Savannah P. MSJ '21
Covid unfortunately has messed a lot of important things up and brought about many new challenges that we have to deal with. One of the more stressful aspects academically of last year was adjusting to the new way that we had to do our AP exams. All year we had prepared and planned to have our test in person and do the usual style. Up until a month and a half before the exam day everything was on track and we all felt we were doing well, then Covid hit and the world changed.
Last year I took AP Chemistry and AP United States History. The format of both of the exams was frustrating and did not allow me to fully reach my potential. Due to Covid all of the AP tests were online and in a completely different format from what we had been studying the entire year for. At the last minute we had to practice writing APUSH papers and try to solve multiple chemical equations in 45 minutes. The teachers last year tried their best to prepare us, but even they did not know the style or arrangement due to the uncertain circumstances. At the beginning of last year we had done regular in-person instruction and were taking practice tests on paper but with the sudden change we all were forced to quickly adjust to the all online style.
I am so incredibly grateful that this year we were able to return to in-person school and take our AP Exams in the correct, standardized format. Knowing the tests were going to be in the traditional format from the start made the learning and testing environments so much better. My AP Literature and Composition teacher, Mr. L. Bartenstein prepared us very well this year and we all left the exam incredibly confident. With Mr. Stevens being in the room and being able to explain all the details of what we needed to know made the whole process so much easier and less stressful. Instead of worrying about a time limit, computer crash, internet connection disruption, noisy house, or any of the other stressors from at-home learning, we were able to be told what to do and simply get it done without any risk of interruption.
As hard as it was to quickly adapt last year, all the AP students did the best we could and I’m very proud of all of us for the hard work we have put in since the beginning of the pandemic! I hope that in-person learning continues and the school is not forced to be put in that difficult situation again. Every student deserves a risk & stress-free testing environment that they believe they can do well in. As well as adapting to everything online, it simply is a less stressful process when we are able to do it the traditional way!