The Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders

12 reasons why taking an AP exam is like riding an airplane

in Opinion/Our Voices/Showcase by

At this time in the year, as a high school junior, I feel like I’ve sold my soul to the College Board. I’ve taken the SAT twice and sat through a total of 4 AP exams, which have, in total, cost about a gazillion dollars. And I have yet to apply to college and deal with the fees of sending the scores from all these various tests to the people who might like them and/or accept them as college credit.

After taking AP exams in the last few weeks, it’s occurred to me that such a test-taking experience bears a stunning resemblance to that of riding an airplane. Here are the reasons why:

  1. You wake up at an ungodly hour to arrive at the airport/testing location as early as possible so all the random security processes go as quickly as possible.
  2. You walk into a room that’s semi-familiar. It’s either a generic airplane or a generic classroom.
  3. Everyone is sitting in rows, facing forward towards the captain/test proctor.
  4. There is a strategic seating arrangement and everyone is assigned a seat that you have to search to find.
  5. People in authority give you boring instructions about stuff you have to do. You listen barely– just enough to survive.
  6. You hesitate to drink too much water, because you know there will be a long line to the bathroom (especially during the 10 minute break for AP tests).
  7. The room/plane is eerily quiet.
  8. You are in this room/plane for a designated amount of time, and there is no getting out for any reason whatsoever.
  9. You are told to put all your belongings in a designated spot, and you can’t access it during the flight/test.
  10. You have to shut off your contact from the outside world (i.e. your phone)
  11. After you land/finish the test you have to listen to more boring instructions even though you just wanna get out of there.
  12. You know this hellish process will get you somewhere (i.e. a new destination/college credit), but you would rather be there than go through this process.

If you’ve been through AP testing, you probably recognize the similarities between these grueling experiences. And, if you’re anything like me, you’ve probably been stressed beyond belief over these silly tests.
But now, since all ARS girls are done with AP testing, all we can do is hope that the luggage didn’t get lost along the way to our destination, so to speak.

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