ECA and AP tests upon us as school year draws to a close

By: Robbie McAnelly

School is coming to a close; the temperature is rising, flowers are blooming, and flip-flops are finding their way out of winter storage space. While most students are spending their time worrying about graduation preparation or where they will trek for vacation, they may be forgetting one key factor in their high school career: ECA and AP examination preparations. ECA and AP exams are in essential for any high school student planning on graduating and going to college, and it is a necessity that need not be forgotten with summer creeping up.
Many students will be involved in ECA testing in the coming weeks. The End of Course Assessments in Algebra I, Biology, and English 10 are required to be taken and passed in order to get a high school diploma. Most teachers in these subjects give their students materials with which to review for the exam. While you may not want to work on these reviews because they aren’t “for a grade,” the grade received on an ECA depends on the amount of time a student dedicates to reviewing. ECA examinations are also given bright and early in the morning for most students, so bringing a pencil and any other needed tools for taking the test is a given. Don’t fret over something so simple so early in the morning; your brain needs all the relaxation it can get for the tedious hours to come.
English teacher Suzanne Ponder gives the following advice on ECA exam preparation.
“Relax and let the drama of what’s going on currently leave before the test,” Ponder said. “Wipe what happened prior to test from your mind and focus. I make my students put their pencil down and close their eyes for a minute before beginning the exam.”
While they may not be mandatory, AP examinations are also vital to your high school career, more so for what you plan to do after graduating. Any student in an AP class must take the AP examination at the end of the year for that course to get the AP credit. This is crucial for getting the shining honors diploma. Because AP examinations are administered in the first weeks of May, be sure to know when your AP course will take the test and prepare accordingly. Timing is key in AP examinations.
According to AP United States history teacher Bob Dusch, there are many things you can do to excel on the AP exam.
“Get lots of rest and pay attention,” Dusch said. “Do a general review before the exam with an AP guidebook.”
 Most students work all year until the last day in their classes; in an AP class, you lose nearly a month of teaching instruction. Be sure you are prepared and know your stuff; you have to impress the College Board.
However nice the thought of sleeping in class for the last month of school may sound, priorities must be kept in check. Be prepared for the ECA and AP examinations. Get plenty of sleep, eat a nice meal beforehand, have all needed materials, and study, study, study. Don’t let a year’s worth of hard schoolwork go down the tubes for a month of lazing around.

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