The Time for Advanced Placement Testing

Ava Bratina, Staff Writer

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Every senior is ready to be done with high school this time of year. All we can think about is summer, graduation, and moving into our dorms at college. Before all that excitement, some students here at Pennridge need to be focused on their AP classes and the biggest exams of the year. Pennridge offers a wide variety of AP classes, including biology, psychology, statistics and many more. It takes students weeks of preparation, sleepless nights, and plenty of stress to prepare for AP exams. Some students take multiple AP exams for multiple classes. For example, Senior Andrea Varkey, has already taken three AP exams and is planning in taking three more this year. When asked how to prepare for exams, she responded, “Start studying early, look over past AP tests, ask your teacher for help if you don’t understand, try to explain things to yourself and work in a group.” First-time test takers should take her advice. Nick Eissler, Pennridge Senior, is taking six AP classes this year. He is taking the psychology, statistics and calculus exams in May. His advice to AP students are to, “Take all the tests you can because you never know what you can get credit for. Actually try on them because having college credits can save time and money, but don’t stress too much over it because it is hard to study a years worth of material so just focus on what you struggled with.”

AP exams begin on May 6th, so if you’re in the class you have to be prepared for your final way before the rest of the school. AP exams are different from traditional course finals – you have to pay to take the test and you are scored on a 1-5 scale. A 5 is the highest score you can earn. If you pass the exam, you can earn college credit. Although, not all colleges accept the same range of scores. It would be wise to check what scores particular colleges accept before taking the exam. Most colleges will accept a score of 3 or above, so it is manageable to earn college credit by studying and preparing. This is one of the most rewarding benefits from enrolling in an AP course.

There are some tips for how to perform well on the test. First, don’t sit and ponder on one question. If you don’t know the answer, skip forward and come back to it later if you have the time. Next, there is no penalty for guessing on AP exams, so try to answer by taking an educated guess. Process of elimination is your friend. On free response questions, if you are unsure of the answer, do not leave the page blank. A blank page will result in zero points earned for the question. Try to write something relevant down, and you may get a point. Third, manage your time wisely. Pace yourself on the exam and do not waste time on a single question. Next, before the exam, eat a well-balanced breakfast and get a good night’s rest. Your mind and body need to be properly fueled to take test. To keep your mind sharp, bring a snack and water for the break. Your body may get fatigued because of hunger, so bring a granola bar or almonds to snack on. Mrs. Nash, psychology teacher states, “the night before the test I recommend that students turn their phones off & get a good night’s sleep. As for pre-test jitters sometimes a mindful minute is all you need to reduce the test anxiety.  I also tell my students that they’ve been prepping all year and to just go in with a positive and clear mind.” Good luck to everyone!