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The official student news site of Coppell High School

Coppell Student Media

The official student news site of Coppell High School

Coppell Student Media

The official student news site of Coppell High School

Coppell Student Media

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AP testing puts students in a predicament Image and video hosting by TinyPic

By Rebecca Fowler
Sidekick Staff Writer
Kristen Hart

Along with warm weather and senioritis, May brings CHS students two of the most dreaded weeks of the year: Advanced Placement tests.

After the feared exam day is over, the rest of the school year is not quite as stressful.  For some students in unusual situations, however, their agony is not quite over yet.

The Business Professionals of America (BPA) club went to nationals during the week of AP testing, putting its students in a predicament.  The students who had already signed up and paid for their AP exams were forced to contact the school and request to test at a later date, which will be roughly two weeks after instruction and review for the exams have ended.

While AP testing is difficult enough, BPA students and others not able to test in May face a new challenge: retaining the information they learned for an extra two weeks.  While their classmates are enjoying more relaxed school days, they are trying to retain all they learned throughout the year.

Senior Cameron Slayter, a member of BPA who went to nationals, will have to take his Calculus and English AP exams on May 20 and 21.

“I wish I was taking the same test as everyone else, and I hope my exam is not harder,” Slayter said.  “But I plan to study hard, take advantage of the extra time I have and do well.”

While most students do not have this rare dilemma, many face the same problem of retaining their knowledge for a period of time after learning it in class.

For seniors who took Economics or Government in the fall, remembering all they learned over a span of five months posed a challenge upon the arrival of exam week.

“I took Economics last semester and the AP test this spring,” senior Sara Saastamoinen said.  “I looked through the review on Blackboard, but I couldn’t find my notes so I didn’t study much.”

Some teachers hosted review sessions to give students a refresher on info they learned back in September and November.  Three of these teachers were don’t use Donnette Alexander, Jim Damrau and Jack Crocker, who taught Economics, Government and Psychology, respectfully.

“I leave all of my first semester students on my Blackboard course,” Alexander said.  “That helps some, but they still have to study.  Starting after Spring Break, I usually do a weekly review.”

While some students were forced to review heavily before their exams, others had to learn all the information right before test day.  Senior Jeff Johnston took dual credit English through North Lake College but also took the AP English 4 exam.

“I wasn’t planning on taking the exam, but I decided to when I found out that dual credit would give me the same credit that I had already received from the AP English 3 exam last year,” Johnston said.  “If I get at least a 4 this year, I can get 6 hours of college credit.”

Though Johnston was not enrolled in an AP English 4 class, he came away from the exam feeling confident that he received some amount of credit.

“My friend came over the night before the test and gave me a 15 minute summary on three different books so I’d be prepared,” Johnston said.  “At first I thought the multiple choice was weird because I hadn’t practiced it in so long, but then I got comfortable with it.  I didn’t manage my time well on the essays, but I think I did OK.”

Johnston recommends that students who feel comfortable enough to take an exam go for it.

“If you don’t pass, it’s not a big deal,” Johnston said.  “And if you do, it can save you a lot of money.”

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