Getting Ready for the AP Exams


Starting Monday at 8:10am, West Potomac HS began AP Exam testing, which will stretch a continuous three weeks through May. Along with Advancement Placement courses came a heavy workload for students across the board, and the exams will be just another further challenge students will have to tackle.


For those new to the concept, AP offers upwards of 30 different courses. By the end of the year, students take a college-level exam on the curriculum they learned. The exams are graded on a 1-5 scale and students who scored high on the exam may be granted placement and course credit in college.


Cat Fidd, a junior at West Potomac, is enrolled in five AP courses this year. The combined course load of five classes is difficult, and would result in a strenuous year for any student.


“I am taking AP Chemistry, BC Calculus, AP Psychology, AP US History, and AP Physics. I really like AP Chemistry and I think my least favorite is probably AP US History, but not that I don’t like it, I am just not that interested in it.” Fidd said.


Cat has managed to stay organized and complete her assignments throughout the year.


“I guess I kind of triage it and only do what is most important. Some of the stuff [work] you have to be like ‘well, it is not going to hurt me that much if I don’t do this’. I work really hard on the weekend.” Fidd said.


Cat is a not a stranger to AP Exams, though, taking AP Computer Science and AP World History sophomore year. Though, AP Exam season may seem difficult no matter how many you have taken in the past.


“I am a little bit stressed. I am working on the exams that are closest right now. The space between those exams and the next exams, I’ll study for the other ones.” Fidd said.


Monsieur Fitzgerald, AP French teacher is all for AP Exam preparation early on.


“The students who have been doing their work for the past four or five years will get a three or better. The students who haven’t, probably won’t, and that is just a result of a long period of work.My job is just to provide them the opportunity to do well if they do what they are asked to do.” Fitzgerald said.


Being a foreign language and not a core class, AP French is completely optional and just an additional course a student can take to better their future.


“Taking any advanced language class will benefit you because it prepares you to go to the country, speak to people, read things, and listen to things.” Fitzgerald said.


Most students have certain things they do the week or night before an exam as preparation to be successful.


“Get a lot of sleep, eat a good breakfast, and get some exercise,” Fitzgerald said. “Do a little bit of review, but don’t try to cram.”