AP final exams equivalent to academic warzone

STUDENTS OVERWHELMED BY FINALS: is there any way we can fix this madness? (Adobe Stock)

Jenna Forss | Arts & Entertainment Editor

May 2, 2024

Navigating the AP finals is akin to what we now refer to as the “trenches”. The second-semester onslaught of exams is absolutely draining.

Call it a case of “senioritis” but even the juniors quake as the ominous dates creep closer. After the arguably hardest content hits you like a truck at the end of the year, we are forced to take an accumulative exam in class on everything we learned in the middle of April, when our school ends right before June begins.

I understand this preposterous schedule is because we have to finish our content and have this technical “mock exam” before our actual AP tests, but it is the mere timing of the classes and their finals that makes this whole process harrowing. First-semester AP students are cushioned by the fact that their schedules line up with everyone else’s finals, where there is no zero period and an early out schedule the week of the exams. This way students are only worrying about two finals each day throughout the week resulting in better sleep schedules, and more study opportunities after school. 

Last week, I was plunged head-first into academic chaos. Four AP finals in one day, coupled with my zero period, I was testing in a different subject for over an hour and a half in each class, from 7:00-3:20. By the end of the day I was so tired, so full of random facts that I crammed the night before, to even begin to put half of my potential into my last exam of the day.

I know there is not much the school can do to completely alter the schedule, and teachers already have so much on their hands. But maybe a quick meeting or a shared calendar like the one they use for after-school AP reviews will result in their students performing higher in their finals. Psychology and Avid teacher, Ms. Peter, reminisces on the “amount of students I’ve had that have talked a lot about how stressed they are this week”.

It made very little sense to me that even though my five AP finals are spread throughout the month, yet all the finals for these classes fell within the same week. Senior Annie Burres states “I would be getting better grades on these tests if they were not all at once”.

I believe with some simple communication, students will be less stressed and ready to highly perform on their finals in AP classes.

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