Students share regrets from recent AP tests


Nicole Yeo

Students receive their paperwork for the Physics C: Mechanics AP test on May 13.

Nicole Yeo, Staff Writer

It’s May, and student stress is skyrocketing as finals approach. However, finals aren’t the only things on student’s minds. Advanced Placement (AP) testing also takes place in May, and with only a few days of testing remaining, students were able to share their experiences from the past few weeks.

Many high schools offer AP tests to their students, and although they don’t affect students’ GPAs, colleges will offer credit for an AP course if you pass the corresponding test.

According to the College Board, “Advanced placement that is awarded based on your AP Exam scores allows you to skip introductory classes, enter higher-level classes and/or fulfill general education requirements.”

The length of these tests vary, but the vast majority take place between one and four hours.

“I basically spent the entire time worrying that I would run out of time before I finished. But at the same time, it felt like it went on forever,” said Matthew Ghazal, sophomore at Carlmont.

There are multiple reasons why students take AP tests. For many, college credit is the sole reason; however, Ghazal also cited another motivating factor: peer pressure.

“I didn’t really know what to expect, but since all of my friends were signing up, I kind of just went along with them,” Ghazal said.

After they sign up for the AP test, students will oftentimes remain unsure of when to begin studying for it.

According to The Princeton Review, “Many students start shifting to AP prep mode 1 to 3 months before test day, usually ramping up by spring break.”

Educators who teach AP courses will in most cases provide their students with rough estimates of how soon they think they should start reviewing.

Both teachers and students feel it is a good idea to start studying early.

I wish I had started studying a bit earlier, because I had three [AP tests] to study for instead of one like last year.”

— Cassandra Areff

“I started studying later than most other students in my class, so I felt very unprepared compared to everyone else,” Ghazal said.

In contrast, sophomore Cassandra Areff, who has had previous experience with AP testing last year, felt more prepared for this year’s AP tests by studying earlier.

She recommends that students who are planning to take an AP test should begin studying early to account for any setbacks that might come along the way.

“Get a review book and make deadlines for yourself with extra time so that when you procrastinate, you still have time to review,” Areff said.

She also suggests that students rest the night before taking an AP test and, if necessary, review their notes the morning of the test.

Thankfully, students who have experience with AP tests are willing to help others by giving advice they’ve learned from previous years.

“I definitely regret starting studying too late. No amount of last-minute cramming can make up for studying months or weeks ahead of the exam,” Ghazal said.