AP Exam Season Is Over!


Ame Negrete

Good luck pins that Key Club made last year!

The Advanced Placement season has arrived once again!

The first two weeks of May were incredibly stressful for students. The first AP Week kicked off with Environmental Science on Monday and then continued into Spanish Language and Culture on Tuesday, English Literature and Composition on Wednesday, Calculus on Thursday, and concluded with U.S. History on Friday. The following week’s lighter lineup consisted of Physics on Monday, U.S. Government and Politics on Tuesday, and World History on Thursday. Of course, these are only some of the AP courses that HMSA offered during the 2015-2016 school year.

Students worked tirelessly all year to prepare for AP exams. In fact, all AP courses require summer work, so students began preparing for these important tests well before the start of the school year.

AP courses are valuable in two ways:

  1. As most students know, the GPA system works by assigning points to letter grades. An A is worth 4 points, a B is worth 3, and so forth. However, an A grade in an AP class is worth five points. These extra points really come in handy, especially when taking multiple AP classes, as they can balance out other classes that students are doing poorly in. AP points are an extra way to maintain a stable and high GPA.
  2. In addition to bumping up GPAs, AP classes are valuable tools for college-bound students. AP courses are money. Saved money, to be exact. Colleges and universities exempt students from introductory courses if they earn passing grades in corresponding AP classes. Each exam passed is one less class students have to worry about paying.

An AP class is its own reward. Advanced students are at a mental disadvantage in regular classes. These students would pass classes easily, yes. However, they wouldn’t be challenging their strengths and capabilities and they’d be left without opportunities to grow mentally.

Many students are relieved that testing and the stress it comes with are over. One student admitted that his exams were challenging, but he’s proud that he took the AP classes and his exams. Senior Sufyan T. joked: “I can’t say anything, I signed an oath,” while another student simply said he was “gonna fail.”

Juniors, however, still have the SBAC to worry about. The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium exam replaced the California Standards Test in the 2013-2014 school year. Juniors have also been preparing for this series of exams all year: mini math and English lessons are given to students, and they are then tested on standards that pertain to those lessons. Many universities and colleges conveniently exempt students from placement exams if they score high on the SBAC, so students should study well for these exams! Although college placement exams aren’t a big burden, skipping them decreases the stressful load on seniors.

In addition, some juniors have yet to take their ACT and SAT exams. As all Aviators know, the SAT and ACT exams are extremely important for college admissions. Finals are also approaching for all grade levels. While underclassmen and juniors must perform well on finals in order to maintain a high GPA, seniors have to perform well in order to keep their college acceptances! Many schools rescind offers of admission from students who are not in good academic standing by the end of their senior year.

Whether you’re only worried about finals or worried about various exams, at least we can all breathe a sigh of relief that the 2015-2016 AP season is over! We’re one step closer to the end of the school year, Aviators!