Freshman tackle their first AP exams

Kaden Ofstad, Staff Writer

The worn-out spirits of teachers and students roam the halls. Pencils tumble to the ground as the last essays are handed in. Young minds begin to overflow with summer plans, as another school year gradually draws to a close.

This year, some students took on their first high school year, while some drifted through their last year like it was nobody’s business. Nonetheless, the year isn’t over quite yet, and the majority of AP students have been well aware of what the end of the year was going to have in store.

These past few weeks, students enrolled in Advanced Placement (AP) courses have been facing the burden of AP exams head-on. Typically, if an incoming freshmen chooses to take an AP course, their ideal choice would be Advanced Placement Human Geography, which is commonly known by the name “AP HUGE”.

AP Human Geography is typically rumored as the “easiest” AP course of any student’s high school experience at North. As rigorous as the class has proven to be for some people, others fly effortlessly through this course and maintaining their grade is the least of their worries. However, the class isn’t as simple as some students treat it. When the time comes to take the AP exam, a pass or a fail determines whether they earn the credit or not, regardless of past grades.

Students receive their grades this July rather than during the school year, mainly due to the laborious grading process that follows the exam. As anxious as the waiting process may seem, the overwhelming feeling of relief seems to replace the anxiety.

Freshman Katie Fecke is enrolled in AP Human Geography and shares her own opinions about the course.

“AP Human Geo to me felt more like an honors class rather than as an AP class,” Fecke said. “It wasn’t any more difficult than my honors biology class, which felt equally as difficult. As a freshman I thought every class would be the scariest thing ever, but surprisingly, it was way easier than I anticipated.”

Naturally, most freshmen feel a little bit of intimidation during their first high school year. Vivian Woo, also a freshmen in AP Human Geography, shares similar opinions.

“AP HUGE wasn’t too hard,” Woo said. “With the reputation of being the easiest AP class to be taken it really wasn’t difficult. Even though the course took more time and effort than a regular class, overall I didn’t find it too hard.”

What AP students find themselves stressing the most about are the final exams. Unlike typical tests and quizzes, these finals go further into depth and cover critical topics that deal with information that was taught during the course. Students must respond to a plethora of Free Response Questions, otherwise known as FRQ’s.

“I would say the most difficult part of the exam would be the FRQ’s, since you go into the classroom not having a clue what they might be about and with no answer laid out for you,” Woo said. “You’re expected to write whatever you know down, and hope for the best. Some of the questions asked by the FRQ you have no clue how to answer.”

Some students ponder whether or not teachers instructing AP courses do well in aiding student preparation for the exams. After all, the pressure to pass the final is quite intense, but Fecke believes that these teachers sufficiently taught the information.

“The test as a whole was very easy, being that the AP Human Geo teachers gave us good learning tools,” Fecke said. “Overall I really enjoyed my time in the class.”

With a breath of relief, students complete their textbooks’ final chapters, returning them to the school for the next generation of students to learn from.