AP testing schedule changes result in mixed opinions


Graphic courtesy of WCHS

WCHS is operating on a new testing schedule for the first two weeks of May to accommodate for AP Exams and state-mandated testing.

By Caitlin Murphy, Copy Editor

Every year, AP Exams bring stress, cram sessions and weird schedules to schools across the country, with WCHS being no exception. Despite many students missing multiple days of school due to exams, WCHS typically operates with a normal schedule during the two weeks of AP Exams in early May. However, this year students, staff and parents alike were caught by surprise when a new schedule was sent out to accommodate for AP Exams as well as other state-mandated tests such as MCAP and MISA.

A document was sent from administration to the WCHS community detailing the multiple daily schedules as well as bell times that correspond to each specific schedule. While every day is different, to summarize, on days when other state testing is occurring, the schedule follows a delayed opening. Due to the fact that many days have additional testing, WCHS chose to operate with a block schedule, alternating which days students have morning and afternoon classes on delayed openings. 

The new schedule changes, specifically their last-minute nature, brought a slew of opinions from teachers and students. While some found the schedule to be inefficient and disruptive, others saw it as a way to accommodate those taking different exams and tests. 

“I like the new schedule because it allows me to sleep in and get adequate sleep during AP Exam season,” WCHS senior Rubani Singh, who is taking multiple AP Exams, said. “I also think it benefits everyone regardless of their schedule since it creates more flexibility and implements time for underclassmen taking other required tests.”

Prior to this year, underclassmen taking state tests would have to go through another week of testing after the two weeks of AP Exams. This method of scheduling was not only draining for students who had to endure three consecutive weeks of tests, but cramming all of them together also presents issues for those taking AP Exams and other tests that may overlap. 

Another key issue the schedule presents is the limited length of class time on delayed opening days. Most teachers had been preparing for the normal schedule that WCHS has used in the past during AP Exams weeks. Because of this, they had to shorten their review time for exams at the last minute. Not only do teachers have less days of class to work with, but the shorter class times do not allow for much significant instructional time. 

“I would rather have a longer class time even if that means we would only meet once or twice during the weeks of AP Exams,” Singh said. “Shorter class times do not provide enough time for lessons or assignments to be completed efficiently.”

Many students have stopped attending classes during the first week of AP Exams because they feel the shortened classes are pointless.

“I believe it’s kind of pointless coming to school to sit through four 25 minute classes, especially since in most of these classes we aren’t doing much of anything,” WCHS senior Rayann Reese said. “I’m much more productive doing work at home and self-studying for my upcoming AP Exams.

While there are multiple views regarding the new schedule, it is important to recognize that this is a new idea being implemented by WCHS. Hopefully the administration will look towards teacher and student feedback to analyze the successes and shortcomings of this year’s schedule, and make the adequate adjustments to create the best accommodations for everyone going forward.