The Student News Site of Masconomet Regional High School

The Masco Messenger

The Masco Messenger

The Masco Messenger


Advanced Placement (AP) season has concluded, and Masco students felt the pressure. The standardized tests are the crux of the AP classes it prepares its students for, but it’s not just the AP classes themselves that’s the challenge – it’s balancing these with other classes that can become overwhelming.

AP Language & Composition and AP Literature teacher Shannon Murphy knows that the AP testing week is stressful and demanding on the students who have them. 

“I do think that it’s a challenging time because normal school continues,” said Murphy. “It’s pretty stressful for [students] to try and keep up with their regular work, get enough sleep, and feel prepared to take their AP exams.”

Murphy said that when it comes to academic stress, a part of it stems from the students’ expectations of themselves and not feeling confident that all the prep they have done is enough.

“A lot of the academic stress that students feel today is their perception of their abilities, their comparison of their abilities to their perception of other people’s abilities, and their desire to do well to please,” said Murphy.

Senior Lily Wheadon did not personally feel very stressed out about her AP tests. Having already been accepted into a college, the test week her senior year was less stressful as it had less of an impact for her. 

“I guess it depends on the person and if they know what they need for college credit and stuff for schools,” said Wheadon, “and I’m sure the juniors are stressed because I know last year’s AP season was rough for me.”

Wheadon said  that there is a lot of stress around the AP exams that is not entirely necessary. 

“I think people tend to forget that if you do well on them it’s great and it can look good for college applications, and you can get college credit, but if you don’t do well, nobody has to know, and it doesn’t really affect you negatively in any way,” said Wheadon. “It’s an added bonus if you do well.”

Senior Kara Lindonen said that she felt stressed during her first week of AP exams. She had some of her tests on consecutive days, and others back to back on the same day.

“I don’t really see why I was so stressed because it’s not something that I necessarily needed for college, as only some schools might take it,” said Lindonen.

Lindonen said that students definitely should take AP classes in their time in high school, but that there should be a focus on enjoying the AP classes rather than trying to pile them on.

“I liked the classes I was taking. I took Statistics, Psychology, Comp Sci and Physics. I like those classes, so I was ok with taking four APs,” said Lindonen. “If you take the classes just to take the AP but you don’t actually like it, you’re not going to have fun.”

Wheadon agrees with being mindful of choosing AP classes. She admits that part of her wishes she had limited herself to two or three AP classes to have more time to enjoy herself.

“I think I definitely overloaded myself with APs for senior year. In theory it sounds nice signing up for the class, and I knew that I could handle it,” said Wheadon, “but sometimes you don’t want to do that much for senior year.”

Lindonen said that the stress students face can vary and depends on the type of student they are and the classes they take.

“Stress wise, I feel like it depends on the class, because there’s some classes that you might be more confident about because you might just excel more in those areas,” said Lindonen.

When picking AP classes, a student should focus on what classes they enjoy and where they believe they will excel to keep themselves from experiencing high levels of stress when facing down a week’s worth of tests during AP exams week.

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