AP Projects Pointless?


Juniors Chester Speiser and Peter Hailey work on their end-of-the-year AP projects.

Photo by Adam Bensimhon-Juniors Chester Speiser and Peter Hailey work on their end-of-the-year AP projects.

After a long year all students want to do is relax. Students in AP classes take their final test but they are still required to do a project as the culminating activity.

AP, or advanced placement courses, are classes offered to students in high school to give them a chance to get college credit for a class if they get a three or higher on the exam at the end of the year. These are very work-heavy classes that require a lot of time and effort.

Since students are being pushed harder to take AP classes, a greater incentive would be that after the AP test they finish the class earlier so they can relax after a stressful year. “It’s kind of pointless to go to class after you already take the test,” said junior Owen Taylor who took three AP classes this year.

AP tests are taken with significant time remaining in the school year. Most college students have finished their year and classes are already over but students who are taking a college course in high school are required to do busy work for the remainder of the high school year. To better resemble a college class like advertised, after the AP test the classes should be over.

Underclassmen need to have a grade in the final exam column on their report card. Since they already have taken the AP test, it is not necessary to take another test so instead they do a project for the final exam grade. “Projects are a way to express your individuality and it’s better than a test,” said AP NSL Government teacher Caitlin Ulmer.

Projects are more exciting than a test, but it should not be necessary to have a final exam grade for students who take AP tests. It should just be an excused grade and the final grade should be calculated using only the quarter grades.

The projects are very time consuming although they may not be necessarily challenging. “I think the projects are just a waste of time and they are essentially busy work so we have something to do,” said junior Sam Sigal, who took four AP classes.

Some of the more common projects include power points or videos. At the end of the school year, students are stressing out about getting their grades up, final exams, and what plans they have for summer. Being required to do a project is a waste of time for students when they could be studying or doing work for their other classes.