AP Calculus Mock Exam Makes Mockery of Other Classes’ Time

Emma Lazerson, Views Editor

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Stuffed into the John Davis Wrestling Center, overcome by fatigue and nausea, the AP Calculus students returned from their trials toting triumphant AP scores that will guarantee them oodles of credit hours.

Oh wait, that’s not the case at all.

Unlike other classes like AP Biology or AP Physics, which implement AP practice spread out over a few days or weeks, so as not to monopolize other classes’ time, AP Calculus classes force their students to participate in the four-hour test regardless of whether or not those students are taking the exam.

And I do mean force.  The exam is counted as a quiz grade for the class, with no other option provided for making it up.

Basically, if I don’t take the test at the specified date and time, I will receive a zero.  And everyone knows that zeroes kill your grade.

Rather than learn the fundamentals of trade in AP Economics (which doesn’t institute mandatory mock tests), practice my journalistic prowess, read poetry in AP English (also without an obligatory test) or learn about the universe in physics, I was subjected to four hours of torture for an exam I don’t even plan to take.

Might the exam practice be beneficial for those who are taking it?  Sure, I won’t argue with that.  I’ll even agree that it could be useful finals preparation for those who aren’t taking it.

But, and this is a big but, why is it necessary to take me out of class for this? Why couldn’t the test be divided across a few days worth of calculus classes, instead of monopolizing my time?

I’m not even angry about having to take it; I’m angry about the fact that I have to miss other classes.

Calculus seems to imply that those classes are not as important.  Well, I beg to differ, especially considering the fact that calculus’ only real use is for understanding physics. (As a side note, no, I do not plan to become a physicist, mathematician or engineer, so I don’t think I really need to understand how to do a Riemann sum.)

The institution of this mock AP exam is disrespectful and unhelpful. If you want to make it mandatory, at least offer students the flexibility of choice for when they take it, instead of threatening their grades through petty practices.


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AP Calculus Mock Exam Makes Mockery of Other Classes’ Time