How teachers are preparing students for AP tests

Senior%2C+Jacob+Bandy%2C+reading+books+from+three+of+his+four+AP+classes+he+is+taking+currently.

Angela Pandit

Senior, Jacob Bandy, reading books from three of his four AP classes he is taking currently.

Brenner Stickney , Business Manager

Pleasant Valley High School offers 13 different AP courses to students who want to be challenged academically. At the end of the year, students can take a test which gives them college credit for the class.

The test is graded in a one through five point scale with three being a passing grade. For many students, studying for the AP test requires work and preparation throughout the school year. Each teacher prepares their students differently for the test. Teachers have come up with their ways through years of trying different things while also following the curriculum.

Ian Spangenberg teaches both AP Physics classes. In Physics 1, he uses the chunking method; this means he breaks the year into different chunks and models. This is so the students to help students know which model an AP test question is asking about. “Modeling helps because it breaks down all the equations the students get into useable chunks such as energy or motion which makes it easier to remember,” said Spangenberg.     

Stephanie Risius teaches AP Spanish. She uses the AP class to go over and perfect everything the students learn in the past four years of classes. She changes what she spends the most time reteaching every year depending on what concepts the students struggle to grasp. Students also learn more vocab and use the vocab in writing and speaking more complex sentences. “Through five years of Spanish I am ready for the AP test,” said senior Mallory Lafever.

Dr. Lynne Lundberg teaches AP Language and Composition. The class focuses on how to read carefully, comprehend texts correctly, and write essays quickly. During the AP Language test, students must write three essays in two hours. Lundberg prepares students by having them write complete essays in 45 minutes to practice putting ideas together together coherently and scholarly.

AP Calculus is taught by Eric Belby. In this class, students learn how to derive and integrate equations. Belby prepares his students by using old AP test questions and showing how to solve them during class. incorporating AP test questions into chapter tests, so students will know what to expect when test season rolls around.

Each teacher has created their own way to have students be successful on their AP tests. Senior Jacob Bandy has taken seven AP classes. His favorite methods came from Sara Russell, AP Government teacher, and Spangenberg. “In both of these classes, I was provided with a lot of AP test prep with practice questions on the class tests and other optional preparation materials,” Bandy explained.