NMSI Saturday study sessions have mixed results among AP students

Emma Gage, Reporter

Students in AP classes affected by the National Math and Science Initiative grant signed contracts at the beginning of the school year which state that the student will make every effort to participate in out of class events, including the AP test and Saturday study sessions.

During these study sessions, AP instructors from around the country come to one of the Bellevue high schools to review and teach material covered in AP courses for hour long classes from 8 a.m. to noon.

On Nov. 3, Bellevue West hosted sessions for AP Physics I and II, AP Biology, and AP Chemistry.

Junior Anna Gullett attended the Physics I session and said she found it to be more confusing than what she had anticipated.

“NMSI Physics was an interesting experience, I will say that,” Gullett said. “It was kind of structured weirdly; it wasn’t what I expected and overall I think it just went really really fast and I feel like sometimes you just didn’t understand it.”

Although Gullett found that the classes went at too quick of a pace for easy understanding, she did like that the material was not limited to the study session.

“I liked the fact that they gave you a packet to work on outside of time,” Gullett said. “They gave you a packet to work on throughout the session but you could also bring that home and work on the questions on your own.”

Where one session felt fast, junior Alex Marley found the opposite for his Biology AP and Chemistry AP sessions.

“It was really long it wasn’t broken up very well so it felt like we were sitting in a classroom for four hours,” Marley said.

However, Marley did find that the sessions proved beneficial.

“The Bio AP was really nice because I was able to clear up some topics like evolution, which confused me,” Marley said. “While Chem, it was helpful to a point, but not as much as Bio AP.”

Both Marley and Gullett agreed that the outcome of each class depended on the instructor.

“One of them like went super fast and said ‘no questions, no questions’,” Gullett said. “One of them went kind of slower it was nicer because you had more time for questions.”

Marley found that his Saturday classes allowed him to think differently because of his instructors.

“My first one had us come to conclusions ourselves instead of telling us,” Marley said. “The other one would tell us the answer and then have us figure out how we’re supposed to use it.”

The second NMSI session for Bellevue students took place on Nov. 17, and was for students enrolled in AP English courses.

Gullet said that her English courses were much easier to understand than the previous science session.

“I thought the English session went better compared to the physics one,” Gullett said. “The teachers were better and seemed to include more time for questions. However, I think NMSI needs to cut down what’s in the packet because there’s never enough time to review.”

The next NMSI session will be at Bellevue West on Dec. 8, and will be for AP Calculus AB, AP Calculus BC, and AP Statistics.