Students should not be required to attend AP classes after exams

Rachel Arkis

As someone who has taken AP classes in the past and plans to continue to take them in the future, making attendance required after exams is not beneficial to the students who already took the test.

When taking an AP class, the entire course is spent working towards the AP exam at the end of the year in hopes of passing and possibly getting college credit. It takes months of nonstop content and a ton of extra studying and homework to feel prepared for the test, and even then, the content that will be on the exam is usually very unpredictable. This means you have to know nearly the entire course to feel completely confident that you will pass. 

It is also important to note that when taking AP classes, a lot of what I learned was not even the content of the class, but how to actually take the AP test. Not that it isn’t important, because it is, after all, the whole point of the class is to try and pass the test — but that means that after we took the test, it was no longer important to review this information.

Even though this work is incredibly exhausting and seems thankless at times, once the test is over, there’s about a month left of the course with no content left to learn, and therefore, nothing left to do. My AP teachers usually plan course-related content to do, but since none of it is spent practicing for the exam, it doesn’t seem worthwhile to me, and I would rather spend my time working on assignments for other classes that will impact my grades.

Additionally, if you have a grade in that AP class that you’re satisfied with, you won’t need to do extra credit. Although that isn’t true for all students, extra credit can be done at home on your own time. Especially for me, as I have an AP class 7th hour, which can be really frustrating. At that point in the day, I’m tired, burnt out and just want to leave school, so I would much rather do my extra credit work somewhere else knowing that I can always go in to talk to my teacher or email them if I need anything.

I also feel bad for the teachers that have to continue to teach after the exams. They still have to continue to plan busy work for their students to complete, and since there is no goal in mind, it can be really unmotivating to finish the year off strong. If they’re an AP teacher, they’re probably passionate about teaching the topic, and I can see how having a month or so left of no content left to teach could get frustrating.

However, since students can’t just not show up to class, there should be an alternative option for students that do not have work to complete and don’t want to spend the rest of their year in the classroom. For example, they could get sent to a study hall during their AP class or get their absences in that class for the rest of the year excused by the school.

Ultimately, making students continue to attend AP classes after they finish exams is not useful to either the students or the teachers, and does not reward students and teachers for all their hard work.