Student Life: AP Tests and Stress

Grace Beach, Staff Editor

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Students in AP and Honors classes around the country are getting more and more stressed with fewer supports in place according to recent studies. “There’s an assumption since these kids are doing so well in school, they don’t need a whole lot of extra support,” said Shaunessy-Dedrick, USF College of Education Associate Professor, who is studying and analyzing the causes and effects of this stress. Among the many studies that have been done, this is one of the more famous ones.

Many AP students suffer from anxiety disorders and in some cases OCD as well. Students with strict parents get anxious about B’s and C’s. Perfectionists will have breakdowns over a failed homework, a bombed test, or an incomplete assignment. Many of these AP and Honors students also have to keep up with extracurriculars and jobs and maintain a decent social life.

Experts recommend teenagers get 8 to 10 hours of sleep. Assuming they get the recommended 8 and regularly go to school for 6, that’s 14 hours of the 24 hour day. Any sport typically has 2 hours of practice after school. That’s 16 hours. Add in half an hour to an hour of homework per class. Adding in half an hour that’s 2 hours gone, or an hour of homework and that’s 4. Going with the 2 hours, that’s 18 hours of the 24 hour day. Now to look at chores. Assuming chores at home take an hour, that’s 19 hours. Take out 2 hours for eating three meals a day, showering, getting dressed, etc. That puts the time count at 21 hours. Any student who has work will typically not have less than a four hour shift. Those are more hours than are in a day. Without having any time for a social life which has been proven to be beneficial and necessary for mental health.  No wonder students are getting so stressed.

Many older people have been blaming technology rather than looking at more possible reasons or solutions to these problems. AP and Honors students are usually the ones who are trying to get as much as possible on a college application and therefore have less time for anything else.  It’s detrimental to the concerned student’s health.