Too many tests?


With the school year’s end approaching, Etowah High School students are beginning to study for final exams. Many other Eagles are also preparing for Advanced Placement (AP) exams and End of Course (EOC) tests. However, select students are taking, not one, but both of these exams, and many feel that it is unfair that they have to take the EOC for their courses when they are already taking the AP exam. 

“While I do see the value in taking the EOC, as an AP Lang student, it has certainly been a challenge to juggle. We, as a class, have been obligated to ensure that not only are we fully confident on the AP Lang essay formats this time in the year but also brand-new formats we had never seen two weeks prior to the exam,” Marissa Migneco, junior, said. 

AP classes are very popular among high-achieving students, as it allows a high-schooler to take college-level courses without paying tuition. This way, they are able to earn college credit while still in high school. However, if one is only doing it for college credit, the hard work done during the year is all for nothing unless one passes the AP exam in May. For this reason, starting in April, students drastically increase their studying to ensure a passing grade. While the exams are technically optional, most people take them to get credit for their efforts. 

“AP exams include the added stress of a completely different exam schedule and curriculum. Occasionally, students must learn state standards and how to pass the AP tests, which makes the school year considerably more difficult,” Ava Banko, senior, said. 

EOC exams are one of the most important parts of certain high school courses; the grade on the test alone counts for 20 percent of the student’s final report card. In Georgia, there are four classes with an EOC requirement: Algebra I, Biology, American Literature, and American History. Students usually take American Literature and History in eleventh grade, while they are often taking other, more rigorous, classes, and thus they are experiencing more stress. However, while both are English classes, the AP course is Language and Composition, not American Literature, so the students would be taking a completely different class while still being required to take the other course’s EOC. 

“I took both the AP Lang and American Lit exams and felt well prepared for the AP exam but just okay about the EOC. I did not see the point of taking an exam for a course that we had not been preparing [for] all year,” Hayes Thomas, senior, said. 

While the number of exams may never change, Etowah students are still hard at work, studying to do their very best.