AP Test Season Is Here


Gabby Nyquist

Students feel stressed for upcoming AP tests.

Spring has sprung! But so has AP test season. Beginning May 2 many BSM students will be taking Advanced Placement tests in varying subjects. Many students are feeling stressed out as they prepare for these high stakes tests.

At BSM, students have the option to take Advanced Placement courses in subjects they want to be challenged in. Then, in early May they can take a cumulative test. If they pass it can be used for credit at many colleges. This is one of the major reasons why students tend to feel stressed about passing. A good score can allow them to bypass some college classes and therefore save some money.

Test anxiety is a type of performance anxiety because it is the fear of not doing well. In 2021 77% of tests taken by students scored above a 3, which is considered passing. Still, students feel overwhelmed with the possibility of failing. Stressed-out students put a lot of pressure on themselves and may benefit from a switch in mentality. “People should take on that mentality of I’m going to do my best and sometimes your best is just showing up, and I may or may not get credit and that’s okay,” Guidance and College Counselor Amanda Anderson said.

For the students who do pass their exams, it doesn’t always end up counting for credit. Every college has different rules when it comes to accepting AP credits especially when it comes to courses that are required for certain majors. Even with AP Credits, many students prefer four years of undergraduate experience. Some don’t want to become farther ahead in their education than necessary. Then there are also the students who choose paths that don’t involve college.

People should take on that mentality of I’m going to do my best and sometimes your best is just showing up, and I may or may not get credit and that’s okay

— Amanda Anderson

“I feel like the experience of taking the class is really what’s important… you have that full year of experience of taking a class where you are becoming a better note taker, you’re becoming a better reader, you’re becoming better at expressing yourself in writing. These are the skills that will help you in college. Taking tests sometimes is not a strength that students have and that’s okay,” Anderson said.

The Knight Errant conducted a survey for students taking multiple AP tests to find out which exams students were feeling the most and least stressed for. The top result for the test students felt most stressed for were AP Calculus AB and BC. However, BSM has a history of students doing very well on those tests each year. Other top results included the tests for AP Physics, AP European History, and AP United States History. Many students don’t feel stress for these tests due to the lack of preparation in their classes but because of the difficulty of the content and the test itself. “For [AP European History] I struggle with the history and remembering it all. There’s also a lot of essays that go with it… my class is very good and I feel prepared for the test. I’m just nervous,” senior Anna Busch said.

The top result for the tests students felt the least stressed for was AP English Language and Composition. Another top result was AP United States Government and Politics. Even though many students don’t feel high levels of stress about this test, it has one of the highest rates of students failing each year at BSM. This is most likely because it is a semester-long course that is only offered for the first half of the school year at BSM. “Students take the course in that fall, and then there’s so much time between the fall class and then the test,” Anderson said.