AP Classes Should Not Require Final Projects

By Kira Newbert, Staff Writer

For Trinity Hall sophomores, juniors and seniors the arrival of May means only one thing: Advanced Placement (AP) Exams. AP Exams are standardized, three-to-four-hour long college level exams that measure how well students have mastered the information of an entire course. Essentially, they are final exams. If a student receives a passing grade on an exam (either a 3, 4, or 5), they may be eligible for college credit. All Trinity Hall students are required to sit for their AP Exam in order to get credit for the AP class on their transcript, and most students put in hours of effort studying and preparing for these tests. 

Trinity Hall students, however, cannot breathe easy after these exams are done. Sophomores and juniors still have to complete final experiences in all of their classes, including AP-level courses. These final experiences are not typical end-of-year exams. Instead, they are a series of projects and presentations that give students the opportunity to display all they have learned over the course of the year. Therefore, in AP classes, where students have already prepared for and taken cumulative exams, an additional final project is redundant and adds unnecessary stress. 

An AP Exam already measures how well students understand all of the material of a given course. This is similar to the goal of a final project. For example, the final project for students in Math III requires them to utilize and compile their knowledge from the entire year in order to create an escape room. For students in AP classes, it is unnecessary for them to display their knowledge of the course again after the exam, especially due to the already overwhelming final work from other, non-AP classes. 

Moreover, by not requiring students to complete final experiences in AP classes, they can focus their attention on and put effort into their finals in their Honors classes. 

“The finals for our AP classes double the workload on top of our other finals and make it difficult to divide the time properly to spend as much time as needed on each project,” junior Trinity Olander said.

If finals in AP classes were abolished, students would be able to prioritize and produce better results in non-AP classes. 

By electing to take an AP class, which has material and a workload that mirrors college classes, students will already experience extreme stress throughout the school year, especially about their mandatory exam in May.

“We spend many weeks under immense stress as we do constant review, all leading up to the AP exam,” Olander said. Final projects themselves require hours of planning and work, and there is no reason to add this stress on top of an AP Exam.

Currently, final experiences count as 10 percent of students’ final grades (with each trimester counting as 30 percent). If AP classes did not have final experiences, it would be simple to change the weighting of each trimester to 33.33 percent each. This is the same way in which the seniors’ grades are weighted, as they do not take finals, a system which has worked smoothly for years.

Due to the redundancy of material and stressful nature of final projects, students should not have to complete a final project in an AP class.

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