A Look into AP Lang


AP Lang students at work.

Stella W. '19, Reporter

Over the month of May, hundreds of thousands of students settled into their desks in testing rooms across the world to take Advanced Placement examinations, or APs for short. One of these tests, AP English Language and Composition (AP Lang), left students with hand cramps and senses of achievement. Taken on May 16th by Padua and global students alike, the AP Lang exam was a chance for both college credit and personal advancement.

The exam is no easy task, and students know this first-hand. For many, the multiple choice portion of the exam was the major issue to tackle. “I found the multiple choice challenging when we had to interpret old passages,” says Zehra Mahmud. “With practice, I got better at it so I was able to do them more quickly and not waste any time.” For Catherine Hogan, time management was the biggest problem. “I had a decent amount of questions left for the multiple choice, so I didn’t really manage my time very well,” she says. “I thought I had more time than I did.”

Students agree that the class offered opportunities for improving writing and analytical skills. “I liked the class discussions when we analyzed stuff because helped me gain different perspectives on how to attack prompts,” says Lauren Mottel. Hogan agrees, saying, “I became more comfortable with my writing and writing under time restraints, which really prepared me for the exam.” Mahmud’s priorities lie in a different place: “The memes following the exam are good!”

For Mr. Beno, the current AP Lang teacher at Padua, the class and exam offer students with a challenging yet rewarding opportunity to improve in many areas. “Any student in Lang knows how to write, but the rhetorical structure, synthesis, and honing in on certain types of writing that you use in college is very important,” he says. However, he recognizes that the buildup to the exam is often stressful for students. “The struggles of an AP class in general are that you sort of prepare for a marathon but the test is a three hour sprint,” he says. “You don’t know the questions beforehand, you learn enough to get done what needs to get done but the preparation and the actual test feels rushed.”

When asked about advice for future students, students agree that practicing time management is vital. “You have two hours and 15 minutes to write three whole essays, and it’s on your own time,” says Mottel. Addressing these time constraints, she believes that keeping an open mind is necessary. “Be open-minded when approaching prompts, so don’t get too settled on any one idea and get yourself stuck,” she says.