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After AP’s, what next?

After tests, students are offered creativity, choice

Mary-Joy Sidhom, Longform Editor

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Today is the day: the last day of AP Exams. Finally, after squeezing a 10-month curriculum into 9 months, students have reached the climax of their course. However, the year is far from over. While some high schools finish in late May, WHS ends in late June, so AP courses continue for a month after the exam.

During this month, AP courses give students the opportunity to apply the material they have learned to a final project. For example, students in AP Biology dissect a fetal pig, students in AP Literature and AP Language tackle the senior project, and students in AP Government complete either an internship or paper.

But one big question remains: How are students’ attitudes after the exam?

AP Chemistry Teacher Dr. Lou Casagrande said he notices a shift in his students’ attitudes, especially with his seniors. “They don’t want to do as much work, but we push them,” he said.

Students have not denied this change in attitude, either. “I think this is a common attitude—a lot of people are checking out in the class,” junior Charlotte Clausen said.

Junior Sara Shen agreed. “I just don’t care anymore,” she said. “After the AP Exam, I’m done. It’s time to relax.”

However, the teachers have assignments for their students to keep them occupied. AP Language students take on the senior project.

“By definition, the students need to complete their senior project to graduate. They’re incentivized to care about the senior project,” said Ms. Kim Gosen-Fowler, AP Language teacher. “Their senior project presentation becomes their exam grade, so they don’t take a final exam and that process helps them stay engaged in their work.”

Gosen-Fowler also said that since the project is something that they have chosen, the students feel empowered to work hard.

AP Biology Teacher Mr. Stephen Boyle agreed with the importance of student engagement, saying that students look forward to the pig dissection because it brings together all the body systems they have been learning about all year. “If you work on a project or activity that is intrinsically interesting, then the students themselves will stay interested,” Boyle said.

Some students have confirmed that they like the courses they are enrolled in and will continue to work hard for the next month.

Junior Ryan Heffernan, who takes AP Computer Science, sees no let-up in his work ethic. “I think it’s going to stay the same,” he said. “I genuinely enjoy the subject matter, so I don’t plan on just quitting.”

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