How to Manage the Stress of AP Testing Season


Sophia Dodge

Jasmyne Rollins, 11th grade, prepares for her Ap Calculus class with Cindy Rinehart

Amanda Vallieres

April is here and AP exams are right around the corner. Combined with final projects, final exams, and the spring break slump, AP exam season proves to be the most stressful time of the year for AP students and teachers alike. 

“Yes, I feel stressed about this exam, probably around a 6 or 7,” says Sunny Bandillo, Tallwood GSWLA senior. “I’d say it changes from either completely confident about it to just high levels of stress.”

“So, it is stressful, but I think it is a good test to test a student’s knowledge and where they are at,” says Bradley Watahovich, Tallwood AP United States History teacher. 

The stress of passing these exams could tell colleges about a student’s test-taking skills, let a student skip a required class, and be an all-around big accomplishment for a student. As a result, lots of pressure is being placed on AP students to do well. 

“I feel pretty confident, but a little worried that I won’t pass with a good score,” says Shawn Bailey, Tallwood sophomore. 

However, teachers and students that experience this stress have ways to combat this stress, which could be especially useful for students taking the AP exam this year. From simple self-care to study methods, these ways of stress management could be the key to a student performing well on test day. 

“Definitely make sure you are eating enough and getting enough sleep because that is really important. And don’t do stuff you don’t want to do because that just adds on to it. It is like a snowball, and it just gets bigger and bigger,” says Bailey. 

“So I think everybody deals with stress differently but my personal things are setting a time limit for what you want to work through or what you’re trying to prep for an exam,” says Watahovich. “Give yourself a break because I think it helps kind of break up the mental gymnastics.”

Stress is inevitable during this time of year, not only for AP students but for all students taking their final exams and pushing through the final months of the school year. What matters most is how a student manages this stress and takes care of themselves.

“I do feel like it provides some unnecessary stress at this point in the year but I feel like once students realize and overcome that they probably will perform better than they think they will, I think that is a pretty solid time of year for them,” says Watahovich.