Too much stress after the tests

Post-AP work is unnecessary


Eliah Fink

Almost all of the AP and IB tests take place during the early weeks of May, so at Park, the school year still goes on nearly a month after the tests. A long-standing debate at many schools has to do with what sort of learning should happen in these classes after the test. 

As the school year comes to a close, schoolwork begins to pick up. We have finals in the vast majority of our classes. After already having stressed for weeks, sometimes months, about the AP and IB tests, students are already burnt out from studying. There is really no need for teachers to give us assignments and finals in those classes when we already have those same things to worry about in other classes. Having the most stressful parts of every single class in the exact same period of time is always awful for everyone. It is nice from a student standpoint to spread the big tests out from the existing in-school finals. 

In AP Calculus, this year the curriculum was generally oriented around preparing for the AP test we were taking. All of the concepts we learned were strictly based on what we needed to know to properly prepare for the test and to do well on the test. Constantly throughout the year our teacher would be sure to mention if a concept was likely to be on the AP test or not. Because the curriculum was so test-oriented, it makes sense that once the test is done the work in the class should essentially be over as well. I think many of the AP and IB classes function similarly to this. The curriculum that is taught is just based on what will be on the test. If AP doesn’t provide learning for the class after the test, why should we have work in the class after the test?

I also understand the argument that it is a waste of time to do absolutely nothing in the entire last few weeks of school. So far in my calculus class we have essentially had a study hall since the AP test. I also definitely do not know everything there is to know about calculus. In a way, it makes some sense to learn in the last few weeks of the year, maybe learning some of the material we didn’t completely understand before. 

On the other hand, I have already stressed in those classes about learning the material, and even if I don’t know everything, the test is over and that stress should be over for the students. Because we have already spent so much time working on calculus before the AP test, I somewhat feel like we deserve a study hall to prepare us for the other classes we have. This especially makes sense for AP and IB students who likely are not taking just one AP or IB class.

At the end of the day it is the teacher’s job to decide what we do in the class, and if a teacher wants to assign work there is nothing stopping them from doing so, but I think it is important that they consider the rest of the workload most students have on their plate. Generally, work for the sake of work is not a successful learning method, so busy work should be avoided as much as possible. 

If teachers actually want to teach after the big tests, while it is annoying, there is nothing objectively wrong with it as long as their intentions are good. But I’m sure I can speak for most students when I say I’d rather just have a stress-free space to do outside work, to converse with friends or even just to take a nap.