AP tests winding down

AP tests winding down

FILE - In this May 1, 2013, file photo signs are posted on a closed classroom door, indicating that testing is going on inside, at an elementary school in Mishawaka, Ind. A new poll from the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research finds parents of school-age children view standardized tests as a useful way to track student progress and school quality. Most parents say their own children are given about the right number of standardized tests, according to the AP-NORC poll. And almost three quarters say they favor changes that would make it easier for schools to fire poorly performing teachers. (AP Photo/Joe Raymond, File)

By Morgan Gnepper
eSomethin Staff

In the time it takes to type this sentence, an AP student has already begun crying.

Last week, students started taking Advance Placement exams for the opportunity to gain college credit. The tests continued this week. In preparation, many teachers purchase and distribute AP testing booklets, while others utilize practice AP Exams to help students get a feel for the difficulty level before the real deal.

Most of the testing takes place at Perrysburg’s Commodore Building, which houses the district administration offices. Exams are either at 8 a.m. or noon, taking roughly 3½ hours. Students have until 1 p.m. to return to school from the early exam. However, if a test is in the afternoon, students are excused at 10:30 a.m. and are expected to be at the Commodore by 11:30 a.m.

“Today was my first ever AP exam,” senior Olivia Parisi said. Her teacher Steve Ricard has been going over curriculum in a booklet to help his students. “It was definitely more difficult than I thought it was going to be.”

“It wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be,” senior Emma Dennis said of the exam. “Teresa Camp didn’t review much with us, but we were mostly given free time in class to study with given materials if we were to take the exam.”

Many AP exams are optional, which it was for Emma. Most universities in northwestern Ohio accept a score of three (out of five) to give college credit. Although more prestige schools such as Yale or Harvard accept a four or five.

Senior Roland McCarthy isn’t fond of the AP tests in general.

“I think it’s a bit of a build up and it’s always harder than you think it’s going to be,” he said. Roland has spent some time studying inside and outside the classroom in preparation. “I’m just really excited to be done with it. I’m probably going to get something huge from Mr. Freeze to celebrate.”

Mr. Ricard said that he and Debra Drew, another English teacher, have spent the entire year preparing for the exam. As the test draws nearer, the class focuses more on test taking, time management, and analyzing essay questions.

Ricard urges that he and Drew do their best to calm students’ nerves and help them boost their confidence.

“A student has to dive in and read closely in order to make judgments about what an author or poet is saying, and analyze how they say it,” Ms. Drew elaborates.

Having taught AP students since the 2002­-2003 school year, Ms. Drew is more than familiar with the curriculum. However, the year Mr. Ricard began teaching, the two attended a week-­long workshop to change the way they teach.

“We are stronger together as teachers,” she said. “We collaborate very, very well and he makes me a stronger teacher.” The dynamic duo work together on all lessons plans for both their 411 and AP English classes.

AP exams for Perrysburg end on Wednesday.

Good luck to all students who have already or still have to take their tests, only a few more days until summer vacation.

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