“Now we’re stressed out”: upcoming AP exams ignite student pressure

Thomas Kim, AVT Page Editor

With AP tests just around the corner, Amador Valley HS is administering thousands of AP tests to students, many who are taking multiple. What is causing this strong culture in Pleasanton of students loading their schedules with rigorous courses, and is it worth it?

Although counselors at Amador caution kids to balance out their schedules to help with students’ mental health, many have their sights focused on what classes can get them into the best college.

“I took 6 AP classes this year, and it was honestly really tough. I would say to not underestimate the amount of extra notes and work that comes along with taking these classes,” said Michael Hu (‘23)

Parents in this community can also add on to the pressures of AP classes. As a top ranked high school, there is a competitive nature to be the best of the best. Many parents view AP classes as the mandatory necessity to excel in school and get into the best college. 

“I feel some pressure from my parents to take certain classes, and I mostly just asked past students on the AP classes I should take, and that really helped me plan out my classes. I definitely think it is important to listen to what the counselors advise because they also have a lot of firsthand experience,” said Saagnik Mitra (‘23).

What students need to take into account is that not all colleges accept AP classes for credit, so it is crucial for students to plan out the schedule accordingly to where they may want to attend. Many colleges and universities have varying policies regarding AP classes.

“At my college (University of Rochester), they have a unique policy for AP credit where some classes take credit for a 3 on the AP test where others only take a 5. I think it is important to not just take AP classes for the sole purpose of college credit because not every college accepts AP credit the same,” said Amador alum Allyson Kim (‘21)

Many students in this community feel pressured in this competitive culture of fighting for a college spot at the top universities, but every student is different and can handle different amounts of workload, which is why it is important to discuss these matters with counselors, former students, but most importantly, yourself. 

“I would say to take the AP classes that actually interest you and can help further your education in something you may want to do in the future, because if not, it’s going to feel like you’re just dragging yourself through the extra work the entire year,” said Hu.