AP U.S. History and Honors Biology Testing Overlaps Twice in a Row

This caused mayhem for students who participate in this "killer combination" of classes.

This+picture+displays+the+Chapter+11-16+Test+in+AP+U.S.+History%2C+and+the+Ch.+4+Test+for+Honors+Biology%2C+administered+on+Oct.+23.

This picture displays the Chapter 11-16 Test in AP U.S. History, and the Ch. 4 Test for Honors Biology, administered on Oct. 23.

Advanced Placement U.S. History and Honors Biology administered tests on the same day two weeks in a row. This sparked copious amounts of outrage and stress.

On Oct. 2 APUSH students were assessed with the Chapter 6-11 test and Honors Biology students were tested with the Chapter 3 test. Then, on Oct. 23, we received a Chapter 11-16 test in Advanced Placement U.S. History, and a Chapter 5 test in Honors Biology.

There are 125 students enrolled in Advanced Placement U.S. History, and 149 students enrolled in Honors Biology. I’d estimate that nearly 60-70% of the students in these courses take both of them.

How can a student perform well when two extremely critical subjects assess them on the same day? On top of this, people have extra-curricular activities and sports to handle.

I did not perform as well on the APUSH test as I would have liked because of the Biology test that day.  

I am a very sane person, but this overload of testing brought out a side of my peers and I that we had never seen before. I cried more in one week than I had cried in over a year! I’m sure people can agree with me when I say that I felt stressed and depressed from this seemingly never-ending study load.

However, the teachers do have reasoning for this poor scheduling.  Joe Konopinski said, “All ‘APUSH’ teachers met in the spring and the summer to determine the assessment schedule for the following academic year to set an appropriate pace for the ‘APUSH’ essay.” The Honors Biology teachers said that they too met within their own departments to plan their testing schedules, but that they did not plan their testing schedules with any other school department.

Both of the high school departments planned their testing schedules over the summer, but they both have overlapped two major tests twice. Who is to say this won’t happen again? They have made it very clear that they specifically collaborate within their own department.

This problem could be fixed if the departments would review each other’s calendars over the summer, and edit test days when more than one major test overlaps each other.

My main problem is the Advanced Placement U.S. History and the Honors Biology test scheduling. However, being a sophomore in high school, I have experienced about twenty weeks during which almost all of my teachers gave tests — usually Thursday and Friday. During the week of  Oct. 19-22, I took six tests given Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. However, the week before, I had no tests, and the two weeks afterward I did not. Since elementary school, the district has drilled the International Baccalaureate learner profile terms into our brains. However, how are we supposed to be “balanced” if our testing schedule is anything but?

It feels as if teachers fail to notice that we have other classes. Of course, I know this is not the case, and I empathize with teachers and their daily struggle to efficiently deliver curriculum during the hectic school year. I also understand that the designated test days for science and history are Wednesday and Friday. However, teachers should be a little more considerate when scheduling major assessments.

I am realistic. Unfortunately, at this point, I do not think the testing schedules will soon be adjusted. However, no sophomore — or any student — should ever face two major tests on the same day again. High school is extremely stressful, and enduring this testing imbalance makes it so much worse. By next year, the high school’s academic departments should communicate with one another to eliminate overlapping of testing. Maybe then, the stigma against Advanced Placement and Honors classes would be diminished.

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