As we near the end of the semester, find out how students and teachers are preparing for the upcoming AP exams. The Advanced Placement exam is the ultimate challenge for students who have spent all year slaving over their studies in college-level courses and for the teachers who have dedicated their time to helping those […]
As we near the end of the semester, find out how students and teachers are preparing for the upcoming AP exams.
The Advanced Placement exam is the ultimate challenge for students who have spent all year slaving over their studies in college-level courses and for the teachers who have dedicated their time to helping those students succeed.
For most first-time AP students, the biggest fear they have is failing the test they have worked so hard to pass.
“I just don’t want to get a 2, and then have to say this whole year meant nothing, basically,” sophomore Kyle Cherry (’15) says, who will be taking the exam for AP World History and AP European History.
Adds fellow AP World History student Siahej Basra (’15), “I definitely don’t want to be that one kid who fails. That is a legitimate worry of mine.”
But both boys do agree that teacher Mr. Tom English “has done a fantastic job of preparing us.”
On the other hand, some AP students have a much more relaxed attitude when approaching their exams. Junior Spencer Tibbits (’14) admits he’s not all that nervous for his AP United States History test.
“I am not a great writer, so I am a little worried for the essays,” he explains. “But, I am not stressed. It is just another test. It doesn’t affect your grade, and that is what would worry me.”
Other AP teachers like Ms. Patti Gallagher and Ms. Nicole Brousseau have been hard at work all year to ensure their students are ready to take their AP exams.
For her AP French students, “preparing begins in their first year of language courses,” Ms. Gallagher says.
“We know exactly what they have to do — reading, writing, speaking, and listening. By the time they get to the AP class, students are ready to hone their skills and review absolutely everything.”
Even though Ms. Gallagher has been pushing her French students for three or four years now, as they near their exam her focus is on their state of mind.
“For my class, I told them to turn up the temperature about three months ago — now, I am telling them to turn it down,” the French teacher says. “They don’t need to worry. I want them to take care of themselves, especially in the week before the exam.”
For her AP Biology students, Ms. Brousseau has been working all year to instill in them the knowledge and skills they will need for their AP test.
“We have been doing practice quizzes and tests with questions from past AP exams,” she reveals. “I try to make them feel that they can do this and be successful.”
“I like to give different options for my students, because everybody is a different learner. Ultimately it is up to the individual student to figure out how they learn best and prepare that way. It is just my job to give suggestions and provide opportunities for them to learn.”
For students whose stress levels are skyrocketing, Ms. Gallagher suggests “a hot bath and calm music,” while Ms. Brousseau insists that students don’t procrastinate their studies.
“Don’t wait until the last moment,” the science instructor says. “Just do bits and pieces every single day and you will learn it.”