Students prepare for AP testing

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By Tony Alter from Newport News, USA (Homework Uploaded by theveravee) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
When looking at classes for the next year, all students see the option to take an Advanced Placement (AP) class. Only 291 students actually take AP classes though, and only 56% of those students take the AP test at the end of the year to possibly receive the college credit for the class.

Computer Science teacher Dan Parkison said that only four of his twenty two students in his AP Computer Science class are taking the AP test.

“Some of them can’t afford it, some aren’t comfortable with the material and some aren’t going into programing so they don’t feel the need to take it,” Parkison said.

Sophomore World History teacher Jim Torrez shared his own experience with the AP test. He recognizes how test anxiety can impact a student’s score.

“I think many people didn’t take the AP World History test because they experience a lot of test anxiety, and out of all the tests AP World History is one of the most difficult. For sophomores this can be their first AP class they are taking, so that makes it intimidating right there,” Torrez said. “Test anxiety, and the fact kids don’t want to study really hard before the end of the year, is why I think more people aren’t taking the test.”

However some people are taking five AP tests this year alone. Junior Monica Pham is one of these students, taking the AP Language and Composition, AP Calculus AB (calculus I and II), AP Biology, AP Physics and AP Psychology tests.

Sophomore Emily Summers is taking the AP test for the experience and to understand what it will be like next year.

”If I’m taking the AP class I think I should take the AP test,” Summers said.

Students study for the tests in a variety of ways.

“It depends on the class really. For AP Calculus I don’t really study. I just go over the things I have to know. But for other classes I actually study and go through my notes. I also write them out. For AP English I just write essays and read the books,” Pham said.

Summers has been studying for her AP World History test by reviewing in her class.

“A lot of people have bought the AP book and have been working in study groups,” Summers said.

Teachers spend the year preparing students for the test by going over their work and talking about it in class.

“Over the course of the school year I modeled it to what the AP college board wants. In my class alone we have taken 30 essays. And we take document-based tests. So basically what we have done all year is prepare for the AP test,” Torrez said.

The tests this year are being held at Bellevue Public Schools Support Center starting May 5, and will end May 16.

Jason Jerrell
Reporter