AP review sessions

AP students prepare for their exams by attending teacher held review classes

Tim Royers with his AP students

Tim Royers with his AP students

Vincent Towne, Staff Writer

With the school year coming to an end, AP students are looking towards the national exam for their class. Some are prepared, others are hesitant, and that’s why this next month is the most important one to an AP student.

Every year, April is jam-packed with every possible study period and cram session imaginable. Teachers scramble to see what works with the majority of their students in order to make the scheduling effective.

Matthew Heys conducting an AP review session

“It can be quite the struggle to plan all of our meetings,” AP U.S. teacher Matthew Heys said. “I feel kind of bad not everyone can come to them, especially for the students who took the class at the beginning of the year.”

Having to take books home and constantly look over pages of notes can be mentally taxing and hard to keep track of. Adding to the daily pile of homework from other classes, first-half students must continue to study and review notes during the second half of the year. Stress levels are always high at this time of the year, especially for the juniors who are also worried about the ACT right now.

“I don’t like that we have to wait so long after taking the class to take the final,” junior AP student Jack Olson said. “By the end of the year I’ve forgotten most of the material.”

I want to acknowledge the time and effort all of the AP teachers have put into their students, even outside of school hours. Practically every AP teacher has scheduled sessions for their class, before and after school along with a few weekend times.

“Planning the review sessions wasn’t very easy considering how dense the course is,” AP US History teacher Bryant Bull said.

Trying to review everything in a college level course is a difficult task, and definitely earns the beloved title; “cram session.”

“Picking and choosing what to go over and what to just skip can be fairly difficult,” Bull said. “A lot of times it’s just a guessing game on what topics the test will most likely have, in the end, it really depends on how well the student retains the information from the full class, and if they actually did the reading or not.”

Every student who’s had an AP class can agree that the sessions have always been helpful. For the last two years I have had my classes at the end of the year, and the extra studying definitely boosted my confidence for the exam. With this year being my first time having a first-half AP class, the next 40 days of reviewing will be essential to my performance on the test.

Having stated the effect of these sessions, it is also important to note that many students don’t have the time to attend all of them. With work, sports and school activities being so prevalent at Millard West, it can be really hard for teachers and students to agree on times.

“Soccer and work takes priority,” junior Desmond Marshall said. “I just can’t make it to all of the sessions. Even worse, a couple of my classes have overlapping times, so even when I do have the time, I have to pick which one I need the most help on.”

I’m glad that the sessions are available to go to, and for the other AP students who haven’t gone to them, they’re a life saver. The cram sessions highlight all of the important information plus main themes that will be on the writing portions of the exam. As a bonus, most of the AP teachers will hand out practice tests, as to familiarize the student with the content.