Prepping for Success


Dayo Olorunnisola, Staff Writer

State High offers exams for thirty-eight AP courses. These exams are an opportunity for students to go above and beyond in their education. They allow students to earn a score ranging from one to five that they can use to their advantage later on.  

For ninth graders, the AP courses and exams pose an additional challenge as they enter high school: college-level courses. Unlike freshman Yuki Yoshida, who prepared for and took three AP exams, most students stick to one by way of introduction. Even so, most of these students are ambitious. They’re in it for valuable testing experience and college credit.

Many of students taking an AP class for the first time start in AP Human Geography, a social studies course that introduces students to the patterns and processes that have shaped humanity’s interaction with Earth’s surface. It is said to be the easiest AP course offered and is seen as a perfect introduction to the AP world.

For many of these students, AP Human Geography is also a chance for college credit. “Doing well on AP tests gets you college credit and looks good on college applications,” Claire Jin, freshman, said. “The classes also teach you how to manage time and handle a decent amount of homework.”

“I see it as an introduction,” freshman Emmie McDonald said. “It will prepare me for future courses and help me earn college credits. McDonald, although slightly nervous prior to taking the test, still felt prepared thanks to the study materials her teacher provided.

Credits can be earned by taking the AP test, a standardized exam given each year by the College Board. The exam consists of two sections: multiple choice and free response. Students who take the exam earn a score between one and five. Many colleges offer credit for a score of three or higher. This is valuable because it allows students to save money by ensuring that they won’t have to pay to take the same classes in college.

The AP Human Geography exam was held on Friday, May 18, 2018. Other exams such as AP Environmental Science and AP Art History, were held earlier that week. Many students started preparing weeks in advance, yet could not shake the nervousness that comes before such a big exam. On the day of the exam, students gathered at the North Building flagpole to wait for buses to Penn State, where exams are often administered.

Students were taken to Sparks Building on campus, and many of the freshmen who took it left the exam building with smiles on their faces. The exam, many of them said, had been easier than expected, and their preparation was absolutely worth it.