Mr. Jack Reeves
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Many people question the amount of stress placed on high school students, especially juniors and seniors. After the SAT, ACT, midterms, finals, college applications, grad challenge, for students at Champlain Valley Union High School, and more, is another elaborate (not to mention expensive) standardized test. Are multiple standardized tests really worth a student’s effort? The tests in question here are of course AP tests, provided by College Board. While there certainly is opposition, students and teachers at CVU seem to see the value in the test and its intensity.
College Board is a for-profit company, the same company that makes the SAT. Advanced Placement courses, regulated by the company, are completely free and open to take for high school students. But, in order to take the course’s summative test, it’ll cost upwards of 100 dollars. Most competitive students will be taking 2 or more tests, adding up to hundreds of dollars. The benefit of taking this test, beyond beefing up a transcript, advertised by College Board is the ability to earn class-worth credits that transfer to (some) colleges.
In 2015, roughly 2.5 million students took roughly 4.5 million AP tests. In an environment where getting into a “good” college is something held to a high degree, many consider the AP tests to be essential. Students at CVU have mixed opinions, “It’s pretty bad, just unnecessary stress. I’d describe it as long and unimportant”, says Ethan Leonard. He cites his reason for taking an AP test to be getting college credit. Another student, Elliot Cockayne, who took two AP tests says, “I was glad I took them, it was worth the work”, he agrees that they are quite stressful but continues, “If you just study, you’re set up nicely”. AP teachers seem to have a similar opinion.
“I think that it’s a good test taking experience”, shares Chris Hood, who teaches AP Statistics, “It’s not necessary for every student, but it’s a good preparation for college”. AP Biology teacher, Nicole Gorman, is very certain that students should take the test, “Taking the class and not the test is like joining a soccer team, going to practices, and then not going to the playoffs”, she claims. Test-taking students are on her side, “It’s the entire reason you take an AP course”, says Cockayne. Hood doesn’t feel exactly the same way. He thinks that, “Without the test, there’s still value in taking the course”.