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AP Practice Exams Invade Spring Break

Advanced+Journalism%27s+calendar+that+show+upcoming+dates+for+the+month+including+spring+break+which+is+April+1-5+this+year.
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AP Practice Exams Invade Spring Break

Advanced Journalism's calendar that show upcoming dates for the month including spring break which is April 1-5 this year.

Advanced Journalism's calendar that show upcoming dates for the month including spring break which is April 1-5 this year.

Johary Mayorga

Advanced Journalism's calendar that show upcoming dates for the month including spring break which is April 1-5 this year.

Johary Mayorga

Johary Mayorga

Advanced Journalism's calendar that show upcoming dates for the month including spring break which is April 1-5 this year.

Johary Mayorga, Staff Writer

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AP testing is stressful. But AP practice exams can help reduce that stress if students are willing to give up their spring break.

With many students looking forward to a week away from school, the idea of showing up again for a four-hour test can be a burden.

But are practice exams worth returning to school? Held in AP classes every year, students have differing accounts if the mock exams helped them.

At Godinez, we want our students to be competitive and get as much exposure”

— AP Language teacher Paula Miller

Senior Jasmine Perez knows how helpful the mock exams were for her in the past, “In a way, it kind of prepared us for what was going to be on the test,” says Perez. The dates don’t necessarily bother Perez, but she would have “preferred” it “during a school day.”

However, AP teachers agree that the dates are meant to benefit students. AP mock exams are typically scheduled around late March to early April, near or during spring break.

AP English Literature teacher at Godinez, Lori Polydoros, believes “You can get the authentic amount of time, as opposed to just doing it over several days during class.”

The exam Polydoros will host is set for March 30, Saturday, which is the beginning of Santa Ana Unified School District’s spring break. Polydoros says that they specifically challenge students to “make it through the test” while showing their “best work.”

Additionally, the four hour mock exams allow students to see how prepared they are for the actual test.

But other AP Literature teachers including Monique Statler and Lynette Keeling have students coming to school during and after spring break. For Statler, it’s on April 3, a Wednesday, which is in the middle of spring break and for Keeling, she chose Saturday, April 13, which is the week after spring break. So students do have options.

Senior Elaine Nguyen believes that the dates don’t take away from the importance of the exams. For her, the practice exams “briefly introduce the topics that will be covered in the AP exam” and help with time-management skills. The main focus becomes more on performing well, rather than time taken from her break.

Taking practice AP exams over break is not desirable”

— senior Elaine Nguyen

“Taking practice AP exams over break is not desirable, but I feel like it’s the most appropriate because we will not be overwhelmed with homework,” says Nguyen.

With five AP practice exams coming up for Nguyen, it can be difficult to manage but she believes it will be a “good experience” before the actual exams.

AP English Language teacher Paula Miller knows how beneficial the mock exams can be for students. They allow students to directly see the “time constraints” and “the endurance they’ll need to successfully work through all the components of the test.”

“They get to feel what it’s like on the day of the AP exam,” said Miller. Her AP Language mock exam is scheduled for Tuesday, April 2.

In terms of the dates, students are given options to choose from. The mock exam is counted as a final for the class. And students are required to schedule the date of their test accordingly, even if that means losing one morning of spring break.

“At Godinez, we want our students to be competitive and get as much exposure, and I think we’re doing it to help them, not to make it more challenging,” said Miller.

For special cases of students that cannot come on the given days, accommodations are typically made. “If a student has a major crisis, teachers are flexible with that,” says Miller. She says that most of those cases involve a student being “physically out of the state,” or in a situation that was “out of their control.”

Additionally, Miller provides breakfast for her students on the day of the practice exam. “I want to make students feel supported and show that I really care about their effort to come out and really make a sacrifice,” added Miller.

Regardless of how students feel about the mock AP exams, just like spring break, they will be here before you know it. 

1 Comment

One Response to “AP Practice Exams Invade Spring Break”

  1. Nathan Escobedo on March 27th, 2019 1:01 pm

    Having to take tests on your week off really is unfortunate. However, it is part of what you signed up for when deciding to take an AP class. Part of the expectation is that you will put forth more effort into these classes.

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AP Practice Exams Invade Spring Break