By: James Pietras
Well, it is that time of year again. The beginning of May is approaching fast, and so is something else…no, it is not a severe case of senioritis or even graduation, but AP TESTING. DUN DUN DUNNNN!
For those who are unfamiliar with the Advanced Placement system, in brief they are classes equivalent to introductory college level courses offered through the College Board, the same entity of as the SAT. If one scores high enough on the exam in May, they may qualify for college credit depending on where they attend. There is a 1-5 grading scale, 1 being the lowest, 5 being the best. Most universities will guarantee credit for a 5.
For a school of Seton – La Salle’s stature, there are a plethora of Advanced Placement classes offered for every type of person, from the fine arts to the higher mathematics to the sciences. Offered here at SLS are eighteen of the thirty seven available nationally, including English Language and Composition, English Literature and Composition, United States History, European History, American Government and Politics, Physics 1, Chemistry, Biology, Calculus AB, Calculus BC, Spanish Language and Culture, French Language and Culture, Computer Science, Music Theory, Art History, Studio Art 2D, Studio Art 3D, and Studio Art Drawing. That is a lot. Now, I’ve been asking around to see how people feel about their upcoming exams.
Michelle Sanders (AP English Language and Composition)
Since being enrolled in the class, we have discussed influences to the English language, but only very briefly. Even though we are tested on two AP skills books, it is not something discussed in the class and is done in our free time. Instead of studying language or composition itself, the most I have gotten from the class is reading books and the ability to memorize poems and recite them. I do not feel adequately prepared for the tests in May because we have spent so little time on so many different things in class that I’m not sure what I’ll be tested on that we have discussed.
John Kist (AP Chemistry, AP Government, AP Literature and Composition, AP Calculus AB)
I feel very well prepared for calculus and Literature. Government will be very difficult due to the randomness of the possible essay questions, and chem will be difficult to the massive amount of material that must be understood.
Gina Laudato (AP Literature and Composition, AP Spanish Language and Culture, AP Art History)
[AP Literature and Composition] – the only preparation I have is experience of taking the test last year. We haven’t done any practice for it yet.
[AP Spanish Language and Culture]- not prepared. We have done practice questions but I still do not feel ready at all and will probably fail.
[AP Art History] – pretty prepared. We have done an actual full practice test and that was helpful.
Helen Nee ( AP English Language and Culture, AP U.S. History, AP Physics 1, AP Computer Science)
I feel more prepared for certain subjects than others. However, with guidance from my teachers, I am beginning to feel more prepared as the test days approach. To prepare, I try to find practice tests online covering the material that will be on the tests.
Ben Grefenstette (AP Literature and Composition, AP, Microeconomics, AP Macroeconomics, AP French Language and Culture, AP Calculus BC, AP Art History,AP U.S. Government and Politics)
[Ap literature and composition]-I feel extremely prepared for this test. Mr. Manear has taught me a extraordinary amount of information and demands a lot of the class. The only reason one would be unprepared when taking Mr. Manear’s class is if they don’t read the books assigned. If you do complete his assignments honestly, it will be a breeze. To prepare for English, all you have to do is keep reading and know your literary vocabulary.
[AP microeconomics and AP macroeconomics:]-Two tests. One semester for each. Online. No one ever take an online course, that is all.
[AP French language and Culture]-We are doing this as a four year program instead of the regular five so I feel a little unprepared. Mrs. Conwell teaches the material wonderfully, but focuses a bit more on grammar and less on vocabulary which I think will hurt us on the test.
[AP Calculus BC]-This is the test I feel most confident about. Mrs. Montelione taught me well enough last year to get a 5 on the AB exam and I thank her again this year for preparing me so well. For math, the best way to prepare is simply keep doing problems.
[AP Art History] Basically, this is a test on all of western history through the scope of brushstrokes. Understandably I feel slightly daunted. However, no teacher could teach this vast material better than Manear and I feel I shall do confidently. To study I have been watching online videos discussing art by art historians such as Kenneth Clark, Nigel spivey, and john Berger.
[AP U.S. Government and Politics]-I am not sure how I feel about the test. I will prepare by looking over practice tests and rereading past assignments.
Jimmy Pietras (AP Literature and Composition, AP Calculus BC, AP Statistics)
I feel that my English exam will be the worst. I have never been a huge fan of any English class, however I feel that if there are any poems on the test I will be able to analyze of them left and right thanks to Mr. Manear. My two AP math exams will be a breeze, Mrs. Montelione has prepared me so well for both of them with dozens of free response questions and multiple-choice questions. Calculus BC is equivalent to a calculus ii course, and I feel that the exam will be exceptionally easy. For the statistics test I completely prepared on my own. I completed the entire AP Stats curriculum in two quarters practically due to a late start and the need to finish before the fourth quarter began. I feel that I prepared myself very well.
Julia Koltas (AP Music Theory, Ap Spanish Language and Culture, A Calculus BC, Ap Biology, Ap Literature and Composition, AP US Government)
AP Music Theory- This was a new AP course offered this year. It was kind of hard because we had to spend a lot of time at the start of the year on really basic stuff that the ap people expected us to know already, but we didn’t because we’d never had any music theory classes before. Because of this we haven’t had as much time to spend on the harder concepts covered later in the course. They changed that for next year and now you have to take an intro to music theory course before you can take ap, so hopefully that helps. I don’t feel the most well prepared, partially because of the problem I already mentioned of not having enough prior knowledge. To study I’ll probably do ear training exercises and review the vocab/ key concepts we’ve gone over.
AP Spanish- I feel like we’ve done everything to prepare we can in class, doing practice readings and speaking things, but I still don’t think I’ll do very well just because I don’t feel like I know enough. I probably won’t prepare for the test, except maybe review some grammar stuff because I feel like its not really a test you can study for, you just have to know the language.
AP Calculus BC- I feel best prepared for this of all my ap classes. We have covered pretty much everything on the test in class and done lots of AP problems, and I feel like I can definitely do well. To review I’ll do a bunch of practice ap problems, and probably make flashcards of all the formulas we need to know.
AP Biology- There is a TON of stuff to learn for this class, and our teacher even said there’s no easy way to cover it all in one year. I feel like I’m well prepared for the stuff we learned and know it really thoroughly, but I’m obviously not prepared for the stuff we didn’t get to. To study I’ll probably get a review book so that I can use it to go over stuff I learned already and maybe pick up some information on topics we never got to.
AP Literature- I feel like I’m as well prepared as I can be. We’ve read a bunch of books and poems from all different time periods and analyzed them in class. I probably won’t study for this one either, because once again its a test that is more testing skills you have rather than specific facts you know. I mean most of it is just reading passages and answering questions on them or writing essays, so I feel like it will go pretty well.
AP Government- Another newly added class. So like other new classes, it was hard for teachers to know how quickly to cover material/ what’s important and what’s not. I do know a lot more about government than I did when I started the class, though. We haven’t really done practice ap stuff in class at all. I’m probably going to look over an ap test prep book or old test questions.
It seems there are a lot of mixed emotions towards some subjects, however some appear to be more well prepared than others in certain areas. Could it be the teachers or just hard working students? We shall see in July when the scores are released. Best of Luck to everyone who is taking an exam! May the curve be ever in your favor.