exams. Some students just take the classes for the GPA boost and do not even bother with the AP exam, though most students do choose to study for the exam.

“The test is not worth it in my opinion, literally useless a lot of the time, but the workload is fine,” Sidharth Mallela (12) said.

But that does not mean they all students agree, as the workload of AP classes varies depending on the course. Even within courses, it depends on the different teachers that teach the class as the tests can give them a significant amount of clout against students who do not take the exam or who do badly on the test.

“I honestly think that despite the extra workload and heaping mounds of stress, the AP tests are worth the effort,” Cheng said.