The Dilemma of an AP Student: College Board Strikes Again


Maddox Wade

AP Annoyance: Scheduling for AP Exams has students, like sophomore Chase Hankin, in a bind, causing more stress to the already high-strung process.

This year, more sophomores than ever are facing a conundrum when it comes to AP testing. Upon logging into the College Board website, North Atlanta’s high achieving students enrolled in multiple AP classes were dismayed to find overlapping test dates and times. Two questions must be answered to account for this issue: how will students be affected and what accommodations can be made to cope? The short answer is nothing.

Dubs juggling any combination of AP World History, French, and/or Physics were recently made aware that all 3 of the tests are to take place within hours of each other on May 12, 2022. To add to this predicament, French and World History are scheduled for the same time. Students like Trista Rohrer that are taking all three classes are now overcome by enormous amounts of anxiety revolving around a subject predisposed to stress. Rohrer is facing a double-booked 8:00 a.m. testing slot on the morning of May 12, immediately followed by the AP Physics test—which already has a 57% fail rate. “I think the tests being so close will 1000% affect my performance,” Rohrer said. “My scores will definitely reflect the fact that I won’t have time to prepare in between.”

Now, enter stage left, College Board’s solution: exclusion. This program is just as frightening as it sounds. Exclusion entails students being separated from their classmates and undergoing one test immediately after the other with little space to catch their breath and no contact with the outside world to prevent the sharing of answers. AP French teacher Robin Oliver has many years of experience of students undergoing exclusion, but never on this scale. “The rapid growth of the AP program at North Atlanta has been both a blessing and a curse,” said Oliver. “On one hand, students are pushing themselves more, but on the other, scheduling has become a lot more difficult.”

It has just been announced that students taking both AP French and World History will be allowed to take the makeup test for one subject the following week to cope with the overlapping times. This, however, does not account for the students forced to begin the most daunting of the AP tests immediately after finishing a draining 4-hour exam in a foreign language. “I was overwhelmed when I found out about the test schedules this year,” said sophomore Grace Nyberg. “Almost everyone I know is taking at least two of the three classes in question and I can’t imagine why they would entangle two of the most common APs.”

College Board is an institution relied upon by all schools worldwide offering AP classes. With such a large responsibility it is to be expected that the entity takes measures to ensure overachieving students are not punished for their ambition. The answer is simple: don’t schedule tests for classes associated with the same grade on the same day, yet improvements have not been made.