As the two weeks of AP testing loom ever nearer, students and teachers alike begin to cram in last minute information, attempting to accumulate any and all information that will raise scores. While stress and pressure increase, sleep and free time seem to decrease, placing an extra burden on the backs of students who are already occupied with scheduling, college planning, and life in general. These exams raise questions such as: When is my AP Test? How can I improve my score? And what do I do when I receive my score?
Each AP exam last 2-3 hours, usually with a multiple choice part first, followed by a free response portion. Despite what many may think, points are not taken off for answers that are marked wrong or left blank. Each exam costs $92 and payment can be made either online by February 29th, or in person, during lunches the week of March 1, 2016. The deadline for paying for exams is March 4th.
More specifics concerning AP exam week can be found by looking in the booklets handed out by Cosby’s school counselors during AP classes.
While it’s easy to get overwhelmed when considering the number of hours it can take to complete an AP test, Kendra Hughes, one of Cosby’s school counselors, says it’s important to remember to take one exam at a time. “Create a plan on how you are going to tackle each assignment and make time for studying/getting it done.” When studying, many teachers agree that the most efficient methods begin with turning off all distractions such as cell phones and TVs. To further enhance your studying, college board offers practice questions.
When it comes time to deciding if one wants to take an AP class in the first place, there are many different things to consider. “Most students who are successful are the ones who are self motivated, self disciplined, and have great study skills as well as time management skills,” Hughes says, concerning students who are thinking about adding an AP course to their schedules. “Advanced Placement classes…definitely prepare you for the amount of work that you will have in college. On top of that, you gain skills that will help you during college [such as] critical thinking skills, time management, study skills.”
Another option for earning college credit can come through Dual Enrollment courses. “The ‘Dual” in Dual Enrollment means that the student is both a college student (with John Tyler Community College) as well as a student at Cosby. The great thing about dual enrollment is that students can take these courses at NO cost to them (the County pays for your tuition), and they don’t have to go to the John Tyler campus to take the course. We have teachers here at Cosby who are trained and certified as John Tyler professors who teach these courses.” Hughes finishes with, “ How awesome is that?” Another positive aspect of dual enrollment courses is that there is no final test at the end of the year that determines whether or not a student earns college credit. Hughes explains this through the example of a Dual History class. If a student is in the Dual Enrollment U.S. History course and maintains a C, they will receive 6 college credits that are transferable to many public colleges in Virginia.”
And before every test, whether for a Dual Enrollment test or AP exam, remember to eat a good breakfast and get plenty of sleep the week of the exam, and good luck!
More information regarding how the test is set up can be found by going to https://apstudent.collegeboard.org/takingtheexam/about-exams or asking an AP teacher.