A student’s story

Preparing for and taking the AP?exams

By SAM R. THOMPSON

Special to the Sun-Gazette

For the last two weeks, students everywhere have been taking a series of tests known as AP exams. The purpose of AP, Advanced Placement, is to measure a student’s level of knowledge on a college level subject on a scale of one to five. The schools have been teaching AP courses all year long and these tests are the students’ time to shine.

Not only are these test scores looked at by colleges for acceptance, but a high enough score on one of the AP Exams can lead to students earning college credits, allowing them to gain credit for a class without ever having to take it in college. This saves students hundreds, even thousands, of dollars and gives them an easier schedule going into college and a great confidence boost.

While the AP Classes and tests come with many benefits, they are also very difficult and students have to work hard and study to earn a passing score. Out of an effort to help these students striving for a five, the Hughesville Area Public Library (HAPL) stepped in and offered a helping hand.

On April 30 and May 7, HAPL opened it’s doors from 5-10 p.m. to students taking the AP tests. Although the library traditionally isn’t open on Sundays, the idea to have a student study session stemmed from Kathy Butler, Hughesville Library director.

“I believe it is very important for our youth to have an area where they can come and focus on their academic work. The library is here to serve the community and our students are one of the biggest parts of it,” Butler said.

Members of the HAPL staff sent flyers to local newspapers and into the high schools in an effort to get the students out studying.

The staff divided the library into three areas for the students. In the community room, tables were set up as a place for students to come in and ask last minute review questions to teachers from Hughesville High School who volunteered part of their weekend to help out.

In the main section of the library, the tables were set up for a quiet study area, providing a spot where students could sit and review in peace before their big exams.

Finally, in the back of the library, the staff invested in bubble wrap and coloring books to provide a stress relief section for students to take a breath and gather their bearings before diving back into the review.

The HAPL staff went to great lengths to make sure students had the best studying opportunity possible, including making cookies, providing beverages, buying pizza and bringing in one of the staff members’ puppy for some stress relief.

Overall, the AP session was a huge success for students and the library. More than 35 students from Hughesville and Montoursville school districts came in to participate in this event and nearly 10 AP qualified teachers from Hughesville High School volunteered their time to come in and help.

“This study session helps us as students feel more comfortable about going in and taking the test and puts in a better position to succeed … and Mrs. Fuller and all the other teachers are amazing for coming in to help,” said Landon Henry, a member of the senior class at Hughesville High School who will be taking the AP Calculus Exam.

Thompson is an 11th grade student at Hughesville High School. Her column is published on the second and last Mondays of each month in the Education section. She can be reached at education@­ sungazette.com.

This will be Thompson’s last column for the summer, as she will be taking the opportunity to travel out of the country. Her readers can find her column again when she returns in August.

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