Junior English classes prep for AP exam


Cece Giarman

Junior Maggie Walter reviews an example passage from a past AP English Language and Composition exam. Walter will take the exam on Wednesday, May 16 with the rest of the IB and Honors English III Convent & Stuart Hall students.

Cece Giarman, Editor-in-Chief

WEB EXCLUSIVE As students enrolled in Advanced Placement classes use their final classes for last minute studying for exams, a majority of juniors used their English class time to begin preparation for the AP English Language and Composition exam they will take next Wednesday.

Convent & Stuart Hall does not currently offer an AP English Language and Composition course but requires that all junior IB and Honors English III students take the exam. The exam is also available to any students who want to take it who are not in the IB or honors classes.

“The rationale for the test is to simply get some data and see if our curriculum provides the skills students need to be successful on an AP exam, even if they’re not taking a class,” English teacher Julia Arce, who teaches all juniors, said. “Another rationale is that the test allows juniors to simulate an English standardized exam in preparation for either an AP Literature or an IB exam later in their senior year.”

Juniors spent their last English class periods looking at example test questions, high-scoring essays, taking mock multiple-choice sections, and discussing the power of rhetoric, according to IB junior Sophie Mack.   

“We’ve been going over exercises and reviewing persuasive writing, such as the usefulness of understanding pathos, logos and ethos,” Mack said. “Since I am not taking the AP course, the classes we spend preparing for the exam will really make a difference in how I do on the test.”

The AP English Language and Composition is split into a multiple choice section and writing section comprised of three essays: a synthesis essay, a rhetorical essay, and an argumentative essay. The exam tests comprehension skills in nonfiction writing, unlike the AP English Literature exam which solely focuses on fictional pieces.

“Ever since we started looking at the example passages I have felt less anxious about the exam,” junior Worth Taylor said. “I now know what to expect and feel much more confident in my skills.”

Juniors will start the three-hour and fifteen-minute exam at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, May 16 along with the Stuart Hall students.

“We are definitely going over everything very quickly and it’s not my expectation that the students know everything,” Arce said. “I’m hoping this preparation will alleviate stress and I know the students are more prepared than they believed from analyzing fiction this year in class.”