Bouncing Back

Bouncing Back

Raidon Bingham, Reporter

In every school, there are minds ready to push the bounds of their learning. Whether they be a passionate minority or a sweeping majority, these students strive to succeed in an environment that tests their limits. The celebrated  Advanced Placement system allows for these academics to experience a true challenge and stimulates their growth in a way no other basic academic curriculum can. When the educational world was forced to adapt to a global pandemic, many bright lights flickered in the sudden void—some went out entirely. If there’s one thing that is certain, however, it’s that learning finds a way. The Advanced Placement curriculum has overcome a rocky road with a few bumps and scratches along the way, but onwards it still goes.

By the year 2019, the Advanced Placement program was cruising through its sixty-third year of existence with ~38.9% of all high schoolers have taken at least one AP exam. Furthermore, the percentage of students who scored a 3 or above on the exam (3 is the “passing” score) increased from 15.3 to 23.9 percent over the decade between 2008-2019. Unfortunately, 2019 was the last year of normality for students and the population alike. The Coronavirus pandemic hit the United States with devastating effects for education. Alongside the tremendous strain from transitioning online, students also suffered from inhibited learning — and it showed in their test scores. Initially turbulence was indicated by a relatively minor fall of 0.6% in test participation over the 2020 year, yet fortune was turned around when the percentage of passing scorers rose to 24.4% — a 0.5% increase. 

Coming out of the pandemic was a gargantuan task; newly-risen sophomores entered high school doors for the first time, and the unfamiliar environment threw students into disarray. Despite the fading pandemic, the stress incurred by a whole year in near isolation took a toll on students. Grades dropped as the easier, simpler life many students lived suddenly spun around and bit them in the throat. Yet, despite the adversity, high school students nationwide proved their grit and determination in their stellar testing. According to the AP Program, over 60% of students scored a 3 or above on their exams in 2021. 

For the best chance at passing the AP exam, students are recommended to:

  • Utilize a study schedule reviewing the entire curriculum
  • Collaborate with other students to study materials that you don’t know
  • Reach out to your teacher or another mentor to get help on topics you’re unsure of or unfamiliar with
  • Avoid grueling schedules that incur burnout
  • Find practice tests to analyze your knowledge on the subject and use it accordingly

Students nationwide have proven they have what it takes to haul themselves back up after crises and push forward, and that education will always find a way.