Senioritis: “A crippling disease that strikes high school seniors, characterized by a decline in motivation and performance” (urban dictionary). With the rise of this “crippling disease” the question becomes: should seniors try on their AP exams? My answer is, no, they should not.
Every year around May 7th, students cram in hours of studying to prepare for the hardest tests high schools can offer; the twist is that these AP exams don’t even count for the student’s grade. Hours and hours of stressful studying, time that could be spent on graded work that will actually help the students graduate, or time that could be spent enjoying weekends. Students’ time is wasted on frantically stuffing information into your brain for a 20% chance that you will get a good enough score for colleges to accept as credit
When asked for reasons why students should try on these AP exams the response many give has consistently been that they reflect either poorly or positively on how the teacher has taught the information. I think this argument fails to see things from the student’s perspective. If we are going to judge the performance of a teacher throughout a 9 month period or 180 days, based only on a handful of overworked teenage students taking one very difficult test, then we might as well throw sanity out the door. That way of thinking is similar to teaching students information throughout the school year, not giving any tests or quizzes, then on the last day of school give them an exam that will determine their performance over the last 25 weeks.
The amount of work that a senior has to put into studying for an AP test is simply wasted because they have such a small chance of getting a good enough grade for the score to actually mean something. Seniors should be worried about the grades that will go on their final report card. Grades that will build momentum for the first year of their college experience. In all, Seniors, stop trying on AP exams.