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BishopHere it is, folks. It’s the time for the dreaded phrase, the point you’ve been building up to, the reason they’ll call you advanced and beyond the norm. AP testing.

No matter what advanced placement classes students take, they’re going to be swamped with homework and drown in chapter upon chapter of knowledge. Practically the only reason students take AP courses is so their high school transcripts will be looked upon fondly by future colleges. This isn’t a bad thing. Students should be trying to improve their future chances.

It’s not even the test that usually bogs teenagers down and sends them into a whirlwind of stress and depression. In fact, no one usually worries about the actual AP test. If you have studied enough and paid attention throughout the year, you’re practically guaranteed a score of 3 out of 5, which some smaller colleges do take.

The problem with AP testing is that each individual teacher does not care at all about your other classes and assignments. You have your AP psychology test on Monday? Great! That’s the day the big chemistry lab is due. Oh, your AP United States history teacher recommends Saturday test sessions for the next two weeks? Just don’t forget about that 30-point Spanish project you’ll need to email in.

The only way to make sure that students can be successful in all their classes is for the teachers to work together and read the schedule. Yes, finals for the underclassmen are in a month. Senior projects are due two weeks before. Everyone’s sure they can handle it. But, teachers, is it really so hard to ease up on the loads for a week or two? Not only will the AP kids thank you, but the kids who have three hours of homework from their non-advanced classes will thank you, too.

I propose that the schools work on a system to show a little mercy around AP testing time. How is anyone except a super-genius with a ton of free time supposed to study for the AP English test and a pre-calculus test and a Spanish test and do well on them all? Scholastic magic, maybe? It’s certainly not anything accessible to kids with under a 3.5 grade point average. That would be ridiculous.

But if not, if they decide to keep it the way it is, with kids crying in the halls and ditching their extracurricular activities to study, well, hey — it’s only their futures, right? And think of how much good you’ve done by giving them that extra molarity packet, because, of course, they’ll thank you for their learning eventually.

Mikhaila Bishop is a sophomore at Wilsonville High School. She submitted this sample column in her application to be a student columnist for the Spokesman next school year.

Applications for student columnists are due June 6. For more information, contact Kate Hoots at 503-636-1281, ext. 112 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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