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The Student News Site of Foothill Technology High School

The Foothill Dragon Press

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The experiences of students through AP tests

Lauren Kaller
As advance placement (AP) exams come to a close after two weeks, students begin to feel a sense of relief and can now relax as all of their hard work has paid off. For Foothill Technology High School (Foothill Tech) all AP testing occurred at Ventura College’s Wright Event Center and many students had to get there at an early time to take their exam, filling the sides of the streets with cars.

As the end of the school year nears, advanced placement (AP) exams began on May 5, 2024. With the AP tests ending, students at Foothill Technology High School (Foothill Tech) attempted to prepare as much as they could before their tests to get the highest score they could. The assessments took place at Ventura College, across the street from Foothill Tech, where it is hosted in the Wright Library, also known as the testing room.

Exams can take place at any point in the day, meaning some students will miss class to take their AP test. The only exception for this is the AP art exam in which a portfolio is submitted instead of taking an in-person test.

Many students take multiple AP exams each year and often times they have to take two exams on one day. Here is a schedule of the 2024 AP exams over the course of two weeks. (Lauren Kaller)

Ryan Alderman ‘25 said,  “A lot of people did [their art portfolios] in class so they only had an hour and a half … and I messed with it at home so it wasn’t stressful for me because I had a year to do 15 pieces.” 

When Foothill Tech students take in-person AP exams, they arrive at the Wright Library and are told to put away their phone and are placed at every other desk so there is no chance of them cheating. Once that happens they are given their test, with proctors managing the exams, then eventually the students finish the assessment with testing hours varying. 

Aditi Shanbhag ‘25 said “I think the anticipation of the AP test was mostly stressful for me. By the time it got closer to the actual test I wasn’t feeling as nervous … But I think just knowing that it was coming up and there was so much I had to review was pretty stressful.”

Shanbhag added, “I think by the time I got to the actual test I was pretty confident going into it … I’m hoping for a score that accurately reflects the work I put in because I put in a lot of work throughout the year and devoted a lot of time to it.” 

Sofia Vega ‘26 stated “Leading up to it, it was stressful because I didn’t know what to expect but I think it was easier for me because I’m a native [Spanish] speaker and Profe [Alberto Ortiz] did a really good job in preparing us so it wasn’t as stressful as I thought.”

Vega added, “Profe would give us these papers and they were different sections, so its reading comprehension, listening comprehension and everything was timed …  so I would say him just being patient with us going through the steps of what we need to know what really helped us prepare.”

The students of Foothill Tech described their experience of taking the AP test as stressful in certain areas compared to other areas. For some students, the exam itself wasn’t the most stressful part of the AP test, it was the preparation and how much they had to review just to know all the information that they would be tested on. Since it’s a college-level test, there is a lot to prepare for in every subject. Thus, what some students worry about isn’t the test itself, but what leads up to the test. 

The one thing I do have to change in the curriculum is showing them sample questions in the style that the college board is going to ask them in the AP test.”

— John Weldele, AP Physics Teacher

Student preparation takes place in and out of the classroom, in which the teachers try to prepare them as much as they can with the subjects that will be seen on the test to give them the best opportunity to pass the exam. The teachers also have to base some of what they are teaching on the AP test subjects, in which the teachers have to make sure students are  learning the right material and preparing the right way so they are familiar with the format of the actual test.

At the end of the day, many students have deemed their experience with AP testing exhausting and stressful. As AP testing comes to a close, Dragons walk away with lighter shoulders and the hope that they did enough, with the anticipation of receiving a score that reflects how hard they have worked.

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About the Contributors
Aubrey Alderman
Aubrey Alderman, Reporter
First-year news reporter.
Lauren Kaller
Lauren Kaller, Photographer
6'4" baller. 

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