December 11, 2023

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All About APs

by GVHSJagJournal
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Addie Chauhan

The start of AP exam registration provides insight into the lives of AP students and their teachers as May approaches. 

Students taking AP during the 2022-2023 school year will be following guidelines set forth by College Board in hopes of earning college credit. Since the days of the Cold War, the Advanced Placement (AP) program has existed to give American high schoolers a boost in their education. A 1952 report described AP as an “opportunity and a challenge to … the strongest and most ambitious boys and girls.” Garnet Valley has been doing the AP program since at least 1997” according to college counselor Michael Salladino.

Even for students who do not plan on taking the exams, Garnet Valley’s AP program provides benefits. “I think it’s a great way to realize the work that’s involved in college courses,” mentioned AP Psychology teacher Kimberly Griego-Boruch, “and I also think it’s also an awesome way to save yourself and your parents a bit of money.”

AP Calculus teacher Donald Rugh agrees. “It prepares you for the rigor, the amount of notes you’ll have to take, and the pace at which a college course is taught,” Rugh added. “Sometimes an academic or honors course cannot prepare you for that.”

For students who are planning on taking the AP exams, additional benefits are provided. A study found that over half of all Harvard students had taken APs by the early 1960s. More so, money. “Students could potentially save thousands of dollars in tuition by taking the AP exam at the end of the class,” stated Salladino.

Students who choose to challenge themselves with AP classes also may face more stress due to their tougher curriculum and the knowledge of the AP exam that gets closer every day. All teachers interviewed mentioned in detail how they prepare their students for the exams. “We use a college-level textbook. They write essays, they do AP online work, and then we have test prep the week before they take the exam,” stated AP Literature teacher Heather Arters.

The hard work of students and teachers is shown to pay off. “Garnet Valley has an 87% pass rate– a 3 or higher– on exams, so students do extremely well,” said Salladino. Across all departments, there is over an 80% pass rate, and close to a 50% rate of perfect scores.

All in all, the AP program is extremely beneficial to students who are thinking about challenging themselves in high school while simultaneously preparing for college. “I think it’s always good to push yourself. With my own children and with students who are at Garnet Valley High School: when colleges are looking at you, I think it’s much more impressive to have a B in an AP class than an A in an Honors because it shows that you pushed yourself out of your comfort zone and tried something new,” stated Arters.

As a last word of advice, Salladino wants students to know they have a huge support system behind them and will be successful as long as they put in the effort. “Work hard. Be patient. There’s going to be ups and downs during the class but know that students will be prepared for the exams and they will do well,” he said.

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