Seniors opt out of AP testing

As the school year comes to a close, seniors find themselves swamped with end of the year projects and AP tests. But with so much to do, and knowing what their colleges accept for AP scores, many have decided not to take their tests.

The decision of whether or not to take college courses varies from student to student. “Only about half of my AP Macro Economics class and a third of my AP Government are taking the test,” said Ms. Weisgram, the AP Government teacher.

Students who are not taking the test made their decisions for different reasons. “Some students aren’t taking it because their colleges won’t accept it others aren’t taking it because they want to be a Political Science major and they can’t use the credit,” said Ms. Weisgram.

The number of students not taking AP tests this year is not different from most years. “For some subjects the number of students taking the test has increased, for other the number has decreased,” said Ms. Amy Desmond, college counselor.

Teachers at BSM agree that deciding whether or not a student takes an AP test should depend on whether or not a college will accept the test.  “I think that it is important that students who can get credit should take the test, but those that can’t should not,” said Ms. Weisgram.

At BSM the point of AP classes is not to take and pass the test, but to learn the material. “It doesn’t bother me that students don’t take the test because BSM is a college prep school not a test prep school.  Some schools require their students to get a 3, 4, or 5 on the AP test to get AP on their transcript, but BSM is about learning, not about scores,” said Ms. Weisgram.

Although the AP classes at BSM help prepare students to take the test, they are designed to teach about the subject, not to teach to the test. “We do some review throughout second semester and the week before, but I would rather teach another book than spend time reviewing.  It’s more beneficial,” said Mr. Backen, teacher of AP Literature.