SAT, AP Exams, Prom, Oh my!

Photo credit: Kimmy Lac

By Hoku Kern, News Editor

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It’s Saturday, May 6th, the day of Prom.

Students should be sleeping in, getting up late, eating a good breakfast, and spending the next few hours relaxing before getting ready for, what some consider, a defining night of their high school experience.

Instead, they are getting up at the ungodly hour of 7 a.m., taking note to make sure that their calculators are fully charged and that they have two #2 pencils, with erasers of course, and driving themselves to their testing centers.

It’s also Saturday, May 6th, the day of the SAT.

Dos Pueblos is not the only high school in Santa Barbara county that has their Prom on the same day as the SAT this year. The past few years there has been no problem with the SAT coinciding with the day of Prom for any of the high schools in the district. 

While this alignment of events might not seem like a big deal, it’s more about the planning rather than the situation itself. Not only was DP’s Prom scheduled for the same day as the SAT, it was also placed right in the middle of Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) testing.

This means that the students attending Prom and After Prom won’t be getting home until around 4 a.m. on Sunday morning, and will still have to make time on Sunday to study for the AP Exams they have the upcoming week.

The other high schools in Santa Barbara county, such as Santa Barbara High School and Bishop Diego High School, have their Proms scheduled after AP testing; and while San Marcos has their Prom after AP testing, theirs is scheduled for the same day as the June SAT. This begs the question as to why DP’s was placed at such a test-heavy time.

Each school tries to have their Prom on a day that no other school does, allowing students the option of going to different Proms if they have friends from other schools that they wish to go with. While this is thoughtful scheduling, it also forces some schools to have their Prom at what is construed as an inconvenient time, such as DP this year.

High school students, who are constantly surrounded by the stress of school, see Prom as a time to unwind and relax, a time to have fun. How can they have fun if they are stressing about critical tests that have the capability of determining their college acceptance?

It’s not about losing three hours of prep time to take a test or leaving after Prom early in the hopes of getting enough sleep, it’s about having to choose, being forced to choose.

The administration knows that when May rolls around, so do AP and IB exams, the SAT, and Prom. They have a fair amount of time to plan out the school events, considering they cannot change the dates for AP testing or the SAT. They can, however, schedule around it so that students do not have to stress about choosing between having fun at one of the major senior events of the year or studying for their upcoming exams.

With no time to change the date this year, students will have to persevere through the SAT and AP and IB testing before and following Prom, with the hopes that this unhappy coincidence of dates does not happen again in the upcoming years.  

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