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AP tests

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Swampscott high school this school year 2015-16 has started requiring students who take AP classes to take the AP test. Some students have claimed that this requirement is unnecessary because if students are taking and doing well in an AP class they are more likely than not to take the test however the few students opposed to taking an AP test have valid reasons as to why they feel it is not needed.

“All kids should have the opportunity to take AP’s” said Mrs. Green, “students shouldn’t be made to take both AP Econ tests, it’s better to have kids study for one AP exam and do really well”. Mrs.Green, having taught AP Econ for 15 years explained her view on requiring students to take all of the AP tests they are enrolled in. In the years past Green says that about 98% of the students who take her class take at least one of the 2 AP tests and the majority take Micro and score much better on the Micro test.

Mrs. Green admits that she prefers when her students take the Ap tests because that is what she has been working the whole year to prepare her students for. However when interviewing Ms. Lesnever, the Ap Psychology teacher at Swampscott High School, she brought up the point that if a student, especially seniors, do not want to take the test and therefore don’t try on it they end up getting a bad score and lowering the average which could be counter intuitive to what the school wants. Green also reasoned that if students colleges do not accept certain AP classes or multiple of the same subject then there may be less of a chance that the student will want to take the AP test or that they will try as hard as they would if it did count.

“The school that I went to didn’t end up accepting any of my AP’s, even after taking multiple of the AP tests I think that just taking the classes was enough to prepare me for the college level courses.” said Aidan Brawley, who graduated in 2014 having taken both AP Calculus and the AP Micro test. Even after scoring above the regularly accepted AP score WPI, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, the college Brawley went to, did not accept his score as credit for a class and required him, along with all other incoming freshmen, to take a placement test designed by the school. Having taken the course alone Brawley thinks he would have still done as well in his current Calculus class but also states that he is glad that he took the AP test.

“There are many values of being in an AP course, students can feel like they are in a real college course while still being able to have the supports of high school around them like coming in for extra help, having more one on one with teachers… it’s sort of like a dress rehearsal” said Mr. King who has been teaching AP Calculus for 10 years at Swampscott High School. Mr. King also said that he believed that students taking AP Calculus should be required to take the AP test because it makes them look better when colleges see it and is an accurate representation of whether or not the student learned and understands the material.

King also talked about cautioning students not to take too many AP courses, “ some students push themselves over the edge, in high school you have more courses, extracurricular, sports, clubs and sometimes a job, sometimes students get too stressed out and even burnt out before they even start college.” He went on to talk about the dangers of taking too much of a heavy course load a concern which many of the other AP teachers seemed to agree with.

Many students however justify that in order to get into more competitive colleges, you have to take on a heavy course load, get good grades, and have impressive extracurricular which gives the student mixed messages. “I think that having to take all of the AP test for the students taking more than 3 AP classes would be difficult and seem almost pointless if you know where you are accepted into school and or if your college won’t accept AP’s as college credits.” said Isabella Castiello, Senior at Swampscott High School and is currently taking one AP course.

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2 Responses to “AP tests”

  1. Owen Pearce on November 9th, 2015 2:25 pm

    I think that students should be given a choice to take AP tests, because in the end, it is their education and the student should be able to do whatever he, or his family, choose is the best way to go about it. However, I do not see the point in enrolling in the AP class and not taking an AP exam. From my experience in AP classes, the teachers are more than willing to teach and explain exactly what is going to be on the test, so as long as you are willing to learn and want to do well, the opportunity is there for you to do well on the exam and look better for colleges.

  2. Michael Coffey on November 24th, 2015 11:00 pm

    I do not think the AP test should be required at the end of an AP course unless they are free. Last year I took an AP course and also took the AP test. I thought it was a great experience and personally, I dont really see the point in taking the class and not taking the test. However, the fee for an AP test at SHS is 91$ which is a lot of money for a test! With such a high cost I do not think it should be required, but I do recommend taking the test if you take an AP course because i believe it to be beneficial though I do believe it should be a choice.

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AP tests