Should Tests and Quizzes Be Administered During AP Weeks?

Administrators%2C+students%2C+and+teachers+share+how+they+handle+and+what+they+think+about+having+tests+and+quizzes+during+AP+weeks.

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Administrators, students, and teachers share how they handle and what they think about having tests and quizzes during AP weeks.

Gabrielle Rothenberg, Staff Editor

After taking an AP course, students can decide if they would like to take the official AP exam. Due to changes this year, students now have the choice to opt out. While standardized testing is going on, regular school such as tests, homework, and quizzes are still going on.

The AP tests are the culmination of information from the entire class.

AP weeks are near the end of the year. They are designated by the College Board, which is in charge of standardized tests. AP tests span for about three weeks. The testing being three weeks long contributes to why there is no rule against tests and quizzes during these weeks.

At Pascack Valley, multiple STEM courses are administering tests during AP weeks. Some students at PV don’t feel this is right because they have to designate hours of work to their AP tests.

“[Giving tests and quizzes during AP weeks] shouldn’t be allowed,” Daniel Schwartz, PV junior and AP student said. “AP tests are stressful enough and having a final, especially in a class like physics, where there’s a lot of work and it’s probably the hardest class in the school [adds to the stress]. Teachers should know that AP tests are coming up and they should plan around that.”

Mary Doherty, an Algebra II/Trigonometry Enhanced teacher, has scheduled a quiz during the AP weeks. She says that if any of her students have an AP test, she would allow them to reschedule their quiz for another day that worked better.

“There’s actually no policy anywhere for any [rules during AP weeks],” Director of Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment Barry Bachenheimer said. 

Bachenheimer said that in all of the cases when it comes to testing, it is strongly suggested to the teachers to not assign work. 

“If students feel that they have a conflict like they are trying to study for something and they have a long assessment, this is where we encourage students to self-advocate,” Bachenheimer said. “I would believe that most of our teachers would be, as understanding as they are, willing to work with the student.”

Bachenheimer said one reason why they made AP tests optional this year was to take the pressure off of students.

“If you’re a junior and you’re taking AP English and AP U.S. History, but you’re in a different level of science or math, those classes still have to keep going,” Bachenheimer said. “It’s really a balancing act for the school as a whole. I think it would be challenging as a district to find a rule that applies to everybody and that’s sort of why we have to have some flexibility back and forth.”