AP classes grant opportunities to save money

By Michael Stanford

Staff Writer

The day of reckoning has arrived, and AP Psychology teacher Daria Schaffeld’s Room 103 was filled to the brim.

Students are buzzing with anticipation, quizzing each other, and asking Schaffeld question after question to prepare for the May 6, 2013 afternoon exam.

Around 11 a.m., she sends her pupils out to relax before the AP examination they have been working towards all year.

“[Their attitude] should be, ‘We’re ready’,” Schaffeld said, “Not, ‘Holy crap! What’s going to happen?'”

A new batch of AP Psychology students will be among the 920 students taking a total of 1,690 AP exams at Prospect this year between May 5-16.  Although AP students have been preparing for months, as students and teachers recognize the dawn of testing season, review assignments and review sessions are beginning in earnest.

“Now that the test is a month away, the pace is going to pick up,” AP US History and AP European History teacher Craig Bianchi said.  “Everything should be coming together at this time.”

At review sessions, 100 students participate in curriculum-based games, complete worksheets, ask questions and take former AP tests.

While the review sessions are optional and in addition to regular class work, students trust that review sessions will be beneficial to their preparations.

“If teachers are doing a review session for the AP test,” senior Blake Hallman said, “chances are they have been doing this for a while, and they have an idea of what might be on the test.”

Review sessions started the week of April 6, and will continueuntil AP exams are complete.

As the price of each test is $89, Hallman wants to do all that he can to make his financial investment pay off by earning college credit.

“The reality of it is if you’re taking an AP class, you’re planning on going to college,” Hallman said. “If you do well on the AP test then you’re saving thousands of dollars you would otherwise spend on college. Really, the costs don’t matter at all.”

Schaffeld has 93 percent of her students taking the AP Psychology test this year, and she agrees with Hallman about the value of taking the test.

“It’s $89 to potentially save you a couple grand in college credit,” Schaffeld said. “That’s a great bet! I’d take that bet in Vegas!”