Are AP Classes Worth the Stress?

Mariel-Christine Mulqueen, Staff Reporter

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They’re stressful, they’re difficult, and they are a key point of many students’ school year. As the school year comes to a close, so do many of Mercy’s offered AP classes.

Many students spend weeks preparing and studying for these keystone exams. They hope that by doing well on their final tests, they will be able to gain credit for entry-level college classes and be able to test out of other classes.

To prepare properly for these grueling tests, most girls begin rigorous study schedules, staging all-nighters and working not stop for hours. Many students’ health suffers as they push themselves to the brink to prepare themselves for the Exams.

They study in hopes of earning scores that will qualify them for credit. Many aim for scores of 3 or above to be able to earn the credit they need.

However, is all the strenuous effort worth it? Many colleges don’t accept the average three score and many others refuse anything below a five, the highest score possible on an AP Exam. For example, University of Michigan, a school many Mercy girls plan to attend, requires a five on an Exam to test out of the class and even then, a student must still attend the lab portion of the class. A majority of other colleges have similar requirements that limit students’ option.

In addition, sending scores to colleges can be a long arduous process. If a student wishes for a college to be able to see the score earned, he or she must pay a fee to have the score sent out.

For each exam taken, a score will only be sent to one college free of charge. All subsequent times will cost $25 per college.

Therefore, is the effort worth the results one may receive from an AP Exam?

“AP classes do provide great preparation for college,” junior Gabriella D’Agostini says, “but I do wonder if all the stress is worth it.”

Perhaps students should focus more on the educational benefits they earn from taking the test and stress less over possible scores and future benefits that may be difficult to obtain.

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