Tuesday, May 05, 2009

AP Anxiety

I don’t know who is more concerned with Advanced Placement exams, myself or my students. 

Yesterday was the exam and I was very mellow about it until the first reports started to trickle in.  Apparently some students finished quick, and there was a feeling that the Free Response Questions were very hard.  My heart sank a little bit, but I then found out who the students were and I was suspect about the report.  Still, I was combing the net to try and find out the overall reaction to the exam.  I found none.  It made last night quite miserable.  My wife (a teacher and very understanding) reminded me that AP’s are the responsibility of the student in the end, and that student initiative was key in their own success. 

She’s right of course.  I can only teach so much in the limited time, and for students to be successful they are going to have to do the reading and ask questions.  “Feeding” the information in an Advanced Placement class won’t work simply because the amount of information is just overwhelming.

At lunch time my fears were somewhat alleviated.  Three very reliable students came up to me and mentioned that the test was not bad at all.  Comments about the overall test was that it wasn’t hard, with the Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ) being really easy, and the Free Response Questions (FRQ) being harder but doable.  Apparently there was one FRQ that was giving most students a bit of a struggle, but I don’t really know what the question was about.  My happiest moment was when one student, a student that would have told me if he/she wasn’t prepared for the test, said that the test was “pretty easy” and told me “you prepared us so well for it”.  I was elated. 

Now I sit back and wait for the details in July.  I’m sure that I’ll get more info tomorrow when I have the students in class, but the real nitty gritty will be in July when I get details.   

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