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The Current

AP entrance tests just around the corner

History Teacher Jeffery Carrow’s World History X class hard at work. Martin Foster.

With spring approaching at a steady pace, many sophomores and juniors at Bear River prepare for the annual spring assignment, held in the theater, that will be the determinant of whether they are eligible to participate in AP classes during the 2019-20 school year.

With this assignment introduced last year, the staff decided to make this a requirement due to the fact that many students signed up for AP classes for various reasons. These reasons consisted of many things besides the intention to learn, which caused the students to end up doing poorly in the class. Since this method was proven successful last year, the staff decided to assign it again this year. However, the spring assignment is only for history and English classes.

Whitney Lybbert, a junior, expressed her feelings about last year’s spring assignment.

“I found that the spring assignment last year wasn’t too difficult,” she said. “For both history and English, the assignment was to write a 45 minute essay, and for the history essay, we were given the prompt beforehand, which really helped me prepare.”

Fellow Junior Grace Billingsley also shared her thoughts.

“Well, there are different ones for different classes,” she said. “I thought for the most part they were pretty good, like, for English, we did an essay, and we also did an essay for history. I think they were both pretty good at narrowing down kids, because we had ninety kids for history and we narrowed it down to forty.”

Social Studies teacher, Jeffrey Carrow, shared how he felt about the spring assignment last year.

“I think the spring assignment went pretty well overall,” he said. “It was our first time doing it, so a lot of people were a little bit like, ‘Really? We have to do this?’ … We just wanted to tighten up the requirements for getting into AP classes, because we felt like people who were going into AP classes weren’t completely ready for the type of rigor that is involved … People that really wanted to be in AP classes came to the Bruin Times and did the essays, so I think it went fine.”

He proceeded to explain his thoughts toward this year’s assignment from a history standpoint.

“I think it’s going to be okay, because the AP U.S. is at one section, and so is AP Gov, so I think that group is going to naturally feed into AP Gov,” he said. “Of course, you can still get into AP Gov if you weren’t in APUSH … it will be very similar to last year.”

Billingsley described how she feels about this year’s English spring assignment.

“I’m not really worried about it,” she said. “I wish we didn’t have to do it, but I definitely see the importance, because there are some kids that want to do it but don’t see the amount of work they’re getting into … It’s a little bit of an inconvenience, but it’s just one Bruin Time, so it’s worth it long-term.”

Lybbert explained whether or not she believed this assignment was effective.

“I do believe that the method is effective, because it helps pick out students who are more likely to follow through with work in an AP class,” she said.

Another junior, Caleb Lowry, agreed with this statement.

“The assignment is a great way to understand which people are prepared for the classes in the upcoming year,” he said.

Mr. Carrow also reflected on the effectiveness.

“I feel some sort of … assessment to get into those sort of classes is important,” he said. “It was just so random before that, and now we’re saying, ‘If you want to be an AP student, you have to show the commitment by writing these essays and take part in these assignments and activities to show us that you are motivated and ready and capable.’”

A few students noted whether this altered their enthusiasm toward taking an AP class.

“I found that it also helped with my enthusiasm towards the classes, because it helped me to know what to expect in the following year,” said Lybbert.

“No [it did not change my enthusiasm]; the assignment is normally not very time consuming,” said Lowry. “[It’s] typically a Bruin Time or two, because teachers realize that you have other classes that you are still trying to complete.”

“[It doesn’t] really [alter my enthusiasm], because I know any AP class I take is going to be a lot of work, so doing this is just one extra thing; it doesn’t really make a difference,” said Billingsley.

Mr. Carrow had one more thing to add.

“We’re just going to run it out again and … make sure the people who really want to be in the AP classes are ready for them,” he said.

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AP entrance tests just around the corner