by Caleb Kim ’26
Late nights. Last-minute studying. Many Bellarmine students have undertaken the challenge of AP courses and with that challenge comes AP Exams. Since last week, sophomores, juniors, and seniors have begun to face the challenge of AP testing. For three hours, these students demonstrate their knowledge, equations, statistics, and facts running through their minds. Whether it be AP Computer Science, AP Bio, or AP Calculus BC, the AP courses offer various challenges and lead their students through many ups and downs throughout the school year, ultimately leading to a culmination in the AP test. Here are various students’ thoughts on the struggles and successes of AP testing.
Charlie Heinz ’25
Q: What AP did you take this year?
A: AP World History. I had Mr. Young as my teacher.
Q: How did you memorize material? Was it last minute preparation or something else?
A: Well, he gives you your quizzes per unit or per two units so that’s something you got to memorize said you got to memorize that periodically because your AP test is sort of prepping for the last like two weeks.
Q: What do you do during those last two weeks in classes?
A: You practice multiple choice practice questions. You have two essays, and you can have eight questions.
Q: So, then knowing that you had all the preparation, how did that affect your emotions going into the test?
A: I thought it was going to be harder. That doesn’t mean that it was hard, but it’s more of a matter of pacing.
Q: When you have more APs maybe next year, how do you think your mindset will change?
A: It was a judgment of the workload and being able to get used to it this year. I think it’s a lot easier to adjust to multiple APS because you are familiar with the workload and course study compared to a regular class. So, I think it’s a matter of getting used to it.
Henry McNamara ’24
Q: So, I heard you did five APs this year. Could you describe which ones you did?
A: I did English Literature, Calc BC, Computer Science, AP Bio, and AP US History.
Q: Out of those five, which was your favorite?
A: My favorite was Calc because math has always just been my favorite subject in school, and I really enjoyed the class too.
Q: Before the year, when you were headed into Calc BC, what were your expectations, and how dd they compare to your thoughts at the end of the year?
A: I think everyone told me it was going to be the hardest class I’ve ever taken, and it wasn’t, so that was nice, but I went into the year expecting that I would enjoy it. Also, I expected that I’d have to work really hard to do well in it, and I think that was pretty true, but it wasn’t really.
Q: Throughout the year, what was the overall experience? Was it just easy rolling, or were there some tough patches?
A: Oh, there are definitely rough patches. Some of the tests in that class are pretty difficult, but I think in the end, they’ll prepare you really well for the AP test. Then by the end of the AP test, it’s kind of just rolling.
Q: How did this year’s experience of five compare to last year?
A: I think it was definitely more stressful because I studied for a lot more tests at the same time, but it wasn’t overwhelming.
Q: What would you tell other sophomores doing four or five APs?
A: I would tell them to make sure when they get to the end of the year to start prepping for the tests early because if they wait till the night before them, they’re going to panic and they’re going to be stressed out on test day.
Q: How do you think that your mindset heading into AP tests this year was different from last year?
A: Last year I was really nervous, and this year, knowing that I did it before, I walked into the test, knowing what to expect. I was a lot less nervous, and I just tried to make myself be able to feel calm. It’s very helpful for performing on the tests.
Ultimately, the AP season is strenuous and difficult. At first, it may seem daunting, and in fact, it is difficult and challenging, beyond the rigor of many standard classes. However, the challenge pushes students to perform at their best. The challenge allows students to demonstrate their remarkable capabilities and push beyond their initial fears of AP testing.