Should We Continue Learning After AP Exams? (FACEOFF)

Jane Heise and Lindsey Solomon

NO (J.H.)

An AP course contains college-level information taught in a high school setting. These courses embellish college applications and prove one’s capability of both retaining complex information and surpassing high school academic expectations to universities. High school students use Advanced Placement class credits to save money in college, gain in-depth knowledge on a subject and boost their GPA. Based on the university, high school AP courses can be substituted for their college class equivalent, saving the student time and money. Achieving a score of four or five on a scale from one to five will usually garner the most college credit in comparison to a passing score of three. AP courses are taught specifically to further challenge students with a rigorous course-load, giving participants the potential to earn college credit and reap the benefits of higher learning.

During the year, students work at a faster pace in their AP classes than in their regular classes. AP exams take place around a month before the school year officially ends and the weeks leading up to the exams include study groups and cramming sessions. Once the exam ends, each student can breathe a sigh of relief. The year is over, the exam has been taken and the College Board now decides each students’ fate.

Teaching new material after the AP exam wastes the student’s and teacher’s time. The entirety of the course should be taught prior to the exam. There is no point in teaching additional or useless information after the test. The students have no motivation for learning information that is not part of the actual course curriculum and there is no need for  teachers to waste time on creating a lesson plan full of nonessential information, in regards to the exam. AP students have also put countless hours of studying into these courses for nine months, so after their exam, students seldom wish to keep dealing with the same heavy workload.

Furthermore, many teachers will bump students’ grades during the summer based off of whether they earn a score of a  five on the AP exam. After the exam has been taken, grades become finalized and there is no need to continue on with new and irrelevant information. Teachers and students can probably agree that the time spent after the exam should be dedicated to relaxation, an option where they both benefit.

 

YES (L.S.)

The minute the school year starts teachers start their yearly cycle of preparing students for their Advanced Placement exams. The advantages of taking AP courses is that students can receive college credit from taking these classes in high school. AP courses also enlarge the minds of students by teaching them a new course that broadens their knowledge. Although these classes might seem like another regular course, they are actually quite challenging when it comes to the curriculum and the workload that students have to experience. However, AP courses truly prepare students for college by training students about broad concepts and their applications.

Throughout the school year, as teachers prepare their students for their AP exams, they also focus on creating a fun and safe learning environment. When teachers create a fun learning environment, it aids students in learning their course material and allows for students to begin to enjoy the class itself. This way students do not feel stressed out and overwhelmed coming to school everyday.

Once the stress of AP season is over, students love to sit back and relax for a few days by watching movies or playing cards with their classmates. However, just because AP exams have been taken and completed that does not mean that teachers should just stop teaching. If anything, teachers should use the few weeks after APs to do fun projects, read best sellers or dissect animals in ways that students can actually enjoy their classes instead of stressing about them. The few weeks left in the school year give teachers the chance wrap up any additional course material that could be useful to students outside of their exam and serve as a reminder to students as to why they took the course in the first place.

The purpose of an AP course is to teach students a curriculum in which they learn a new course material that they can apply when they get to college and any future classes. AP courses would become a complete waste of time if the sole purpose was to just take the class so they can pass the exam and then forget everything they have learned throughout the school year. Instead, students should learn to appreciate AP courses and learn new ways to  apply what they learn into their own lives or future courses.

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