Pressures of AP Testing
By Robin Grace Bagaygay
After a whole year of AP lectures, the majority of AP students stayed up past midnight to study and pray to pass the most important tests of the year: the AP exams. AP exams are not just any tests you take to raise your grades, they measure what a student has learned during the course of year, and help students get the college credit they are hoping to attain.
AP exam results come back around July. With the AP exams over, keeping up with the classes becomes the main challenge.
“It’s a lot of information, and a lot of that you’re gonna forget,” said AP Government teacher, Conor Callahan. “It unfortunately requires cramming. That's just how it works.”
“Um, stressful!” exclaimed senior Caitlin Kuehn, an AP Stats and AP Studio Art student at Novato High. “I struggled to get all my pieces together so that I could be successful in all my AP classes.”
Students like junior Rudy Lautner had their own method of studying for the AP exam.
“I might ever so often review information. For example, prompts I learned throughout the year,” said Lautner, an AP Lang and AP US History student. “I would go to the study sessions my APUSH teacher offered his students.”
Sophomore Isadrina Juillard had a different approach.
“I went on Quizlet and made up games that made it fun while I studied because I learned a lot more,” shared Juillard, an AP Art History student.
Callahan and Khuen had similar suggestions.
“I reviewed flashcards and did the practice tests,” said Khuen, “Reviewing past tests and looking at the AP stats study guide is beneficial.”
“Flashcards are really effective,” shared Callahan. “I held review sessions during the weekends and after school, weeks before the exam.”
Despite the wide disinterest in AP textbooks, it can certainly be a good preparation tool.
“As much as I hate to say, reading the textbook is very beneficial,” shared Lautner. “About 50 percent read the book. I rarely ever read last year, but I think to some extent that contributed to my score in the class.”
Callahan is all about reading the textbook, as he believes that keeping up with the reading will improve your grade.
“In my class, I require a lot of reading,” said Callahan. “Whilst reading, students should take notes and highlight what they believe is useful.”
He teaches a semester-long AP government class this year, which will change into a year-long AP class next year.
“My goal is to teach a class that is at a higher level than the exam,” shared Callahan. “So students can jump over that hurdle easily and don’t have to worry about a standardized test that was written by a collection of people in the state.”
Successfully passing the AP exams is on the high school bucket list for AP students.
“Most importantly, having the confidence that you will pass is the way to go,” shared Lautner.