AP exams bring stress

Lucia Kamanousa, Staff writer

Advanced Placement exams are under way at Archbishop Carroll High School and students who are taking the exams seem to be the more anxious and stressed now than they are at any other time of the year.

Some colleges and universities allow students to earn course credit as well as exemptions from course requirements if their scores on the AP subject tests, which are standardized tests created by the College Board Corp., are high enough. On the AP exam scale, the highest grade possible to is a five and the lowest a one. Some colleges requires students to earn at least a three on an AP test to earn college credit for a course and to be exempted from that course. Others require at least a four.

Although AP courses focus on preparing for the exams months before May, students still find themselves feeling uncertain about what is to come on test day. 

For example, a junior taking the AP Chemistry exam said she wasn’t feeling so confident.

“I’m not feeling good about it because you don’t know what to expect,” said Stephanie Reardon. “I’m just gonna wing it so I‘m expecting to get a one or a two.”

Similarly, another students said she felt no need to study because she is sure of the results to come.

“I’m not even going to study for it,” said junior Caroline Pascual. “I’m definitely nervous but I feel like I’m not as nervous as I should be. Also, this whole process has been incredibly traumatizing and I wouldn’t recommend it. I’m striving to get a two on my AP Biology exam but I’m probably going to get a one.”

Junior Rebecca Wallgren said she had faith that her AP Language and Composition exam to go well but she had no hope of passing the AP Chemistry exam.

“I don’t really care what happens on the chem exam and I’m just focused on passing the class,” said Wallgren. “I’ve also accepted my fate in chem but I’m gonna try for lang. For chem, I’m confident I’m getting a one but for lang, I’m going to try to pull off a three.”

Unlike her upperclassmen, sophomore Sarah Barrera-Cruz said she felt ready for her AP  exam.

“I feel somewhat prepared for the upcoming exam,” said Barrera-Cruz. “I still have a lot more studying to do, but I am hoping for at least a three on the exam.” 

Junior Damon Cagliola also seemed to have an optimistic view of the exams.

“Generally speaking, I feel somewhat prepared for them but it’s also a really hectic process to prepare for them which can be a bit overwhelming,” said Cagliola. “In APES [AP Environmental Science], I’m expecting, like, a two. For AP Lang, I’m hoping for at least a four but I wouldn’t complain about a three either.”

Junior Ryan Holmes spoke about how his teachers prepared him for the exams.

“I am a bit nervous, but I do feel as though my teachers prepared me very well for these exams,” said Holmes. “I predict I will get a four on AP Lang. No comment on Chem.”

With students this AP exam season stressing so much, some students preparing to take an AP next year may feel concerned. However, freshman Shannon McGee, preparing for AP Government next year, isn’t sweating it.

“I’m a little nervous but I don’t think it’ll be that bad,” said McGee. “I’ve spoken to some students that have taken the AP exams in the past and they say it’s not as bad as it seems. I just hope that’s true.”