To Test or Not to Test


Photo by: Maryann Matt

Tori Patton studying in the library.

It’s that time of year again, the time to sign up for AP testing. That stressful time of year when we try to make as many excuses as possible, doubt our test taking abilities, and try to determine if we will be properly prepared for the AP testing. If these thoughts have gone through your mind at some point, let your peers and teachers ease your mind about test taking.

“I think it gives [students] a good opportunity- if they’ve done well in the class-to earn college credit, and even if they don’t receive college credit, I think it’s a good experience for them,” AP English Language and Composition teacher, LouAnn Burnham said.

Taking the AP test is not just for the college credit, there’s the experience of a challenging test that is equivalent to a college level test. In that higher level learning environment, students can learn more about themselves, their learning style, and how to better allocate their time to learn the content and be prepared for the test.

“There should be no reason not to take them. Although it may seem expensive now it won’t be if you get college credit,” junior AP student Natalie Cain, said. “The only reason to not take the class would be if you were only in the class for extra points.”

The AP is something to take seriously, as you should on your AP classes, especially if you want the college credit. The tests will help you cut down costs during your college years, so it is important to be paying attention in your classes to understand the material and testing layout.

“I would say the main reason students should take the test is if they think there is a good, solid chance they will pass the test because that is college credit,” AP Chemistry teacher Pamela Jungman said. “I’ve had students pass with a 4 or 5 and start out in sophomore chemistry in college.”

By taking classes to prepare for the test, you could get credit and start out a year ahead in college. There’s so much to learn from these classes and by applying yourself. You could seriously cut down costs on college by taking the classes and tests seriously.

“I am taking three tests, biology, chemistry, and English,” Natalie said. “I’m doing the AP Classroom videos and practice tests as much as possible for the classes I’m struggling more in.”

The best way to prepare for the tests is to use the resources. Since the College Board creates and administers the tests, they would be your best bet to get proper study materials to completely feel prepared for the AP test at the end of the year. It is important to cement information down now so at the end of the year, you will still have the knowledge from the beginning of the year.

“There is a lot of information that the College Board provides for them; if they take advantage of it, I think that they will be able to be successful,” Jungman said.

By applying what the College Board gives you and how your teachers choose to use the College Board, it will prepare you for the test starting now. By working hard and visualizing the goal to pass the test at the end of the year, you can stay motivated even if the workload will be heavier.

“I think I’ll be pretty prepared because a lot of my teachers are doing practice AP questions to show what’s on the test,” junior Emma Walker said.

Teachers are doing their best to prepare you for the test and they have been for the past 8 weeks. Teachers start preparing you for the AP test from day one, but how you will apply yourself to the class and truly try is up to you.

“My only reason would be money because it couldn’t hurt to try to get the credit even if I felt I wasn’t prepared,” Walker said.

While money could be a reason not to take the AP test, the school will work with you to try to work with you.

“If they have free and reduced lunch, it’s $20 and they’ll work with you… [The counselors and administration] will help you with a payment plan. The counselors and administration want you to take the test,” Burnham said.

“[I am taking] 5 tests: AP Government, AP Economics, AP Calculus, AP Biology, and AP English 4,” senior Collin Clark said. “While there are test questions from previous tests in select subjects as well as a multitude of other sites that allow, College Board is the best, which allows students to go at the teacher’s pace.”

Even if you are taking copious amounts of tests, there are always ways to prepare and to work towards your goal of college credit. You can pass the test if you apply yourself, use your resources, and listen to your teachers then the rewards will come later.

“Even though it’s a lot of work, I definitely think it’s preparing us,” sophomore Trey Thornton said. “Slowly I’m getting it, I’m going to tutorials, I definitely recommend that if you’re struggling. “I keep telling my friends, ‘Make time for your own success,’ so take time if you’re struggling and ask upperclassmen.”