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Wednesday, May 04, 2005

AP Testing Weeks

Well, since I’m midway through my own personal AP – and that’s Advanced Placement®, in this context, not Associated Press® – testing schedule, with two testing days down and two more to go, I thought I’d write an update on how everything was going.

The Advanced Placement test for English language & composition was given on Monday. This was also the first AP test of 2005, as well, so I guess you could say that I felt a particular happiness in being able to get this test out of the way first thing on the first day of AP testing rather than having to wait until, oh say, late in the second week of tests. The multiple choice portion of this test seemed to go pretty well, although I can’t really elaborate on the specifics of it, because I’ve been notified, pursuant to the College Board’s rules, that I must never, ever, in my lifetime discuss any particular multiple choice passage or question. We didn’t get any passages that required a very thorough, multiple reading, however, since each of the four was fairly contemporary. I believe the oldest passage was written in the late nineteenth century, but, even so, the syntax of all of them was pretty clear and comprehensible.

Though I liked the multiple choice portion of the English language test, the free-response questions were, by far, the most enjoyable part for me. Two of the questions required me to write an argumentative paper, utilizing knowledge garnered from both other classes, besides English, I’ve taken in school, as well as information I’ve picked up from sourced outside of school, like newspapers or newsmagazines. Ever the avid world affairs junkie, I really thought I came up with some good stuff to talk about in these two essays. The other essay, meanwhile, required a rhetorical analysis to be written, based on reading a passage chocked full of the elements necessary to form a cogent satirical argument. Although I generally enjoy these rhetorical analyses just as much the other types of essays, I have to say, I really, really liked the passage I had to analyze for this year’s test. Not only was the passage taken from the charismatic The Onion, it was also so clearly dripping with sarcasm and satire, that it was hard not to find something to write. Indecently, the College Board has begun to post free-response questions for this year’s tests, and the ones for the English language exam will be found here. If you’re looking for something good to read, I’d mosey on over there and take a peek at the prompt for the second question, the one that used the piece from The Onion. It’s a great piece of satire.

Hmm, Tuesday, yesterday, was the day for my AP calculus (AB) exam. This test was so-so, since it seems as if some things were very easy and went quite well, and some things were pretty hard or tricky and did not go so well. I’d have to say the non-calculator multiple choice portion of the test was the hardest, because:
I. by the end of the section, I was pretty rushed and did not have quite as much time as I would’ve liked to have to be able to go back to look at questions I skipped over
II. There were just a few questions that I simply had no idea how to do and was forced to leave blank
III. There were a few questions that took quite a bit of time to figure out without the aide of a calculator to do the tedious adding, subtracting or multiplying required

The free-response portion of this test went pretty well, I thought. There was one question that I didn’t quite understand fully, but for the most part, I think I understood what the people who wrote the questions wanted me to. Although I don’t expect to get perfect 9s on any of the questions – well, except for maybe the first one, since it involved areas and rotational volumes and seemed really easy – I do think that I will pick up an adequate amount of points here and there. Since this test was so dependent on "indicating correct units," there will likely be at least a couple of points awarded just for coming up with the correct ones. And that’s always a good thing, since the College Board, when awarding points solely for units, doesn’t care what answer you came up with, so long as correct units are tacked onto the end of it.

My next text will be tomorrow; the Advanced Placement German test will begin in the afternoon, likely sometime a little after noon. I hope I enjoy this test, since I’ve been looking forward to it for awhile now. I really like German, and am anxious to find out if I can be one of the few students from the "standard group" (those who have not been in a German-speaking country for more than 4 weeks in their lifetime) to receive a 5.

My next AP tests after German will be the ones for microeconomics and macroeconomics. These, too, should also be interesting tests, since I don’t really think they’ll be too hard, but you never do know what will happen. Needless to say, I really should study this weekend. Hopefully the weather will be less-than-ideal this weekend, as I wouldn’t want beautiful, sunny skies to lure me into spending time outside (away from my studies).


Blogger P "N" K said...

I concur, those lang essay questions were great stuff!

Fri May 06, 12:17:00 AM CDT  
Blogger Kaila said...

those who were in german speaking countries are still included in the over-all scoring of the test, so they can "throw-off" the ap scores,but yeah, I would like to know how I compair to the rest of the nation.


Sun May 08, 01:22:00 AM CDT  

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Mitch's Blog began on December 23, 2001