Experienced AP student shares insights into courses, exams

Tyler Yakimisky, Co-Editor-In-Chief

  By the time Senior Charles Fladhammer finishes high school, he will have completed every AP class that the Social Studies Department offers.

This list includes AP Human Geography, Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, U.S. History, European History, Psychology and Government.

Fortunately for Fladhammer, the school offers AP exams for all of these courses, so Fladhammer can try to earn college credit for each of these classes.

Given the number of AP classes Fladhammer has taken, he offered some insights into his experiences with AP courses and the exams.

Q: What do you believe the purpose of AP classes serve?

  A: It’s to give you a taste of what the college curriculum is going to be like. There is a lot of higher-level thinking involved with it, and it is very note and reading intensive, so you really have to pay attention and put a lot of effort into studying.

  Q: What do you believe the purpose of AP tests serve?

  A: I believe it is to assess whether you have a firm grasp on the material, and everyone knows you can get college credit if you do well, which can be very beneficial. For some of the colleges I’ve applied to, I have enough AP credits where I can enter as a sophomore.

  Q: Could you give me some schools you’ve applied to and if they’ve honored your AP scores?

  A: University of Alabama, Virginia Tech University, Oklahoma State University, University of Arkansas– too many let’s just say that. Some of them I would be able to enter either as a sophomore or second-semester freshman because of my AP test scores.

Q: Why do you personally take AP tests?

  A: Mostly just to get my gen-ed requirements out of the way for college, so I can focus more on my major. Typically, your gen-ed classes are bigger classes or in lecture halls with 150 or sometimes even 200 students, and I want to get those out of the way as quickly as I can.

Q: How have you prepared for AP tests in the past?

  A: Usually around spring break, I go out and buy the study books, and I start going back and looking at the material I learned throughout the class. I make an effort to go to all of my teachers’ study sessions that they offer, which is really something I recommend to take advantage of.

Q: What are some study tips you have for other students?

  A: I mostly just have simple little tips, which are to get plenty of sleep. It is not worth taking an AP test when you’re exhausted. Eat well before the test, and do the little things– don’t stress about the big things; worry about taking care of yourself.

Q: How well have your AP classes prepared you for that specific AP test?
They have prepared me pretty well. The teachers

courtesy of d120.org
During his sophomore year, Senior Charles Fladhammer received a 5 on the AP U.S. History exam. Those who receive a 5 on an AP exam receive the above yard sign delivered by a school administrator. In this case, Fladhammer was visited by the Director of the Guidance Department Tom Buenik. Fladhammer said, “U.S. history has always been my strong suit, but I think in particular it was because the test was primarily about World War II and the Cold War, which are areas I think I strive in in history.”

have done a good job teaching us the key ideas on the test. Some teachers also may devote entire days to just studying for the test. Doing practice exams and practice DBQs or essays also really helped.

 Q: What was your favorite AP class, and why?

A: Oh, that’s a hard one, but I would probably have to say AP European History. I’m currently taking it, and it’s been a very interesting experience. I have started learning and appreciating things I never thought I would, like art and music. These are all things that I never thought I would be interested in before this class.