Is AP Week the New Hell Week?


Emma Cohen, Staff Writer

As AP week came around and students hoped to gain college credit from high test scores, stress levels were at an all-time high as juniors and seniors attempted to memorize an entire year’s worth of information. Meanwhile, teachers—in order to keep up with the curriculum and to put in their last minute exams before kids leave for internships—were packing on major tests and projects right before and during AP week. Students, to say the least, were not happy about it.

Advanced Placement, AP for short, are college-level courses in which students are required to memorize a year’s worth of information by the start of May for AP testing. If students score well on the exams, they can send their scores to their respective colleges for college credit, assuming their college accepts it. Tenafly requires that if a student takes an AP course, they take the exam.

One of the major reasons students were unhappy was because they believed that AP week was already stressful enough. They didn’t want the extra stress that came with multiple exams in other classes. “I feel like other teachers were not being considerate that AP exams were going on,” said Rene Ahn (’18), “which is weird because most of the teachers I have are AP teachers.” She went on to say that she would have liked to be able to relax a little after the exam because it had caused so much stress and tension: she said she didn’t have a break.

Teachers, on the other hand, argued that they could not stop teaching because a few students were not going to be present. “You’re with a mixed group of students, and not every student is not taking the same exam on the same day, which means that AP week is really AP two weeks,” said Ms. Schmarge, a teacher at the school. “To ask people who need to get through a curriculum to not do anything for two weeks is unfair and impossible.” Some teachers brought up the point that students chose to take AP courses, so it’s their responsibility. Students, however, would argue that it’s the school that is forcing them to take the exam.   

However, some students did get the teachers’ point of view. “I completely understand it. It’s not their job to schedule projects and tests around the students’ needs, but at the same time I think teachers could be a little more considerate,” said Evan Hecht (’19). “Students spend from September ’till now studying for these insanely difficult tests, and while that is similar to finals, this is at a higher level of difficulty than a final. It’s really a double-edged sword because, on the one hand, the teachers shouldn’t have to change for the needs of a student, but they also should take into account a little more for the students’ needs.”

Teachers also understand the students. “I get it,” said Schmarge. “I do think that APs are a great opportunity for kids.” She also mentioned that students chose to take the classes, so it’s their responsibility to be prepared for the exam. Either way, this experience is a good preparation for college, as any college professor wouldn’t care if students had other exams, either.