2021 AP test cancellations rise amidst full test announcement

Manasa Krishnan, Staff Writer

As the date for the 2021 AP exam is nearing, many students have decided to opt-out of taking them. While COVID-19 might be an important influence on this decision, there are various reasons as to why students have chosen a different route.

Many students who settled on not taking their AP exams, did so for reasons as simple as being inessential to them.  Angelina Ma, a junior, cancelled her AP Psychology exam, as it was more beneficial for her to spend her time studying for her other exams.

“I felt like I wasn’t that confident with all the terms we need to memorize and I wanted to spend more time on my other AP exams because the other subjects were more interesting and similar to my future goals. If I had to take the AP Psychology exam, I would be fine to take it, but rather than take the time and money for that, I would be more comfortable spending more time studying to get 5’s on my other exam,” said Ma (‘22).

Like Ma, Shrihita Ramini, a current senior at Amador, wanted to step away from her AP Government Politics/Macroeconomics exam, as she feels that the exam would serve no benefit to her.

“I chose not to sign up because I didn’t want to take on too much stress, and because it doesn’t relate to my major, which is STEM geared. I’m already having to study for AP finals in every class which are tests that you really have to spend a lot of time for. I’m still taking 3 AP exams that I have to study for, so I thought that adding 2 more AP exams to my plate would just stress me out even more,” said Ramini (‘21).

Although the Amador Valley administration has no concrete statistics on the number of AP exam cancellations, there are some students who have claimed that their primary reason for doing so is remote learning. Senior, Emily Lim, is one of those students, who preferred not to take her AP Statistics, Human Geography, Government Politics/Macroeconomics, and English Literature exam.

“Online classes didn’t prepare me well enough to feel like I could get college credit with my score. With online school, there is less class time for instructions, it’s harder to concentrate, and we get a lot less practice,” said Lim (‘21).

Similarly, people have concerns about the effects of online classes on the level of preparedness of students for the exam. While Selina Nakari, a sophmore, is still going to take the AP exam, she feels that it may be more difficult to prepare for.

“For me, it is harder to retain information when learning through a screen, In person, the lessons are more interactive and easier to pay attention to. However, I understand that there are not very many options for teachers to teach in that fashion, and so it is me who needs to adjust. I tend to get distracted or miss assignments, which is the main reason why it is harder to prepare for the exam,” said Nakari (‘23).

Like Nakari, there are students who are still planning to take their exams, as they feel that it plays a crucial role in college applications. One of those students is Sahana Kumar, an 11th grader, who wants to remain signed up for her AP Psychology, French Language and Culture, and English Language and Composition exam.

“I decided to take the AP exam even though I have the option to opt-out because i haven’t finalized my college list and a lot of colleges haven’t discouraged opting-out of exams, especially those who are test optional. After doing research on what test-optional meant, I realized that it;s better to submit test scores than not doing so,” said Kumar (‘22).