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Walking into a room for a sometimes over three-hour test? Not fun, but that’s what advanced placement (AP) students did in late February and early March for their mocks. Most of the classes had an AP mock exam, a practice test for the exam in May. To get college credit in an AP class, students must obtain a three out of five on the real test. The mock allows students to see if they’re on track to earn college credit and it consists of multiple choice and free response questions (FRQs).
AP Calculus teacher Brian Lukich prepared his students for the mock by including AP questions in bellwork, so that by the mock exam day, they’d already completed two complete multiple choice tests. Lukich has noticed from teaching AP Calculus that if students use the AP exam to prepare, their score will increase.
“I have noticed that if the student takes all of the review and remediation sessions seriously, their score on the actual AP exam is typically one greater than their score on the mock exam. Although last year, everyone who had a one on the mock was able to grow by at least two to earn their passing score,” Lukich said.
Junior Rajpreet Kaur is enrolled in AP Language, AP Statistics and AP Biology. During the test, she struggled with options and time management.
“One of the biggest issues I had was that I kept second guessing myself. A lot of the time, I would narrow it down to like two answers and I would have a hard time deciding which one was the better answer,” Kaur said. “My hand kept cramping up during the written portions on all of my mock exams. I write a lot, so, as I was writing, I would get to the third FRQ and I would have to let go of my pencil because my hand was hurting… I also had this fear that I was going to run out of time to finish the questions.”
Kaur plans on working hard and continuing to study using past AP questions found online.
Lukich is proud of how his students did on their exam and looks forward to continuing to lead their success.
“This year, 34 of 48 students earned what would have been a passing score of three or better on the mock exam. These are encouraging results, but the cut score on this mock was a bit lower than normal. As long as my students take full advantage of the time to prepare after we return from spring break, I am looking forward to much success out of this year’s AP Calculus students,” Lukich said.
Junior Elizabeth Roseman is in AP Language and AP Biology and advises students to work hard until the real AP exam so that they can obtain college credit.
“Study and pay more attention in class. Also, put more effort into assignments or topics that were on the test or could be on the test,” Roseman said.
Taking a three hour long test is not on anyone’s “must do” list and requires mental toughness, but it’s worth it in the end if college credit is earned for significantly less money in high school. Students will get to try for this college credit on the actual exams from May 7 through 18.