The Student News Site of Rock Bridge High School

Bearing News

The Student News Site of Rock Bridge High School

Bearing News

The Student News Site of Rock Bridge High School

Bearing News

Stress, anxiety skyrocket as students prepare for upcoming AP tests


As Advanced Placement (AP) tests approach, RBHS students are feeling the brunt of their courseload fall upon them. This time of year can prove to be extremely stressful and overwhelming for AP students, and these anxieties can lead to discussions over the teaching methods used by AP teachers and how they prepare their classes for the exam. 

RBHS junior Kerra Lindbloom believes that preparedness for AP tests falls not in the hands of the teachers, however, but rather in the effort put forth by students. She believes that if students develop methods of learning and studying that work for them and couple those with the resources given to them by their teachers, they should be set up for success. 

“It’s important to recognize that teachers can’t guide students through every step of the preparation process,” Lindbloom said. “[…] Students bear a large portion of the burden to prepare, and I believe [they] will be better equipped to succeed come May when they accept this truth.” 

Lindbloom, who is enrolled in five AP classes herself, sympathizes with overwhelmed students. She expressed that the “breadth and depth” of AP material can easily cause stress and diminish motivation. To combat this, Lindbloom has created a study system that helps her manage her stress. Her plan consists of isolating one week per AP class so she can focus solely on that material. Doing so has allowed Lindbloom to concentrate on a single subject, “giving [her] the space to grasp the content without feeling overwhelmed.” 

AP Psychology teacher Ms. Keithley said a lot of the anxiety surrounding the quality of teaching in AP classes is simply that, anxiety. She believes most of her students are more than capable of getting passing scores on their AP exams but are experiencing heightened nerves that lead them to believe the opposite. 

“As a teacher overall, I do notice more anxiety over testing [and] assessments from students,” Keithley said. “I believe students have more pressure than ever before to “perform highly” on high stakes assessments which would absolutely increase anxiety.”

Keithley said this year’s school calendar has also increased the pressure on students by putting them in a “squeeze” on AP class timelines. Because of the packed calendar, Keithley has had to learn the most effectively in teaching her students and plans to utilize these things next year. 

“I will be spending some time this summer updating my scope and sequence for this course as well as […] seeing what content pieces will need to be emphasized next year,” Keithley said. “I have also signed up to take an updated AP Psychology training so that I have techniques and materials that will be the most beneficial for my students.”

Junior Bec Scrivner is enrolled in three AP classes this year. Scrivner said she takes AP classes at RBHS to get ahead on college credits while the only cost is the $100 test fee, compared to the inflated university prices. Because of this, the anxiety she is feeling surrounding the exams is not only academic but also monetary. 

“I’m nervous about not doing well [on the exams],” Scrivner said. “I think that’s a pretty common feeling amongst AP students right now.” 

 Lindbloom explains that jitters around this time are completely normal, especially when students are enrolled in more than one AP class. AP classes are designed to challenge students to imitate the college-level class they are receiving credit for, making it nearly impossible to not feel increased nervousness as you prepare for them. 

“The process of studying for AP exams can be intimidating for many students,” Lindbloom said. “With so much content to tackle, it’s not uncommon for students to feel overwhelmed by the sheer scope of the exams.”

How are you preparing for your AP Exams? Let us know in the comments below. 

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About the Contributor
Emily Weigand
Emily Weigand, Staff Writer, Photographer
Senior Emily Weigand is a staff writer and photographer for Southpaw and Bearing News. In her free time, she likes to read, write, cook and listen to music.

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