Davis: It’s time to ‘APUSH’

Advanced Placement tests will be taking place early May. Students are now trying to prepare themselves in order do their best.

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At Utica High, great emphasis is put on students who challenge themselves and try to be the best students they can be. It’s one of the things that make Utica High School great, but it can also put a lot of pressure on students, especially those taking Advanced Placement (AP) Courses. Many of those students take the AP test towards the end of the year to prove that they learned the material and earn college credit. An AP test that has a great reputation of stress attached to it is Advanced Placement United States History, or APUSH.

Some students are not terribly worried about the test.

“I’m feeling decently ready for the exam,” sophomore Mackenzie Robertson said.

Other students are not feeling as calm.

“I’m not really prepared,” sophomore Stephanie Vassilev said.

Many APUSH students are experiencing high amounts of stress, as the APUSH test date is rapidly approaching. The test will take place on May 5. 

“I’m studying mostly by watching videos about APUSH,” Vassilev said.

Regardless of whether or not a student is feeling confident in their abilities to get a score that would earn college credit, the stress weighs heavily on many students taking the exam. Studying seems to be the most effective way to combat that stress. Though the studying techniques of some APUSH students are similar, they each have their own style of studying that works best for themselves. 

“I made flashcards and studied my notes, which helped especially for remembering stuff from the beginning of the year. I also watched John Green, but that was really just to help with what I was already doing,” UAIS sophomore Jason Deal said.

Students in AP classes could benefit greatly from any extra practice on the subject. Those teaching AP classes are doing their best to prepare their students for the tests.

Teacher Aaron Davis has been encouraging his students to prepare for the test by looking through the material and viewing APUSH review websites such as APUSH Explained and Tom Richey.

“They condense the info we already learned, so it’s a good review,” Vassilev said.

Some students don’t benefit as much from those sites.

“I personally prefer my own resources,” Robertson said, “But I’ve looked at them once or twice.”

Those sites and others can be helpful, but some students prefer to study in a different way.

“I’m using a Princeton Review and CrashCourse U.S. History,” Robertson said.

Though college credit is usually able to be earned from an AP test, a student needs to achieve a score of 3 or higher in order to most likely receive that credit. It is entirely possible for a student to not earn college credit, as it has happened countless times before.

“I’m not completely worried. I want to major in history, so taking another history course would be fine by me,” Robertson said. “I gained credit with a 3 on the AP World History test, so I have faith in myself.”

Every student should do their absolute best on the test. In order to do so, many students have different ways of preparing themselves while still not getting overwhelmed.

“My advice would be don’t sweat it! If you get the credit, you get the credit. If you don’t, you don’t,” Robertson said. “Getting stressed will only make studying and retaining information harder.”

The test requires a great amount of knowledge of U.S. History. Students must find a way to remember the material while also not being too stressed.

“I just made a study schedule and stuck to it. I just studied for about a half hour or so a day and took the day before the exam off that way i could sleep and not stress too much about it,” Deal said.

According to College Board, the test will last 3 hours and 15 minutes. The College Board website also has exam review resources for APUSH that may be helpful in preparing for the test. Though preparing for the APUSH test can be overwhelming, resources like these can help.