Opinion: Why Are AP Tests So Stressful


Every year, hundreds of students at Mountain Vista take Advanced Placement (AP) exams. With some tests completed and some only a couple days away, some of us are stressing out a little bit.

I think the reason some students find the tests so stressful is because they studied and prepared. I know this sounds funny, but let me elaborate a little. Some students go into the test without having done anything to prepare. If they do not take the time to study, they either don’t care, or feel that they know the material well enough already, so there is no reason for them to stress.

On the other hand, students who take the time out of their day to study and review, are more likely to feel unprepared. I believe that this is because they keep thinking of new things they should review and might even realize they don’t know as much as they thought they did.

I am am not at all saying that you shouldn’t study for your AP test, the more prepared you can be the better. I am just saying that stress is normal and that if you are not worried about your AP test, you probably are not as ready for it as you think you are.

We have all heard the phrase “don’t worry, it’s just a test,” but stressing out about this test is reasonable. Your AP test score decides whether or not we will get the credit in college for the year of hard work we put in here at Vista. Having to repeat a class you have already taken would not only be boring and repetitive, but it would also be a waste of time. That kind of pressure is enough to make anyone worried.

To go beyond the pressure you put on yourself, there is added pressure from parents and teachers. Your parents tell you that you have to do well because they paid the 93 dollars for the test and they don’t want it to be wasted. Then they go on to tell you how much more expensive it will be to pay for that class again in college. Beyond that, your teachers tell you that colleges are more inclined to like you if you do well in your AP exams.

Some students have more than one exam to prepare for, doubling the amount of stress and time needed to succeed.

AP exams are indeed stressful, but stress motivates us to study. If we weren’t worried about what our score would be and what we needed to do to be ready for the test, we wouldn’t feel the need to do anything. The only reason you are stress, is because you are prepared.

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