By PSP Student Blogger Sarah from South Korea
If your dream schools are highly selective, a tough workload of AP and honors classes are almost inevitable. I have been pushing myself in my junior year by taking challenging courses, hence, I would like to share some of my AP experiences and tips with you.
AP Language and Composition
This has been one of my favorite classes in my life. I give credit to my English teacher, Mr. Guevremont, for inspiring us, for making every class captivating, and for always giving me something fun to look forward to at school. His creativity and intellect provided an enjoyable atmosphere of learning, and we acquired rhetoric strategies, logical fallacies, and other writing techniques. I actually managed to get A’s in this class, and I believe that it was due to my constant endeavors with writing practices, including one for this blog. If you have a strong background in writing, there is no doubt that you will succeed in AP Language and Composition. If you do not, there is always room for practice, which makes perfect!
AP Environmental Science
If you are considering taking this class because you heard that it was easy, do not underestimate AP Envi-Sci. In my case, our teacher was known to be a tough grader when it came to homework and tests; therefore, our average grade compared to other subjects was generally low. The subject itself deals with nature and the environment, but it is important to keep in mind that it goes much more in depth and wider in range than that. That is what made the AP exam much harder than anyone had ever expected. For example, you not only have to learn about the landfills, but the problems associated with the them, solutions involving politics and international treaties, and examples of our stewardship towards landfills. Truly, it was one AP exam where everyone entered the testing room expecting a 5, but left being happy with a 3.
AP US Government and Politics
I hated AP Gov. In the beginning, I was doing fine until I began to get displeasing scores on tests. It was not like I did not study for them either; I read every section of the chapter and took good notes. Quite frankly, I think it was my lack of background knowledge in US politics to apply and understand test questions. I did not want this non-required class to plummet my GPA, so I decided to drop this class: the best decision I’ve ever made in my entire high school career. (My friends ended up getting worse grades throughout the year.) However, they did mention that the actual AP Gov exam was much easier than the chapter tests our teacher gave out. Given 5 as a very attainable score, if politics interests you, it is definitely a good class to take!
Compensating for dropping AP Gov, I decided to teach myself AP Macro during the last three months before the exam. It was a big commitment; however, I got through the massive content by hitting the AP crash course almost every day and by watching hours of Macro videos on the treadmill. I learned that the videos I dedicated myself to saved me more than anything on the exam. I could freshly recall key points from LaMoney videos such as sticky wages in the short-run economy and long-run Philips Curve. Unfortunately, my AP Macro exam was on the same day, right after the AP Language exam, four hours of torture. After going through seven straight hours of testing/mental breakdown, I came to understand what humans are truly capable of. Concentration is in the hands of our will. If you set your heart to it, you will be able to get 5’s on your AP exams!