Gull Lake High School offers a lot of advanced placement classes in the Science, English, Math and Social Studies departments. These classes are intended to help students get ready for college by offering a college credit at the end of the year when you get a good grade on the final exam. AP classes are becoming more and more of a norm now for many students at Gull Lake High School with well over half of the graduating class taking at least one AP class. AP classes help students get a feel for what classes might be like in college or just to help them get ready for the next steps in life.
For most of the AP classes offered at Gull Lake, there is usually some sort of summer assignment. This is given before the students return back to school and start the class. For English classes, this may consist of some summer reading. For history or other classes, the student may be doing more research and assignments. AP classes take up one class for each trimester of the year, making it an all year class at Gull Lake. Although this may sound intimidating, the classes aren’t that bad when you work hard and get things done on time.
I am currently taking AP Language and Composition, and I have so far enjoyed the class a great deal. It has helped me improve my writing skills and my vocabulary. With the increase of juniors in this class, it is also used to help students prepare for the SAT and ACT. Some of the students currently in AP classes had a lot of mixed thoughts.
“Although some of the class was useful, there were parts of it that I thought were just busy work assignments,” junior Ashley Bates said. “[I] learned how to pay attention to details, and how to remember important information that would be useful for later.”
Junior Emma Phelps said that she enjoyed the three AP classes she took which were AP World, AP Chem. and AP Language.
“I think managing workloads and not procrastinating is what I learned the most and can apply to my future and everyday life,” Phelps said.
Sometimes I feel like my AP classes have a lot of work and information thrown thrown at you. I felt that they were enjoyable and beneficial to my future. The students I spoke to said the same, that they enjoyed the classes and the workload was high, but it helped them manage their time better. These classes are intended to be like college classes and help students prepare for college. And many of the students I spoke with expressed that it did indeed do that.
Normally the AP Language test is a 3 hour 15 minute test. This test usually includes a short answer, multiple choice, and some essay questions. Due to the spread of the Covid-19 and school being cancelled, the test was moved to the internet. It was then modified and reduced down to a 45 minute test. For the AP language and composition test, students will be asked to write one essay on rhetorical analysis.
Juniors Drew Branstetter, Kaylie Murphy said that they thought that the biggest challenge will be staying focused while taking the test. Because this test will be taken at home, there are going to be a lot of distractions around. Phones being a big one but also, family and other things that may be going through the students mind. A good way to help with this is before taking the test take a few minutes to get everything together. Then, refresh yourself on things that you feel you might need to know. There have also been online classes and practices that have been sent to help students prepare.
To make it convenient for students, the AP Board allowed the essay to be done on paper or typed though, this also came with issues and nervousness. Many students enjoy writing things out and being able to highlight and underline things in the passage that they might need. Some students however, are worried whether or not they will be able to upload their work in time and other worries.
Though not all students are excited to take the test online, juniors Isabella Smith and Elizabeth Havilar said they were excited to take the test online because it has less questions, and the test is covering what we have been going over in class the most.
As AP students are getting ready to take their test, they are also preparing for their futures.
Junior Lizzie Margol is another student taking multiple AP classes and she says that she really enjoys them.
Referring to her AP chem class she says, “The material was pretty challenging but I ended up getting the hang of it, and I felt like a real scientist with my lab journal and goggles.”
She is planning on going into chemical engineering so she said what she has learned in both Chemistry and Language and Composition have helped her.
Although the AP test is not required to take, many students just take the test to be able to learn more about a subject or because it is something that they are just really interested in.