El Estoque

All Done … Almost

Songjun Na, Stuti Upadhyay

May 25, 2018 — the day the MVHS class of 2018 will officially checkout of school. The day they will no longer be high schoolers. The day they can say they are finally done. However, while most students will be out celebrating with friends, a small group of seniors will have to report back to school to take their AP Spanish Language Exam.

For years now, students have been taking AP tests for different classes during mid May. For many students, finishing their AP tests marks the end of year, because they only have senior finals to contend with after. This year, senior finals are from Monday, May 21 to Thursday, May 24, followed by senior checkout from 9:45 to 11:15 a.m. on Friday, May 25.

This year, the administration has to split up the juniors and seniors taking the AP exam because of inadequate accommodations. When the seniors were informed through email that their AP test date was now 12:45 p.m. on May 25th, many were disappointed.

“We got an email from Mr. Flores in mid March,” senior Kishan Aryasomayajula

said. “We all saw the email at the same time because it was on a block day, and we were all really disappointed after seeing the email [because we realized the test was after senior checkout].”

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Before that email, the students had also received an email from Mr. Flores explaining that not all the students will be able to take the AP test at the same time. However, the previous email said the seniors were taking it on May 8, before senior checkout, and the juniors would take it on the May 25, a schedule that most seniors were pleased with. The correction email promptly followed.

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“The reason [administration] is doing this is because they don’t have enough room for everyone,” AP Spanish teacher Maria Autran said. “This is the first time they had to put the test so late and it’s because of some construction that is happening.”

According to Autran, the AP Spanish exam is mostly completed on computers, and this need for technology makes it even harder to accommodate the students. Even though students agree the reason may be legitimate, senior Tejasri Sunchu feels that kids have a right to be upset at the late date.

“I’m pretty sure [we’re] all unhappy,” Sunchu said. “No one wants to take [the test] after senior checkout. It’s just because our attitude we’re all checked out [and ready to be done]. We don’t want to take a test.”

When the students first found out about the test date, many of them were angry and tried to take some action, whether it be by talking to their teacher, trying to raise support or petitioning on Facebook.

Our initial thoughts were like we have to do something about it,” Aryasomayajula said. “We had to get all our parents to email [or talk to administration] and change [the date].”

Many of the juniors also preferred the original arrangement where they would be taking the test on the day of senior checkout, simply because it gave them some extra time to study. In fact, the juniors who didn’t have a seventh period final, such as junior Sebastian Preising, went to the office and exchanged exam days with a senior.

I wanted to switch because the time between my AP Spanish AP test and my other AP test is like 15 days,” Preising said. “I’ll have a lot more time to study versus it being on the original date. And [the senior liked the arrangement] because she obviously could do the test before senior checkout.”

The students’ initial plans were met with little to no luck, seeing as Autran has no power to change the AP test dates and students were not able to create an organized petition.

Despite many of the students’ strong feelings, Autran doesn’t believe the exam date is that big of a deal. Although she agrees the arrangement is inconvenient and can sympathize with the students, she believes that the students have to accept the date. She also thinks it’s important to understand that the administration is not trying to bother the seniors, but is trying to give them the best possible arrangements so they are able to do their best on the exam.

I don’t think [the late date] should affect [students] so much,” Autran said. “I have a feeling that the kids are a little spoiled. ‘Why aren’t things the way I want them?’ But you can’t have everything [go your way]; that’s not life. You just have to deal with and cope with the situation.”

According to Sunchu, most of the seniors are echoing Autran’s remarks regarding accepting the situation.

“At this point, people are disappointed, but no one is really taking an initiative to come and talk to the admin,” Sunchu said. “[Flores’] reasoning was pretty justified; we don’t have any equipment, and we can’t do anything about that … we just have to deal with it now and take it after senior checkout. [It] sucks, but we have to deal with it.”

Beyond the inconvenient aspect, Preising believes the different testing date may also influence different students’ performance.

“I have more time to study for the AP test, so I will be more prepared for it,” Preising said. “But for a lot of the seniors, it might do the opposite and cause them to lose motivation to study for it because it is at such a late date and it’s after senior checkout.”

Sunchu, Autran and Aryasomayajula agree that the extra weeks will probably not help many seniors regarding preparedness about the test. Rather, their level of readiness will stay relatively the same.

Autran believes whether or not the AP exam is finished doesn’t matter, because the class is still going to continue  until the end of a year. While other teachers may opt for a more relaxed teaching style after finals, Autran teaches and does activities with the students through the end of the school year.

“Kids should be prepared,” Autran said. “In my class we don’t prepare just one month before. We start at the beginning of the year. Recording, writing, reading, everything is for the test. Even if is a project or presentation, it’s all for the test. So when the test comes they should be ready, no matter [whether it is] two weeks late or early.”