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Should there be no summatives the week before APs?


The hallways are buzzing with anxiety for the upcoming AP testing occurring over a two week span from May 6. However, many classes have scheduled tests leading up to or even overlapping with the AP dates. For instance, in the upcoming week before the AP World History and AP Biology tests, the sophomores had the last physics quiz of the year while the juniors took an AP physics test covering the last unit of their curriculum the day before the test. Yet, there is a lot of work that takes place behind the scenes that determines such testing schedules that most students are unaware of, which increases the complaints.

Part of the reason for such complaints is because AP tests hold much weight for students, showing their proficiency with a subject they studied for a full year. For the majority of universities, receiving a score of at least a 4 shows academic efficiency and readiness. 

“I feel more pressure to do well on my AP test because this is the smallest amount I’ll get to do in all my high school years,” Ryan Lee (10), AP Biology student, said. “When I saw the schedule for my school summatives this week, I was so surprised because I thought there would be more time to study for APs, especially considering it’s our first one. I was overwhelmed.”

While the perspective that there should be no summatives near AP testing season may seem valid for overwhelmed students, there’s an argument for the other side as well.

“Teachers certainly avoid giving assessments right before the big sophomore AP exams so that you don’t have tests on those days, but in terms of other assessments, there were probably a couple of small tests,” Gray Macklin, high school principal, said. “Realistically, we only have at most 13 weeks to give assessments if we eliminate both weeks of AP exams for the 10th grade. Complaints arise that the testing is too cramped but there are a number of weeks that students think there shouldn’t be a test, but blocking them would only make the tests more crammed. Having something that’s not immediately adjacent to an AP exam is reasonable.”

Although all teachers are recommended to accommodate the stressful schedules of the students, realistic limitations, including meeting required test points, are present. 

“I think for sophomores, I can see that some teachers may think, ‘Oh, they only have one AP test to take,’ so they don’t really feel the need to not give summatives before the AP test,” Nam Hyo Young, AP World History teacher, said. “But, at the same time, something to think about is if students feel the pressure of summatives near AP testing because they’re not prepared and have been waiting until the last minute and are trying to prepare for it. So, I think there’s something to think about on both ends, and not focus on whether it’s fair or not.”

In the perspective of teachers, the factors that help with AP readiness come down to whether students have built up their level of preparedness throughout the school year with what they learn in class and their study habits at home—especially in the months leading up to May. 

Although the amount of work and dedication that students decide to put into preparing for the AP test will certainly affect their score the most, factors like teacher resources, time invested in caring for family, and more, will also impact their performances. This is why gestures like taking out heavily weighted summative assessments or projects the week before AP testing can be a helping hand to all students struggling with the marathon of college admission preparation. However, this is not always feasible. 

In order to ensure the best AP score possible, students should not rely solely on the flexibility of summative schedules but plan their time accordingly months in advance. 

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About the Contributor
Jiah Hwang
Jiah Hwang, Reporter
Jiah Hwang is a sophomore at Tiger Times Online. In her free time, she loves to read books, especially historical fiction and fantasy. She also enjoys listening to music, drawing, and watching old movies. Feel free to ask her about book recommendations!

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