AP Classes Focus More on the Exam Than the Course Material


Photo by Hailey Cruz

student crams for AP test just weeks before the exam

Beginning next month, AP students across the country will start to take the tests that they’ve been studying for all school year long. Though this sounds like a good opportunity to earn college credit, the material studied in these classes is often in service of the AP test and not the subject material.
Students often take AP classes for the weighted GPA, college class experience, rigor, and mostly commonly the college credit you receive should you pass the AP exam. Throughout the course students are expected to cram the information and skills needed to be prepared for the test, rather than actually taking time to fully grasp the material. The purpose of AP classes is to prepare students for the amount of rigor they will experience in college, however they only prepare them for the sometimes unrealistic expectations of the College Board and their rubric.
“I don’t think that AP exams are an accurate measure of a student skill. They rather measure a students ability to repaint information. Also they cover an insane amount of information in a short time span, where even teachers and college students would struggle to retain the information,” said senior Juana Fernandez Cabrera
As these students try to tackle the exam, many of them face feelings of anxiety as most of the review needs to be done on their own. If students are unable to remember the content of the course it’s unlikely they’ll be able to pass, even if they have the skills needed to complete the test.
If the curriculums and rubrics set up by College Board were to actually mimic a college class rather than being set up as an exam prep class, the experience would be much more beneficial for students. While they do gain an advantage by earning college credit when they pass the exam, the information that is actually learned is limited, making it hard to truthfully say that it’s an equivalent to a college course.
“They should’ve offered mock exams at the beginning of the year, so we are able to improve. Instead of a week before the exam, there won’t be enough room for improvement. Providing us with additional resources, like the AP prep books that are up to date.” said junior Ashley Galindo
While the writing and comprehension skills that are often taught in AP classes are essential to real college courses, students should also be able to appreciate the course and all it has to offer rather than expected to write an on-the-spot, timed essay according to a strict rubric.