AP Exam Stress


“Suddenly, you blank out, freeze up, zone out, or feel so nervous that you can’t get it together to respond to those questions you knew the answers to just last night.”(KidsHealth). No matter how prepared a student may be, exams can be stressful. Last month, students participating in the AP exams carried a lot of stress on their shoulders.

Grace Sheehy, Staff Writer

Hollis Brookline High School offers multiple AP courses for students grades 10-12 willing to put in the extra work. “AP tests are college-level exams on specific subjects and are administered in May upon the completion of an AP course taken at a student’s high school. At many colleges and universities, a high enough score will earn the student college credit.”(ThePrincetonReview) As students of HBHS head towards the end of the school year, AP tests just finished taking place, and many students were overwhelmed and stressed. 


May can be incredibly stressful as students try to catch up on missing work, take tests in all different classes, and on top of that have very little motivation because of how close it is to summer. Because of this, studying for AP exams can be especially challenging. “I spend a lot of time trying to study, but I feel like I have been so stressed that I have not even learned anything” says Emma Hutchinson ‘22. 


 At the beginning of May students across the country sat for the Advanced Placement exams. “Those exams can feel like a golden ticket. The coveted 3, 4, or 5 score on an AP exam means earning college credit while in high school. These exams are a rite of passage for many high school students and a path to academic upward mobility for others” says EducationWeek


“Preparing for an exam has been stressful, and taken up all of my free time” says Kate McElveenc ‘23. Students are not allowing themselves any time for themselves and this is severely impacting their focus. 


It is important that students are reaching out and getting the help and support they need. Tests, in any circumstance, can be incredibly exhausting. Test anxiety is something many individuals struggle with, and this can really interrupt someone’s performance. “Like other situations in which a person might feel performance anxiety, test anxiety can bring on “butterflies,” a stomachache, or a headache. Some people might feel shaky or sweaty, or feel their heart beating quickly as they wait for the test to be given out. A student with really strong test anxiety may even feel like he or she might pass out or throw up,” says KidsHealth


It is important for students to support their peers, and access help if needed. This time of the year can be stressful for everyone, and students getting some support emotionally may help them quite a bit.