Stress and the mess with excess tests

(May 24, 2013) — It is not easy taking a test that will play a role in what college you will be accepted to or whether or not you will pass your AP tests and get college credit. Many students already know that junior year is one of the hardest years in high school. What makes it so difficult is that juniors take AP classes (and tests) as well as college admission tests such as the SAT and ACT.

Seniors have different views about their experiences with these tests. Taking the SAT two times, one ACT and one AP test in his junior year, Corey Hoard found all three tests to be easy.

In order to prepare for his AP Physics test, the only practice Hoard did was the practice tests provided in class. Hoard said he found the test easy. The SATs too would be the same for him. “Once I became more used to the format, I did better,” Hoard said about taking the SAT twice without doing any practice to get ready.

Even the ACTs would also prove to not be a challenge to Hoard. Hoard said he disliked how lengthy the test was. “The ACT was a bit long, but it is a big test. No one wants to be there the whole time,” he said.

Adriel Dela Paz also took the SAT test twice in addition to the English and U.S. History AP test in his junior year. Dela Paz also prepared for the AP tests by doing only the practices provided in class. As for the SAT, Dela Paz did not do much to prepare.

Dela Paz believed that the AP tests were not as hard as the SAT. “You choose your AP classes so you are more suited for the the test,” Dela Paz said. However, according to Dela Paz, the SAT does not test your knowledge; rather, it tests your ability to think logically and problem solve.

Due to taking English and U.S. History AP classes, which were not his forte, Dela Paz was worried about the results of his AP tests.

For the AP tests, Dela Paz said that right before, one has panic attacks, but while you are in the moment taking the test you just do it, and once you are done, you feel relief. “Start reviewing a month ahead,” Dela Paz advises. He also said that one loses more information when they cram it all in.

Even Meleeneh Hairapetian in her junior year, like most seniors, took the English and U.S. History AP tests and the SAT twice. “Because a whole class was dedicated to [the AP material], it was my teacher’s and my job to prepare me,” said Hairapetian who, like Dela Paz, felt the AP test to be easier than the SAT.

To prepare herself, Hairapetian bought a practice SAT book which helped her improve her score every time she took the test. However, one of the difficulties she faced of taking taking the SAT is that because she had to study by herself, she had to make time.

However, AP tests were also stressful since she had an honors class and project-based classes like cinematography. “[The classes] made my head want to explode, “ Hairapetian said. “It is better to take regular classes than so many APs because the SAT weighs more.”

Hairapetian did find the time constraints for both the SATs and AP tests to be stressful. “You need to constantly train,” Hairapetian said.