Exam Season

Hannah Dollar

With the relief of completing an uncertain school year comes the annual tension of finals and AP (Advanced Placement) exams. Preparing for these exams differs between students. Some have pre-test anxiety or rigorous study regimes, while others play it cool or rely on the year’s accumulated knowledge to finish out their AP courses. Many have already begun tackling this inevitable endeavor as AP testing started this past Monday, May 3rd. 

“What is awesome about CP is that teachers understand the level of prep that comes with AP exams,” junior Serge Frazier said. “So, most teachers and groups lighten their schedules to let students prepare for exams, giving students an uninterrupted prep period. I’m a little nervous, but that comes with any big event. Overall though, I feel pretty confident about the tests. I trust my level of prep, and I realized that worrying wouldn’t do much for me on exam day.”

Those students enrolled in AP courses are required to take and pass an AP exam to receive potential placement and college credit. The college board develops these courses as a college-level introduction for high school students. Passing AP exams allow students to gain college credit before graduating high school, potentially relieving their course load in college and speeding up their graduation time. 

“As a senior, I definitely have a lot going on at the end of the year, including AP exams,” senior Emily Freeman said. “I started preparing about three weeks ago. I bought a few prep books and have used prep materials my teachers gave me. I’m stressed about some exams and less stressed about others because I know where I’m going to school next year; I know which credits will count more towards my major, and those are the ones I’m more stressed about.”

AP exams are scheduled in three time slots each testing day, 8:00 am, noon, and 2:00 pm. Teachers advise that students arrive thirty minutes before their scheduled time with their required testing materials.

“I have been focusing on my AP exam more than my other finals,” sophomore Ryan Veach said. “I have not taken an AP course in past years, nor have I started preparing for my exams yet, but I will begin to look over my notes and use my study guide. However, I feel a little stressed about the exam because I have not studied yet.”

If online platforms weren’t hard enough for learning college-level material, many AP courses have only finished learning the final units in the past week, making reviewing old criteria difficult for some students whose exams are creeping up on them. 

“It is definitely more difficult this year because there is much less direction from a teacher and more learning from online resources,” senior Mia Coppola said. “Also, we use different online teaching sources that are different from what CollegeBoard teaches, so that makes studying directly for the AP exam more difficult. We just finished our final units in my classes last week, so it has been difficult to review while still learning new material without getting it all confused.”

CollegeBoard administers exams through June 11th, for digital, in-school, and at-home submissions. AP exams will be conducted in person through the end of the school year. 

“I have been preparing for my exams for about a month,” junior Isabella Forestieri said. “To ensure I am prepared, I attend review sessions, take practice tests, spend many hours memorizing vocabulary on Quizlet, and study with friends. I find that I’m not too stressed for my exams. This is because I know that I have put lots of time and effort into my preparation and know that all I can do is my best.”