Graphic by Elliena Patty
I am taking two Advanced Placement classes this semester that will wrap up in January, but I won’t be able to take the AP tests until May. Somehow, I am supposed to retain everything I learned from four months earlier while also digesting the new information from my second semester classes.The College Board must provide schools with the option to take exams in the winter as well.
Since the beginning of last school year, Wilson has implemented a 4×4 schedule where students take four classes per semester. However, this system has big problems for students taking AP classes. The College Board does not recognize the 4×4 schedule and only offers the AP test in the spring. There is no AP test offered in the winter for those who finish an AP class in their first semester. This leaves many students taking the test four months after they’ve finished the class. At that point, the material is no longer fresh in students’ heads, and new classes—including additional AP courses— preoccupies students.
Wilson students are at a major disadvantage compared to students at other schools across the country. If your class has finished months before the AP test, you don’t have regular access to your teacher to offer guidance as you prepare for the exam. If you devote time preparing for the test, you risk jeopardizing your progress in other classes.
Gabe Satin, a Wilson junior who took AP Human Geography first semester last year, said, “the distance between the end of the first semester and the AP test time was way too long for me to fully retain the information. Luckily for me, my teacher went above and beyond by holding study sessions throughout the second semester, which definitely helped my performance on the test.” However, these sessions were not required for teachers somany students found themselves lost and at a major disadvantage.
In the current situation, students at Wilson are at a disadvantage compared to other students around the country. It’s time for the College Board to review this issue. Otherwise, students are being set up for failure. If College Board cares about ensuring a fair and equitable test, they should offer the exam in the winter as well. •