Students prepare for Advanced Placement Exams


LHS students will take their Advanced Placement exams May 2-5.  Advanced Placement courses are part of a curriculum administered by The College Board that are nationally standardized and meant to be roughly equivalent to undergraduate college courses. Upon completion of the class, the student will usually take the Advanced Placement exam, which could help prepare them for college or even earn them actual college credit. 

“As you’re preparing, the best thing to do is to practice,” AP English IV teacher Melanie McNiel said. “So you look at those questions and you practice your answers and see how they compare to the answers that have been given before. They have those released on the College Board website, along with scores. I think practice is the most important thing.”

About 60% of high schools in the United States offer Advanced Placement classes, according to Study Point Tutoring. Lindale High School is a part of that majority and offers 5 Advanced Placement classes: AP English III for juniors, AP English IV for seniors, AP Chemistry for juniors and seniors, AP Physics for juniors and seniors, and AP Calculus for juniors and seniors.

“I think the AP program has really gotten stronger in the past couple of years,”  junior AP student Jonas Thrasher-Evers said. “So far, my AP Chemistry class is definitely a much more difficult class as well as a much quicker class. It’s a class that requires constant studying and constant speed because it’s all about getting as much information as you can before the AP test. And I do believe that taking AP classes in high school could greatly prepare you for college. Not only could you potentially get college hours, but the style of the class as well as the rigor of the class all helps prepare you for the college level courses.”

Advanced Placement Exams are graded on a 5-point scale, and earning a 4 or a 5 will typically earn a student some college credit at any university. According to The College Board, the multiple choice sections of AP Exams is scored by computer, while the free-response sections are graded by specially appointed college professors and experienced AP teachers.

“ An AP level course is taught at a level that, if you pass the test, any university may accept it, and they all have their own level of acceptance based on score,” AP Calculus teacher Beth Purl said. “So the idea is that it’s a pretty difficult class, but if you pass the test, the university knows you’re prepared for that particular class. I would say in the field of study you plan on going into, an AP course is the best route you can go.”