AP Classroom Environments After the AP Exam – Wayland Student Press
Much to the relief of many students at Wayland High School, the trying time of Advanced Placement (AP) testing is over. AP testing began on Monday May 2 and ended on Friday May 13. Nonetheless, teachers and students continue to take AP classes as they did before the exam. However, with different subjects and teacher preferences, the way each class is handled is very different.
Most WHS students and teachers share the feeling that AP classes are now much more relaxed, as there is no more pressure to cover enough material before the exam. Many AP students are now encouraged to explore specific areas of interest within the subject, or simply take time during class to relax.
The new classroom expectations stand in direct opposition to the old strict learning environment imposed by guidelines from the College Board, the nonprofit organization that develops and administers the AP exams.
“The classroom environment is radically different now that the AP test has passed,” said Grace Marto, an AP history student in the United States. “[Now]we just make plans and eat bagels, whereas before we went through ten years of history [each class period]. This [certainly] it’s much less stressful [now].”
Most AP classes also have a reduced amount of tests and quizzes, with some AP classes choosing to omit all types of exams altogether. Most teachers tend to be okay with this methodology and instead choose to give easier and smaller class assignments and assignments. For example, AP Statistics teacher Charlene Bishop gives a “post-exam project” to all the juniors and seniors in her class.
“After the [AP] test, we don’t necessarily learn new material, but [are] more watch movies and read articles that concern [to the subject]said Lauren Medeiros, a senior student in European History and English Literature.
In the AP Computer Science A class, students are given vague guidelines for projects in the hopes of fostering creative freedom and teaching students to apply their learned skills to real-life situations. AP Computer Science A students now have flexible deadlines and full class time to work on projects, such as video game coding. This change stands in stark contrast to the frequent testing and fast-paced coding projects that were required of students before the AP test.
“Now [that] we have nothing more to learn, we can just use our [learned] skills to do what we want, which is a lot more fun and interesting,” said AP Computer Science A sophomore Katie Pralle. “I enjoy classes more now because [before the AP test]there was always a pressure to learn and understand everything [for the test]but now that pressure is gone.
Some assume that AP teachers and students prefer the class after the AP test because of the relaxed environment. However this is not always the case.
“I like [teaching the class both before and after the AP test]“, said Michael Hopps, professor of AP Computer Science A. “Before [the test]everyone had a common goal, to beat the AP exam, [which was great to work toward]. [But] after the test, students have learned many skills and now have the freedom to apply those skills in different ways. »
With much more free time, AP students have the opportunity to reflect on their AP classroom experience throughout the school year.
“I could definitely tell everyone was a little more serious, stressed and nervous [in the month leading up to the AP test]”, said Pralle. “[But] overall i think [taking an AP class] has been [completely] worth it.”