Samuelson completes thirteen AP tests

This past month, many students took AP tests. Only two at PHS, however, took seven.

Senior Ashton Samuelson subsequently slayed seven AP tests, for a grand total of 13 AP classes under his belt over the course of his high school career.

“I have AP Biology, AP Chemistry, AP Government, AP Psychology, AP Statistics and then I took both AP Physics C tests,” Samuelson said.

AP Physics C is a course that applies Calculus concepts to AP Physics topics and is not offered in a classroom setting here at Puyallup High. In order to learn this material, Samuelson had to pursue the course himself.

“I self-studied,” Samuelson said. “Jacob Watkins and I studied with Mr. Segers.”

Samuelson attributes his intrinsic self-motivation in these rigorous classes to his desire to get early credit towards college.

“I just want to get a lot of college credit,” Samuelson said. “By doing this I will have pretty close to two full years of college credit so that has helped a lot.”

Although AP courses typically boast an increased workload, Samuelson feels less overwhelmed with work this year than he did his junior year.

“[I have] not really [felt swamped.] Last year was more challenging I think, the amount of work seemed like a lot more. I kind of prepared myself by just getting ready for the classes and making sure that everything I took was something I could handle,” Samuelson said.

Preparation for all of the AP tests, however, was a different story.

“[The weeks leading up to AP testing were] probably the worst weeks of my life. I had absolutely no motivation to do anything but study, I did not want to come to school at all – so I did not,” Samuelson said. “It was really stressful; it was too much counting on one test.”

Amidst the occasional bout of heightened stress, Samuelson prefers the AP class environment to that of a normal class setting.

“[My AP experience, overall, has been] pretty good. Most of the teachers seem like they are actually more focused on teaching students and making sure they are prepared. I get really bored when we do not have stuff to do, so I appreciate the fact that we always have to do stuff in AP classes,” Samuelson said. “[I prefer the AP class environment] a lot more [than a normal class environment.]”

Taking a rigorous course load, however, does not require one to commit their life to studying all the time.

Samuelson is also captain of his club soccer team and has participated in PHS boy’s soccer in the past.

“I stopped playing high school soccer because it was too much time but I have been playing club soccer since I was seven,” Samuelson said. “And I do hang out with my friends a lot.”

Although juggling so many AP classes with the rest of his life has not been easy, Samuelson has no regrets and would recommend a similar schedule to other students, provided they are prepared.

“Yeah [I would recommend taking lots of AP classes.] I think it gets you prepared. I would say only do it if you can handle it. You have to know what you are getting yourself into, do not do it if you are not going to put in the work,” Samuelson said. “If you are just taking the class to have AP on your transcript, there is no real point. The whole point is to get the college credit and actually learn the information.”

Perhaps most remarkable is that even after taking seven AP tests this year, Samuelson still did not run out of AP number labels – a limited batch of student-specific stickers given to each student that must be placed on AP test materials in order to identify who took each test.

“No, [I did not run out of AP number labels,] I had two left,” Samuelson said.