The College Board is the Devil

Maddie Winter, Editor in Chief

As the beginning of May approaches, students must sacrifice their free time to study for the dreaded AP exams.

APs are rigorous “college-level”  classes that span a wide range of subjects.

Many Poly students are enrolled in AP classes, which administer exams to thousands of students across the nation. According to Poly’s policy, all of the approximately 100 students enrolled in AP classes must sit for these exams.

These exams cover a whole year’s worth of material in great depth, which is a daunting challenge for many students, especially for those who are in multiple AP classes.

While the AP system is used across the nation, it has many flaws, including creating a culture in the classroom of “teaching to the test.”

This mentality forces teachers to cover the material at a rapid pace so that their students can be prepared for the AP exams in May.

Teachers are unable to explore certain topics of interest in greater depth, as they must rigidly follow the curriculum that is created by the College Board.

APs also limit creativity in the classroom. Teachers are rarely able to do creative or innovative projects for the topics, as all assessments must resemble the AP test.

Tests are often restricted to multiple choice and free response questions excerpted from previous AP exams.

Covering such a wide range of material before the national exam in May can be especially stressful for students, as it can be a struggle to finish the curriculum while leaving adequate time to review.

The pressure to do well on this one cumulative exam can be intense for students, as AP scores seem to matter more and more because colleges are viewing them as an indicator of a student’s ability to succeed in a rigorous university environment.

One of the greater issues in the AP system is that it often prohibits students from taking classes that they are more interested in, such as the various electives that Poly offers.

Students are forced to make a very difficult decision: take the AP in order to please college admissions officers or take classes they are passionate about while sacrificing their chances at some highly selective institutions.

The AP system is also flawed in that it caters to those of a higher socioeconomic status. The cost to take an AP exam can be about one hundred dollars, which can be a huge burden for many families, especially for students who take multiple APs.

Essentially, the College Board is The Devil. It kills any freedom and creativity in the classroom and causes excessive stress and anxiety among students.