Preparing for success

Students and teachers prepare for Advanced Placement tests.

Erica Swanson, Staff Reporter

Advanced Placement (AP) tests are fast approaching with the first tests, Chemistry and Psychology, being next Monday. To help students prepare for these high stakes tests, many teachers offer after school and Saturday review sessions.

Mr. Nick Beckmann is one teacher that plans to hold reviews for his AP Government students. He held a review session last Saturday and plans to hold five or six more before the AP test May 13.

“We just try to cover the main points and what students ask about,” Mr. Beckmann said. “That’s the problem. Students come in, and they are supposed to come in with questions. Sometimes they come in and just expect me to tell them everything. I try to focus on things that students need help with.”

Holding these review sessions helps students hone in on one AP test and prepare to do well on it.

“A lot of students are taking three or four AP classes, so it just makes them review on Government for the AP exam and makes them focus on actually studying a little bit, because I am not sure how much they are studying right now,” Mr. Beckmann said.

Students have responded well to the different AP reviews, according to Mrs. Michelle McCune, who teaches AP Art History and also plans on more reviews for her students.

“I had one Saturday 9 a.m. -12 a.m., and it had really good turnout,” Mrs. McCune said.  “I am having after school review sessions on every Tuesday and Thursday until the end. Students are also to come in anytime during second hour if they have a study hall or TA for a class.”

Mrs. McCune feels that the review sessions give students the opportunities to study for the AP test in a smaller setting.

“I think it is helpful to work in a small group and ask questions to me directly and personally that maybe students were not comfortable sharing in front of the whole class,” Mrs. McCune said. “It also just gives students more time to study for this exam.”

Students are also looking outside of the classroom when it comes to preparation for AP tests. Junior Sam Nardi has chosen to study using a Princeton Review book as well as the review sessions that Mr. Beckmann holds.

“The number one thing on Amazon was this Princeton book, which has summaries of everything we have gone over, so I have been reading it a bunch,” Nardi said.  “Hopefully I will finish a week before, and then I will study hard core. I hope that the review sessions will make me feel better about where I am, because I have studied a lot, and make me feel ready for it.”

The whole process of reviewing for the tests can be overwhelming for students and teachers alike.

“Unfortunately for this exam, I have no idea what is going to be on it,” Mrs. McCune said. “It is anything from the whole history of art. It’s a little overwhelming, so just try to go over the characteristics of art and make sure students have them pretty well ingrained in their minds.”

To view the schedule of AP exams click on the link below.