by Ali Youel
Ahhhh, at last, summer is just around the corner. You can feel the rays hit your skin and salt water splash on your face. You can practically hear the last bell ringing in freedom for ten whole weeks. No homework, no responsibilities. Pure fun. Right? WRONG. Sorry to rain on your parade or summer plans, but there is a lot to get through before you can tan on the sand. There are the dreaded AP tests, finals, and standardized testing. So put your sunblock away and unpack your beach bag. We have a long way to go.
Summer is a season where time flies, you can finally relax, and maybe, just maybe, take a day to not think about college. It’s approaching: fast. And I’m not so sure that it is all skipping and ice cream sundaes. Over summer, you may be bombarded with ACT and SAT prep, college essays, jobs, internships, and other classes. And before we can even get to that, there are AP tests, projects, and finals.
AP tests. Yikes. Preparing for them can be stressful, to say the least. Classes you took in the fall that you finally felt free from are catching up. Now we have less than a week, and you have to relearn the entire history of the world. Alas I have some good(ish) news. There are good options to help the cramming.
- Teacher review sessions: Most teachers who teach AP courses offer some type of review lesson after school or on weekends. They may be practice tests, or simply review of material, and teachers will do their best to prepare you right before the fact.
- Online resources: College Board has posted some old AP test questions for many subjects. If you go onto their website, you can have practice FRQs and prompts ready for your tears. Videos are also a reliable means of reviewing. For math classes, there are many videos at your disposal that can help you refresh on material you had hoped to never see again. Videos aren’t limited to math, as many teachers/educators have posted videos on how to write a perfect essay, review of chapters, and more.
- Review books: Test prep companies make many books to help one prepare for hours of mental torture vis a vis AP tests. Barron's and The Princeton Review, to name a few, have many available test prep materials at local bookstores or via online stores, such as Amazon.com.
Standardized testing isn’t the most fun way to spend your free time, especially in your sacred summer. But getting ahead can be important, as long as you feel ready to start. Many tutoring places offer summer courses/ programs to help one prepare. Again, there are also books and online courses that can help brace you for the ACT or SAT. Remember, this is a tedious process, so it is important to remain positive.
And finals. We are so close. We have completed 75% of our grade-ruining exams for the 2017-2018 school year. One round left. I’m sure you are tired of hearing speeches from teachers and family members about studying and preparing, so I leave you with only this: take a deep breath, eat, get decent sleep, and do your best. I promise that no matter how life-ending this one test seems, it will all be okay.
And now I leave you, and I apologize for the dread and havoc I have unleashed on your mirage of summer dreams. With all the chaos, remember to take care of yourself. Take a bath, read a book, watch a movie. Summer is so close, and while it may not all be fun-in-the-sun, I promise you will have some enjoyment in the hot months.