(COVINGTON, La.) Many St. Paul’s students possess the talent to participate in advanced placement (AP) classes, which require taking a rigorous national test at the end of the school year to determine whether the student will receive college credit or not. To help students better prepare for their these tests, AP teachers have previously retained the right to exempt their students from a final exam. However, St. Paul’s may change their policy requiring AP students to take both a final exam along with an AP exam.
According to school administration, the purpose for the possible policy change is to help keep seniors focused on learning through the end of the school year.
“The policy seems redundant and counterproductive,” senior AP student Forge Mathes said.
The notion of St. Paul’s AP students having to take both mandatory final exams and AP exams has sparked an outcry from AP students. Many feel they will be overwhelmed by the prospect of two exams.
“You have to study at least a month ahead of time for an AP test, especially if you are taking multiple AP subjects,” senior Forge Mathes said. “Having an exam right before the AP test completely throws off your study schedule. There’s simply no time in an AP curriculum for a final exam.”
That said, AP students may not need to worry right away about taking two exams.
“It’s on the table right now,” Vice Principal Joe Dickens said, “but far from a finished product or perfect solution. Nothing is set in stone, and we’re planning to revisit it. It’s not a problem exclusive to our school, it’s nationwide.”
Furthermore, Dickens believes many senior AP students lose their incentive and effort for the AP exam because they have to come back and take it after they have finished their regular classes at the end of the year.
“We have a burden unlike the Northeast, who stays in school until June 20, to ask seniors to come back and take AP exams after done with school work,” Dickens said.
These two factors combined have contributed to an uproar amongst AP students, especially seniors.
“I feel like AP classes aren’t getting the respect they deserve,” Mathes said. “Being in an AP class is a monumental undertaking which is incredibly difficult and demands hard work and dedication. I think anyone who takes such a challenging class wants to be in the class and wants to work hard, and shouldn’t be punished for taking a more challenging class. It’s an outrage and is a petty distraction which will interfere with the serious pursuit of AP credit.”
AP tests don’t begin until May, so there is still a significant amount of time for the administration to come to a verdict.