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 By Quinn Tierney

As the school year begins to come to a close, Advanced Placement (AP) exam season is starting to begin, leading many students to have to start to prepare. 

  The arrival of these exams has surprised some students, even students who have taken AP exams before.

  “The thing about AP exams is they creep up on you. The two weeks or so leading up to the exam is crunch time,” said senior Ellie Posanka.

  With the first exam, AP U.S. Government and Politics, taking place this Monday, its students are beginning to feel the pressure.

  “I feel like this came out of nowhere even though we had all year to prepare. This is the first AP I have ever taken. The teacher has prepared me and the rest of the class. Taking the test is still intimidating and scary,” said senior AP Government student Spencer Scully.

  Preparation for the exam looks different for every student, with some only studying a few days before the exam, while others prepare for some months in advance. 

  “I have taken a couple of practice tests for AP Environmental Science and it has gone surprisingly well. But the thing is that the teachers prepare the students so well for the exam. Students at Masco stress and stress about an exam that’s probably going to be easier than the class that they took to prepare for it,” said Posanka.

  While some students, specifically seniors, may feel confident in their preparation skills, the newcomers to the exam, juniors, are feeling more pessimistic about their ability to study. 

  “Because this is my first AP exam, I have no idea what to expect or how to really prepare, and trying to fit in studying while also keeping up in the day-to-day of the class has definitely been challenging,” said junior Cammi Wayland. 

  Each AP class has its own challenges and tasks necessary to complete before the exam. Some teachers began administering practice tests before April break, but others have just begun. These practice tests take around three hours to complete, which requires students to take time out of their weekend. Other studying options could be watching training videos or buying test booklets that include information on study techniques and sample questions.

    “Last year I loved cram videos on YouTube. Those are your best friends in the day or two leading up to the exam. They’re daunting because they’re so long, but the content moves quickly,” said Posanka.

  As teachers who have been teaching AP classes for years, this preparation period is not new territory.  Most have created their own lists of study tips to share with their students. 

  “I always tell my kids not to spend any money on study tools like booklets or flashcards. I recommend my students to watch the assigned videos in the AP classroom and to review their practice tests to see what sections they need to review,” said AP Environmental Science teacher Suzanne Clark. 

  The AP testing will start May 2 and end May 11, with multiple tests occurring each day. This means students will all have different time frames to study and prepare, but have each other and teachers to go to for advice and recommendations to make sure they perform to their best ability.