AP teachers offer after school help for their students in preparation for May AP exams

Junior+Cynthia+Liu+attends+an+AP+U.S.+History+extra+help+session+after+school.+In+the+review%2C+she+revisits+lessons+from+the+beginning+of+the+year%2C+along+with+discussion-based+questions.

Ivy Lam

Junior Cynthia Liu attends an AP U.S. History extra help session after school. In the review, she revisits lessons from the beginning of the year, along with discussion-based questions.

Ivy Lam, Editor-in-Chief

As advanced placement (AP) exams are approaching, the MSD administration decided to host review sessions led by AP teachers. All AP students are invited to take advantage of this opportunity to relearn earlier curriculum and practice questions in mock tests.

With the first AP exam taking place on May 2, 2022, MSD students are looking to gain a better understanding of their course content early on. The AP exam dates have been released on College Board and will be administered in person over the span of two weeks: May 2-6 and May 9-13.

To provide additional resources to help students succeed, the administration collaborated with the teachers to provide AP Extra Help Sessions starting from the beginning of March to the beginning of May.

In the beginning of the school year, there were likely many gaps in knowledge, in comparison to previous years, due to the virtual learning environment caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The administration believed the students needed extra guidance throughout their transition to in-person learning.

“To get fully immersed now, the school is trying to cover everything, from general information to topics taught at the beginning of the year,” Assistant Principal Anna Koltunova said. “The reviews were created so students could focus specifically on AP-level questions, how to answer them, and what is relevant to tackle the problems.”

AP teachers are not required to host the extra help sessions, they have the option to choose. The sessions are one hour after school, and the participating teachers get to select their own availability. Moreover, teachers who choose to take part receive a financial incentive for their time.

“I am offering AP extra help on Saturdays in person. Even though they were optional, I wanted to provide my AP Physics C students with more review,” physics teacher Carlos Mercado said. “I could review some first semester materials or just teach a lesson. It would be for about an hour, and I can utilize that time as I wish.”

The sessions are not advertised publicly as not all students are in AP classes. The AP sessions are advertised within AP classes if they’re going to be happening. Most teachers have announced in class they are hosting them and explained the process for signing up for them, such as with a physical sign-up sheet.

“In my opinion, I believe that the extra help sessions are super helpful. I go for AP Calculus AB,” junior Gina Torres said. “They let me receive clarification on things I didn’t get in class, and I have seen a lot of progress with my understanding of class material after attending.”

For AP subjects that have more than one teacher, students enrolled to take the AP exam for the class are free to attend any of the extra sessions, regardless if they are not on the hosting teacher’s class roster. The after school or weekend sessions are available to all AP students in the class.

“I think other AP students should take advantage if they are confused or need to ask questions because it is extra time with a smaller group of people, instead of a large class. It allows more communication with the teacher to understand information that they didn’t know before,” Torres said.

If a student attends an extra help session, they are asked to sign in by filling out a Microsoft Teams form that tracks their attendance. The sign-in sheet is typically printed out with a QR code for convenience within the classrooms that are providing the additional service.

The AP extra help sessions will be ongoing for the remainder of the third quarter and into the fourth quarter. Students who are unsure of the times and dates available should ask their AP teachers for more information.