Milestones are eliminated for students taking certain AP courses


Dr. Cathy Murphy helps a student in her AP Language and Composition class. After the decision on Nov. 7, Murphy’s AP students will no longer have to take the American Literature Milestone. Photo by Grayson Belanger

On Nov. 7, Gov. Brian Kemp approved the recommendation from the State School Superintendent to eliminate Milestones for students in corresponding AP classes. This new policy helps prevent double-testing. Before this announcement, students in AP classes had to take the Milestone along with their AP tests, but this policy comes as a welcome change to students and teachers alike. 

AP Language and Composition teacher Dr. Cathy Murphy and other teachers in the county had previously asked if their students could take the Milestone in December rather than April to have more time to prepare for exams. 

“I’m happy that the state has recognized that students in AP classes shouldn’t have to worry about taking Milestones when they’re at such a high level already,” Murphy said. 

With this new policy, teachers will no longer have to stop what they are doing in March to focus on the Milestone rather than the AP exam. Murphy believes this change could have a positive impact on students’ AP exams.  

“With more time to practice and to foresee any potential problems, I expect the kids to have higher scores on their AP tests,” Murphy said.  

Junior Camille Leake is taking AP United States History this year, a course that had previously required a Milestone. Leake believes that this new policy will be beneficial to her later in the year. 

“I definitely think it will [make AP exams more manageable,]” Leake said. “With that time of year being swarmed with Milestones, AP exams, and finals, it’ll definitely help lift some of the stress off my shoulders. [It will] help me prepare better for AP exams, so I won’t have to study for both the Milestone and the exam.” 

Although this change will relieve some stress at the end of the year, Leake does not think it will influence her course selection for next year. 

“I don’t think it’ll really affect how many AP classes I take because while the stress of testing season is a bit much at times, it was never too overwhelming. So, I don’t think the sudden absence of some Milestones will really influence my course choices,” Leake said. 

Because of this change, junior Ally Jackson will now be able to exempt two Milestones for AP Language and AP US History.  

“I like the new policy because, even though it only affects two of my AP classes, it is two less tests I have to take at the end of the year, and I don’t have to worry about my grade changing after I take my finals,” Jackson said. 

Jackson thinks this policy is a positive change but does not think it will have a huge impact on her AP exams. 

“I don’t think it will affect how I prepare for my AP exams because Milestones are generally a lot easier tests, but it will relieve a lot of my stress during the end of the year —making my work load a whole lot more manageable,” Jackson said.