Should AP Exams be Mandatory?

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Isabella Pagano

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The end of the school year is stressful enough, with finals, research papers, and all the end of the year projects that take over the fourth marking period. For some students, mandatory AP exams are just another unneeded obstacle that add stress to the last few months of the year. At MHS, it is mandatory to take AP exams for every AP class a student takes. The AP exam, is expensive, time consuming, and most importantly, unnecessary for students to take, because more and more colleges have decided not to accept AP credit.

Madison Dodger Online asked students, teachers, and administrators what they thought about the AP exam. Out of ten students asked, only two of them thought that AP exams should be mandatory for students to take. Senior Carissa Finnerty says “The AP exam is not only draining to take, but it is also really expensive.” Finnerty, along with many other seniors, has already gifted the testing company 95 dollars so that she sit for a test last year. Once the AP classes start to pile up, so do the bills for parents.

The AP exam is great for students who want to score well and receive a few college credits, but what about students who just want to challenge themselves and take advantage of the Advanced placement courses offered at MHS? The test almost seems like a punishment for those students. They are 100 dollars down for each test they have to take, it takes weeks to study for, and it adds stress that every AP student could do without. MDO asked the Head of Guidance if he thought that students who weren’t able to use the AP exam for college credit should have to take AP exams. Rather than giving his opinion on the question asked he responded that “School policy states that all students must take the AP exam regardless if the colleges they are applying to accepts AP credit.” He also said that “AP test have been mandatory for 12-13 years…They establish the integrity and rigor of the AP program.” Although that may be true, is it fair to say that one test is responsible for the quality of AP courses at the high school? It would appear that the faculty who teach at MHS are the reason that AP classes are as pristine as they are.

The exam has its positives and negatives, depending on the student enrolled in the class. It is ultimately up to the administration to decide whether or not AP exams are mandatory for all AP students to take. For this year at least, it seems like AP exams will be mandatory for all students enrolled in a class.

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