It’s that time of year again and if you have a student in high school you know exactly what I’m talking about. It’s time to take AP exams. For two weeks high school juniors and seniors (and some sophomores) who are lucky enough to be enrolled in these highly sought after classes, attempt to tune out the whole world for the sake of earning a 3, 4 or 5 on an exam that, in this moment, seems to carry so much weight. In fact, a student recently rejected an invitation to an event to honor her because, “studying for APs this weekend will make doing anything else an impossibility”.
As I’ve discussed before, APs are central to the college-bound conversation, but do we put too much pressure on students to do well on the exams? Isn’t it enough to do well in the class? Common sense tells me a student who has been doing well in her AP class should by now, be able to do well on the exam without making herself crazy studying in the days right before. Right? I think so, but students might argue with my logic.
What I actually think is more important to consider right now is time-management, not AP exams. No matter what I say, students (and parents) will stress themselves out about doing well on AP exams. But, how that stress manifests and the ways in which people address the stress can change and evolve over time. I’ve found, it’s those who have developed effective time-management and study skills who are the most consistently resilient over time. So, if you’re considering augmenting your child’s education with something, choose an activity that challenges him to strengthen his ability to order his world. It could be straight-forward and obvious like a study-skills class or perhaps a summer job where he will have greater responsibilities. Developing effective time-management skills only gets more difficult as we get older, as we hold on to the habits we know, so impress upon your children this integral tool early on.