On the Spot: Year of learning culminating in month of AP preparation (with video)

Khushi Bansal


Mari Pletta

Students work on their diagnostic test for the AP exam in Mary Jo Wilt’s fifth period AP Calculus AB class on Wednesday. In order to do well on the upcoming AP exams beginning in May, teachers and students at Coppell High School are preparing by taking practice tests and studying outside of class.

Karen Lu, Staff Writer

For many high schoolers, May is the most intensive month of the year. With the AP exams heaped upon school administered final exams, it often comes down to preparation in April to round out all the material learned in the year long coursework.

With the first AP exam—United States Government and Politics—in less than two weeks, it’s crunchtime for many students. The Barron’s books are out, pencils are scribbling in the margins of Princeton Review textbooks.

Coppell High School sophomore Arya Agrawal is taking five AP exams—Environmental Science, Physics 1: Algebra Based, European History, United States History and Calculus AB.

To hopefully score a five on all of his exams (the highest possible score), Agrawal has carefully allotted his time in the month leading up to his AP exams, giving ample time to each subject.

“I made a plan to study for specific exams on specific weeks,” Agrawal said. “I’m giving myself about one exam per week, which gives me enough time to adequately prepare for all of them.”
Agrawal’s extensive studying schedule was created from the mistakes he made from his previous year.

“Last year, I crammed a lot of my exams until the night before the exam,” Agrawal said. “I didn’t get a lot of rest since I was cramming right before, and I wasn’t very healthy going into the exam, which made an impact on how I felt and performed,”

Not only are CHS students spending their time at home studying for their exams, but teachers are also dedicating class time to preparing their students.

“In [English Language and Composition], we’ve been doing a lot of AP multiple choice packets where our teacher, Ms. Alexander, gives them to us, and we’ll talk about the answers as a class,” CHS junior Diya Patel said. “That just helps us understand the types of questions that are going to be on the exam and what strategies we need to brush up on.”

While April may seem like a month dedicated to AP exam preparation for students both inside and outside of school, it becomes clear that several teachers have purposefully integrated material tested regularly on the AP exam in their own coursework throughout the year.

“I try to give my students ample opportunity to practice the four components of language development: reading, writing, speaking and listening,” CHS Spanish Language and Culture teacher Eligio Mares said. “Throughout the year, I emphasize and focus the most on the oral practice, as that’s the part most of my students struggle on in the exam.”

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