Student news of Olympia High School

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Student news of Olympia High School

The Olympus

Student news of Olympia High School

The Olympus

The Bachelor, AP edition

CollegeBoard’s infamous AP (Advanced Placement) logo. Photo courtesy of CollegeBoard.

As AP season rapidly approaches, this Bachelor-inspired guide can serve as a snapshot overview of each AP test available at OHS!

Contestant 1: AP Calc (AB and BC)

Straight forward, sets strict boundaries, and loves to play mind games with you. One of the core tests in the AP curriculum, AP Calculus AB and BC are both offered at OHS. Although calculus is an intimidating subject, maybe you’ll warm up to it after taking Mrs. Meaney’s or Mr. Rae’s class! Senior Estelle Marchand says that although she didn’t take the AB test, she “knew [she] could get [her] subscore this year” on the Calc BC test.

Tips, tricks, overview: Princeton Review Prep books, and sheer repetition.

Student tips: Estelle Marchand thought that AP Calc “was easier than Precalculus. Mrs. Meaney is a really good teacher, and the material is pretty straightforward to understand.”

Difficulty rating: 6/10–can be a challenging test, but passing it can mean waiving the college course!

Contestant 2: AP World History

A sophomore’s nightmare–their first love and breakup. A great AP for getting a grip on how AP studying works. The only catch is the insane amount of memorization. 

Tips, tricks, overview: Write SAQs and DBQs until you lose feeling in your fingers!

Student tips: JuneLin McGauly suggests watching videos by Heimler. They’re incredibly helpful, especially for some last-minute cramming.

Difficulty rating: 4/10–although a “starter” AP, don’t underestimate it!

Contestant 3: AP English Composition and Language 

Romantic, sweet, and possibly a bit psycho. This is the test for the students who tried to write their own novels back in middle school. If you like writing for 9 pages straight, this should be your cup of tea. The MCQ is sweet like the SAT, but its FRQ side is quite intense. 

Tips, tricks, overview: Practice a lot of FRQs–write till that hand falls off! Although not required, keeping up on the news and having life experiences and knowledge of the most random things will sometimes provide you an almost unfair advantage on the test.

Anna Peternell advises to “do outside-of-class work, practice essays and tests, ask other teachers to help you practice.”

Difficulty rating: 4/10–unpredictable and time-consuming–one day they’re interested in vertical farming, the next they’re onto poetry!

Contestant 4: AP Statistics

Sharp, overthinking, and deceptive. This exam tests both math and writing skills. Even though the problems are doable, do not take this test lightly!

Tips, tricks, overview: Being proficient with the problem-solving part of this exam and lots of practice with that specific portion boosts confidence and improves speed when solving questions. Also, make sure to be familiar with the formulas. Have a general idea of how each formula works and what each part of the formula does. 

Student tips: Sarisha mentions to “[do] practice problems, speed is really important, the problems themselves aren’t hard.”

Difficulty rating: 8/10–make sure to prepare well for unpredictable FRQs and know how to use your calculator well!

Contestant 5: AP Physics 1

Lofty and slightly condescending. If you have high standards, this is the test for you. Physics will stab you in the back without hesitation as you’re reaching for that sweet, impossible, 5. 

Tips, tricks, overview: Make sure to do plenty of practice FRQs and do the practice exams on AP Classroom! The real exam looks pretty similar. 

Student tips: Estelle mentions that “the test was really hard, but I did better than I thought I was going to, you just need to know your equation sheet and make sure you’re reviewing in a timely manner.” She also mentions being prepared for everything since the test can throw any difficult problem at you. 

Difficulty rating: 10/10–tricky to tell what the test wants you to do sometimes!

Contestant 6: AP Macroeconomics/Microeconomics (two separate tests) 

If you want to be the next Jeff Bezos, this test is for you! Teaches the ins and outs of how to corrupt and exploit people of their money. Study strategies? God, google, and Jacob Clifford. 

Tips, tricks, overview: Follow Jacob Clifford’s study guide as well as videos and go over past exam questions and FRQs.

Student tips: Maneet Bhagat mentioned, “If you’re going to take Econ, make sure you’re really interested in the subject. Also, make sure to get as much practice as you can with the prep books!” 

Difficulty rating: 3/10

Contestant 7: AP Computer Science A

Introverted, intelligent, but convoluted. The start of your no grass-touching journey. If you learn nothing in this class, at least you’ll remember public static void main (String [] args). This test will test everything from logic, math, and ability to somehow write code on paper. Oh and, don’t forget your deodorant!

Tips, tricks, overview: The class relies on a good amount of memorization as well as pure skills. Make sure to review and repeat the vocabulary, Quizlet is the GOAT. Lots of practice is key for this class. As for the FRQs…good luck. 

Student tips: Grace Matsuoka suggests students “check over [their] work a lot because the little mistakes add up!” JuneLin adds that the “FRQs are harder than you think they are.”

Difficulty rating: 8/10 

Contestant 8: AP U.S. Government

Chill, fun, and requires incredible memory. Heals the AP World and APUSH trauma from sophomore and junior years. If you have lost your love for history, this class can change that! Requires a somewhat high degree of memorization, but not as much as APUSH. An overall doable test, that is if you can memorize well. 

Tips, tricks, overview: Since the test is so vocab-based, Quizlet is great for prep work! Schaefer also has a 16-page website full of resources– make sure not to miss his May the Fourth review!

Difficulty rating: 2/10 via Schaefer (“My class prepares you well”)

Contestant 9: AP U.S. History

A familiar face if you’ve already taken AP World History–but 10x the details to memorize. With the recent turn to an online examination, students are finding that taking the test is quite difficult but has its perks when writing free-response questions. 

Tips, tricks, overview: Natasha mentions that APUSH is “easy money.” She explained, Davis provides really good study resources. Read and watch all the materials. If you do study, you’ll probably get a 4 or a 5.” Amelie added, “What you shouldn’t do is not study. If you lock in, you’ll be okay.” 

Difficulty rating: 5/10

Contestant 10: AP Spanish

“It’s a heartbreaker,” says senior Sarisha Suresh. AP Spanish is unique from most AP tests because of its speaking and listening sections. Requiring impeccable grammatical proficiency, near native-speaker speaking skills, and ability to listen to near-non-sensical jargon and being able to eke out a sentence or two are just some of the skills required for this AP subject. Clearly, AP Spanish is one not to toy around with. 

Tips, tricks, overview: Practice lots of AP-style questions! Additionally, make sure to refine your listening and speaking skills to that of a native speaker’s level. 

Difficulty rating: 7/10

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About the Contributors
Sky Lin
Sky Lin, Journalist
Sky Lin is a senior at OHS. She plays cello in the OHS chamber orchestra, is treasurer of Key Club, and teaches piano in her spare time. Sky enjoys spending time with friends and going out to try every boba place in town.
Harshini Saravanan, Journalist
Harshini Saravanan is a senior at Olympia High School and is excited to write for The Olympus! In her free time, she enjoys dancing Bharatanatyam (a traditional South-Indian dance), spending time with friends and family, as well as doing Taekwondo.

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