Story by Alexandria Sessions, Photo by Michelle Lane
AP students are opening up their review books and buckling down for a long 3 weeks of challenging test: AP exams. With consistent coffee breaks, many study groups, and trying to cram a whole year of information into your head. Not everyone is looking forward to the last complete month of school because when May comes along, so do AP exams and the preparations that go along with them. A lot of time goes into preparing the AP exams and preparing for the exam; however, AP students say the classes are important because they provide students with a glimpse into collegiate academic life.
“It’s the hardest type of course here at Dutch Fork, meaning the curriculum is harder,” junior Ryan Harris said, “but [AP courses are good] for my GPA and getting into colleges.”
Not only does a student’s GPA matter to college admissions’ offices, but earning a five on the exam is important to AP students as well. It guarantees college credit for the course. Colleges may also award credit for students who earn a three or four on the exam, too.. For AP students, though, motivation is key: they have to be willing to put in the work to receive those scores.
“You need to be motivated to do well on that AP exam at the end,” AP US History Robert Barron said..
Taking multiple AP classes means taking multiple AP exams, and sometimes students have to take two exams in one day. Senior Sydney Beasley has been taking AP exams since her freshman year and said procrastination is an AP student’s worst enemy.
“Don’t wait last minute to study,” Sydney said, “and come up with a plan to organize your studying,”
AP seniors say the stress of preparing for AP exams is something they will not miss about high school. .
“Mainly because AP puts a lot of stress on you, and I’m kinda ready to get rid of all that stress,” Sydney said.
AP students can prepare for their exams in a variety of ways. From study books to practice tests, online tutorials, YouTube videos and websites, choosing the right preparation tools can help students ease their test-day anxiety.
Barron recommends using the material students have learned throughout the year.
“On day one we say you’re preparing for the exam: you read, you take notes, you keep up with everything,” Barron said. “Doing that from day to day, you are you getting ready for the exam. When you get close to the exam it’s all about reviewing notes and buying a review book and using that review time.”
AP courses offer a rigorous college-level curriculum for students who are willing to take the challenge and work hard.
“I sort of encourage others to take [AP courses],” Sydney said, “to challenge themselves after taking a CP or honors class.”