After two weeks of stressful studying and taking AP exams lasting anywhere from 2-4 hours each, it’s a relief to finally be over with this stressful time of year. In the results of a Google Form I conducted, feedback and advice regarding AP exams were given by 17 AP students here at Otay, and here is what they said.
AP Exam Information/ Statistics
Overall, most AP students this year (according to the responses) took most commonly 2 to 4 exams, with some taking only 1 or up to 6 exams. A majority of responses came from juniors, with a few sophomores and seniors! On average, most respondents stated they felt confident in their tests and believed they passed, with some responding feeling a little unsure about their performance on their exams.
With such intense stress, AP exam season can diminish confidence in knowledge regarding the material, ability to perform well under pressure of time, and being able to get a passing score on their exams. However, many of the students felt relieved that exams are over and not too mentally affected by the stress of AP exams.
Mental Health and AP Exam Season
Going into April, many if not all AP students feel the urgency to study and cram the last month before the AP exams, with the last couple weeks of April being the most stressful. Because of this stress, many students reported feeling overwhelmed and worried about the exams, which had a great impact on their mental health at the time of AP exams.
However, those same students and those who were confident through AP exams feel this stress leave as time passes after taking their exams. Now that AP exams are well over though, many students who missed class because of AP exams are now making up that work and worrying about other classes. Some students reported not feeling worried or affected at all,
“I prepared for a long time for most of them so I didn't feel too bad. I know God has my back.” -Yechan Kim, Journalism Club President
“Not been affected much, i’m really tired” -Ashley Marie
Although many students also felt extremely anxious and stressed regarding AP exams:
“it got bad, anxious and stressful times that kept up accumulating the closer the exams got” -Robin Martinez
“I was drained for a couple days afterwards because I felt bad” -Ben Soto Jr.
However, a sentiment that has been felt by all students across campus, especially for AP students, regards burnout and not being able to focus as the year comes to a close.
“I’m on break mode now, I can’t focus on homework LOL” -Dylan Lusung
“Burnt out” -Valeria Rentria
Overall, AP exams have shown to have a significant impact on the mental health and post-exam academic performance of AP students, but it is well known that there are some AP exams which are considered more difficult than others. Because of this, some AP exams were recommended by the AP students who took exams this year while others were not recommended.
Recommended AP Exams
When reporting feedback on AP exam season this year, many students recorded their most difficult and easiest AP exams, as well as whether they recommend students who are going into their grade level next year to take.
Our two senior responders recommended taking AP Government for upcoming seniors next year, while juniors who took AP exams this year recommend AP Spanish Language and Culture, AP Seminar/AP Research (two year program), AP U.S. History, AP Environmental Science, AP Psych, and AP Spanish and English Literature.
AP Exam Season Comes to a Close
Now having completed the widely dreaded two-week AP exam season, we can help make sure to rest and prevent burnout, reflect on our performance on the exams, and prepare as the school year begins to end as well. For all AP student Mustangs, we here at Journalism Club feel your exhaustion and hope the rest of the school year is a smooth sail into summer break. Good job on AP exams this year Mustangs! Stay safe and rest up after such a stressful exam season.