Students tackle AP testing amidst school events


Macy Moore

Xander Povey spends some extra time before his AP Chemistry exam looking over his notes. He has a bit more time to study after not attending the prom over the weekend.

In the midst of AP testing, students are tackling crazy schedules and the peak of burnout season. Sports and academics are coming to an end, and everyone feels the presence of summer close by– especially seniors. 

Regardless of this exciting time, the beginning of May is often one of the most stressful times of year. It is the final push toward the end of school. In addition, advanced placement courses spend all of their time preparing for this moment. 

Often, it is an underwhelming time of year, and everything is simply over after a few tests and a couple of weeks. Months of studying, planning, editing, learning, and experiencing have gone into three hours on a Wednesday morning–it is a strange time for many. 

In addition, the junior and senior prom was scheduled the Saturday before AP exams began. Students such as those attending the AP Government and Politics and AP Chemistry exams had their final tests on the Monday of that week. 

While prom is simply a fun school event, it can be a taxing event, and requires quite a bit of planning and preparation, as well as basically the entire day of the event. For many, it is a peak moment of high school, and definitely an event that is kept as a memory for years to come. 

However, as it happens every year, upperclassmen are often more prepared for this time having had the opportunity to attend prom the year prior. Jocsan Ocampo felt unbothered by the events occurring the week before exams, and sees them as just another hurdle toward the end of his year. “I’m excited for tests to be over because that means we aren’t doing much for the rest of the year.”

Some students, though, felt too academically pressured to even attend. AP tests are particularly important during junior year, and can influence college costs and decisions in their last year of high school. Passing these exams is a priority for many–and may even trump the importance of moments such as the prom. 

Xander Povey, junior, passed up his first chance to attend the prom last weekend due to the looming AP tests. His AP Chemistry exam was on the horizon, and for the sake of having his best chance at the test, he stayed home during the dance. 

If the prom was scheduled a week later or earlier, I probably would have gone.

— Xander Povey

Regardless of having a lot of time to study for each exam, those few weeks before are always a push to the finish line. “There is definitely a build up in pressure right before the exam. We have has so much time to study, but in reality the majority happens in the days right before the test.” While not every student has AP exams on the same day, some are definitely missing out due to the scheduling of this event. 

Regardless of student life or academic rigor, students are seemingly missing out on moments in their lives that many have arguably dreamed of since they were children. Missing prom is not the issue, but being unable to attend due to the date of the event creating too much academic pressure could be an issue to be regarded in future scheduling of the event. 

On the other hand, some may prefer the break in studying to let loose a bit before such stressful tests. Whether attending the prom due to an empty schedule, or skipping the dance due to academic priority, it is notable that school events and academic ones have seemingly always overlapped. 

With a more challenging and academically driven schedule comes more hindrance on participation in extracurricular activities such as sports, dances, events, and even the arts. It seems schedules will continue to be impacted by student opportunities–even something as pivotal as prom.