AP Testing at Kennedy…Could Definitely Be Better

Emily LaGrange, News Editor

Each May, many Washington High School students, along with other high school students throughout the country, are subject to AP testing. Prior to the test itself, students spend their week nights and weekends outside of class doing homework for a class that could potentially earn them college credit. The classes are, by nature, far more demanding than classes without the “AP” before it and withhold higher expectations.

AP tests for Wash students are held at three locations this year, depending on the test. Of the three locations, Kennedy High School is one of them.

In May, 2015, Julia Pohlman, ’16, took her AP Macroeconomics exam at Kennedy. “I took it as a makeup test because the band had an event on the day of the actual exam,” said Pohlman.

The testing environment was, to Pohlman, less than commendable. “We took it in this black box theatre there, we could hear students being loud in the hallway outside during the exam and the bells and PA system continuously interrupted the test. They kept making announcements and such and it was super distracting and annoying. I definitely think it impacted my performance on the exam,” said Pohlman.

According to Career Tech Testing’s website, studies have shown that the best testing environment is quiet with minimal distractions, has consistent and adequate lighting levels, and has a temperature at a constant, comfortable level with proper ventilation.

With the normal school day continuing on, interruptions were sure to impede on the test-takers’ performance.“It was hard to focus or be efficient with constant interruptions, I think it really slowed my progress on FRQs,” said Pohlman.

Unfortunately, it’s quite evident that Kennedy’s AP testing environment meant a poorly reflected test score. “I took both the [Economics] tests and scored unexpectedly lower on that one when that was in fact the one I felt more confident in. I think it was the environment,” said Pohlman.

This year, AP tests at Kennedy include Japanese Language and Culture, Spanish Language, and German Language and Culture.

Update (4/22/16): Kennedy announced that this year they will not be ringing bells or making intercom announcements while they are hosting AP tests this year. Here is the full list of the AP tests, dates, and locations at Kennedy this year:

Date Day of Week Time Test Location
3-May Tuesday 8 – noon Spanish Choir Room
4-May Wednesday noon -3:30 Japanese 64B
5-May Thursday noon -3:30 Chinese 64B
5-May Thursday noon -3:30 Seminar Black Box
6-May Friday 8 – noon German 64B
10-May Tuesday noon -3:30 French Black Box or 64B