AP students note advantage of online resources

Students will take exams at home starting May 11

AP students note advantage of online resources

Jackson Hern, Reporter

As the most universally unusual and unprecedented school year begins to draw to a close, thousands of students across the United States are beginning to prepare for the annual AP exams in May.

With schools around the country conducting their learning online, students and teachers are faced with severely altered AP exams, which will be shortened and conducted entirely online. Students enrolled in AP courses from all grade levels take one or more of these tests, and this year will be no different.

In light of the situation revolving around the global coronavirus pandemic, several AP students and teachers shared how they are working together and with College Board to continue Cathedral’s tradition of academic success.

Senior Anya Neumeister is preparing for the AP Government, AP Calculus BC, and AP Spanish Literature exams, and she said is appreciative of the steps that have been taken to aid her and her fellow students, such as the review videos published by AP.

Neumeister said, “Even though I am a discussion based learner, I appreciate that College Board is actively looking for ways to help students,” she said. “I am also lucky to have teachers like Señora (Marybeth) Morris who participate in the AP webinars and update her class on testing strategies and content. While I do not feel as prepared as previous years, I think both the Cathedral teachers and College Board are doing everything in their power to assist students.”

Similarly, fellow senior Andrew George has been benefitting from the Youtube videos that have made available to students in his position. “I am taking AP Calculus BC, AP Statistics, AP Microeconomics and AP Lit this year, and have been using the videos to review and take notes for my calc and stats classes,” he said. “They have been very helpful, even if they do take quite a (lot) of time. Between the online resources and the review for the exams in my classes, I believe that overall my teachers are all putting me in a position to succeed.”

The host of changes that have ensued over the past few months have forced teachers to adapt as well, as they work to best instruct and prepare their students for the exams.

Mrs. Jill Twilleager, who teaches AP Government, AP Microeconomics and AP Macroeconomics, is encouraging students not to be hesitant about asking questions. “No teacher, nor does Cathedral High School nor AP, wants a question about process or technology to be the reason why a student isn’t successful on an AP exam,” she said.

“Any questions or nerves that need to be addressed that students have should be brought up to their teachers so they can help them as much as possible,” she said. Twilleager has also benefitted from the webinars that AP has conducted in order to make this transition as smooth as possible. “I have found them to be very useful in helping me be able to instruct students of how the exam will be formatted, as well as the nuts and bolts of how students will be expected to take the online tests,” she said.

Mr. John O’Hara, who teaches AP Psychology, has found the videos published by College Board to be an invaluable resource for both him and his students. He said, “The online reviews are led by one or two teachers, so you are getting a consistent message from someone that can deliver the information straight from AP, which I really appreciate given my situation.”

O’Hara said, “I am not able to go live nearly as much because I have to take care of my children, and I am sure there are many teachers in similar situations. So AP providing an online lecture database has been really helpful, and they are very well put together.”

In the absence of final exams, students will have more opportunities to review and study for their upcoming AP exams, and despite the changes, challenges and obstacles, both College Board and Cathedral appear to be making sure that students are put in the best possible position to show what they know.

The AP exams start May 11 and are scheduled to end on May 22, according to the schedule posted on the AP exam site.