We Know, We Grow: AP Exams

How Students and Teachers are Preparing


Valeria Carrillo, Staff Writer

April and May are always filled with tired eyes, anxiety, and headaches all due to the very well-known AP testing. These tests are very important, and some can even provide you with college credit. Therefore, year-round teachers are preparing their students to receive the highest scores they can. I personally never understood the importance because I transferred from a high school where AP courses weren’t really offered or encouraged to be taken. It wasn’t until I came to Edison that I realized just how important these exams are to students and teachers.

To get a better view of how exactly students are being prepared for their AP testing,  I interviewed Mr. Nuzzolese, who has taught AP English Literature and Composition for three years and is currently in his first year teaching AP English Language and Composition. He feels that the AP exams are “a good demonstration of mastery and when you get the scores back you can kind of tell who really did the work and invested in the class and who didn’t.” I also asked how exactly he’s been preparing his own students for the exams to which he said, “We practice FRQs nonstop, we utilize AP classroom because it’s the only one that has the MCQs for AP Lang, and I just kind of remind them all the time of what’s coming so by the time that it comes it shouldn’t be that big of a deal.” Although the practice tests and assignments at the moment might seem boring or a waste of time, they’re really only used to make sure that you’re well prepared for the test.  

Even though teachers make a big contribution to your success on these exams there’s a component that’s even more important, the students. Ethan Yanez who is taking two AP Exams for Psychology and English Language and Composition says his stress level for the exams is very high considering he has to balance work for other classes and the constant new material for his classes makes it stressful for him to keep up with the AP work, but he hopes that all the stress ends after the May exams. The most important part of the exams would be whether you’re well prepared or not. Another student who is taking 3 AP exams for  Calculus, Computer Science, and English Language and Composition says, “I don’t really feel well prepared for any of the tests. If anything, I feel most prepared in my math, but other than that, not really.” He also says he’s hoping to receive a 4 in math, but he’s fine with a 3 in his other exams.  

The opinion you have on the tests now might be different than the one you’ll have in the future. My sister Chakty took 14 AP classes and was valedictorian at her high school; her opinion on AP classes is different now from when she was in high school. Her thoughts on AP classes: “It’s useless and they weren’t beneficial and had no connection to the courses I took at UCSC.” Then I asked her if they really earned her college credit to which she replied, “I did get credit for Calculus and Spanish, but they didn’t go through because of issues with my name (on my records).” She also mentioned that because her AP Calculus scores didn’t go through, she had to retake calculus and that the calculus she took at UCSC was not the same as the one she took in high school, this was surprising to her because she took 4 quarters of Calculus. Considering she took so many AP courses, I asked her if she had any advice to high school students also enrolled in these classes; “I would say, do not take AP classes because they look good on your transcript to take them because you genuinely like the subject so that way you enjoy the class and don’t just burn yourself out.”  

All test-taking is difficult but the AP exams are slightly different and only become increasingly stressful as the date comes closer. The best piece of advice I’ve gotten is to not overthink it too much. In the moment, test prep might be hard with the time crunch and all of the ideas you might have but, it’s important to just take a deep breath and let the words, formulas, or equations flow through your brain.

To everyone taking an AP test this May good luck try your best and try not to overthink things or overwhelm yourself.