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Phelan: AP tests could alter movie-viewing plans

Published: Thursday, April 18, 2013 5:30 a.m. CST

(Continued from Page 1)

There’s a new movie version of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby” coming out May 10. Because I’m a huge fan of that book, Leonardo DiCaprio and midnight movie releases, I’m considering going to see it at the first available showing, 12:01 a.m. on May 10.

My mother isn’t so keen on this plan, mainly because she doesn’t like me being out past 10 p.m. on school nights. Another argument of hers is that my Advanced Placement tests are May 14, and she doesn’t want me out late the week beforehand.

Jay Gatsby isn’t the only thing being affected by these tests. Some students are altering their post-prom plans to study for an AP test two days afterward, and – as with most tests – studying for them is causing slight hysteria. If you think that’s a bit of an exaggeration, think again. A friend of mine recently texted me saying, “It’s so hard I can’t even understand the homework; what is this,” with two sad emojis in response to the hard turn our AP French class has taken.

AP French Language is one of the two AP tests I will be taking this year. The test is conveniently scheduled on the same day as AP Government. For anyone who is unfamiliar with the AP program, that will amount to eight hours of near-continuous college level test-taking.

So, why am I willingly submitting myself to eight hours of filling in bubbles and having to record fake French conversations? Because AP tests count for college credits. Most schools will count a score of 4 or a 5 (out of a possible 5) as credit at their college. This means that if you get a good score on AP English, you may be able to “test out,” and not have to take an English credit freshman year. This also means that if you take – and pass – every AP test available to you, you can start college as a sophomore, having gotten general education credits out of the way in high school.

Personally, I will be entering college as a freshman, hopefully with a credit or two under my belt. The AP language tests are notoriously hard, and I think the only thing I’ve really learned in government this semester is the political agenda of the kid who sits in the corner. However, if I don’t take the tests, I know I’ll beat myself up over it later. See, a four on the AP language test gets me eight credits at Saint Mary’s. To minor in a language at SMC, you must have 12 credits. The possibility of getting myself so close to an extra degree is why I’m submitting myself to four hours of testing after four hours of testing. I know that the school has promised us double test-takers a time for lunch, and I would sincerely appreciate it if they arranged for the lunch to be pizza. I know it’ll be tough, but for me and the other high school students who take AP classes and tests, it’ll be worth it.

As long as it doesn’t interfere with me seeing Leonardo DiCaprio in 3-D.

• Courtney Phelan is a senior at Geneva High School. She is an outgoing and energetic young writer who likes to swim, read and participate in general teenage activities. She can be contacted at editorial@kcchronicle.com.

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