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AP Crash Course

A few tips & ricks to surviving AP classes

Emma Bennett, Staff Writer

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One of the most daunting tasks for sophomores and upperclassmen to face at the beginning of the year is their first AP class, whether it be Government, U.S History, Biology, or Chemistry. While many transition from honors, others take the jump from regular-level classes. Either way, advanced placement is designed to replicate a college class, so students are not expected to perfect the routine within a short amount of time.

However, this does not permit slacking off and giving oneself an excuse every time a reading quiz comes back with a low grade or a few points are taken off notecards due to inaccuracy. So here are some pointers to students facing their first ever semester with an AP class.

Don’t make excuses
As mentioned previously, just because the class is “college level,” doesn’t mean there is any justification to getting low grades. Being placed in an AP class means that a teacher, or student, feels confident that she/he has the ability to conquer a class of higher capacity. Putting in the effort needed for these classes sets the continuity that students need to be successful.

This was an important practice for Maggie Parker (11), who took AP Government last year, and is now taking AP Calc BC, Pre-AP English 3 IB, AP Chem 1, AP Music Theory, AP US History (APUSH), AP German 4. Parker is also a IB candidate. She always made sure to focus on how much effort she was putting into her class.

Do your work
Don’t slack off. Make sure to always study a lot before tests. I told myself at the beginning of the year that I was going to work hard, and when I applied that, I did pretty well in class.” Parker said.

Work in AP classes varies from subject to subject, but in the most popular classes, such as APUSH and AP Government, or the history concentrations in general, are pretty consistent; notecards, reading quizzes, and DBQs, along with class activities and projects. Each has its own percentage, or affect on your grade. Lagging in one area can bring down letter grades, no matter how well a student is doing in others; this drives the need to keep up with assignments.

Use every extra credit opportunity given
No matter how few points are awarded, an added few points here and there can pile up. These points could give the extra boost needed at the end of the semester when a student’s grade is a few points away from being the next letter grade up. Whether it’s turning notecards in early or attending an event, extra credit opportunities are normally easy to complete or have an aspect that make them less taxing.

From AP Chemistry to AP Music Tech, advanced program classes provide a challenge for all students at Lindbergh, first year or not. The best thing for anyone to do is try their hardest, stay focused, and do the work they need to do. Conquering an AP class is all up to the student’s attitude and will to work for their grade, or their 5 on the AP test.

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