The Octagon will be running Q&A’s with students taking AP exams over the course of the next two weeks, May 4-15. AP exams, which are more than three hours long, are graded on a scale of 1-5 (5 is the highest.) Exams include a multiple-choice section and a free-response section. Junior Jag Lally took the AP United States History exam on Friday, May 8.

Q: How was the exam?

A: It was not bad at all; I think it went well. We were really well prepared, and we knew what we were getting into. I tried to work as efficiently as possible and use my time as best as I could. You have to make sure you aren’t wasting time; for example, the multiple-choice section is 55 minutes and 55 questions. So one minute per question. I thought personally the multiple choice was more difficult than the short answer but it was still fairly doable. The DBQ (Document-Based Question) was the most difficult part, and I expected that to be the most difficult, so I was prepared for that.

Q: How did you feel before the exam started?

A: I was excited. I was excited to take it (because) it was my last AP and it was fun.

Q: What were the easiest and hardest parts of the exam?

A: The easiest part was the short answer, then the multiple choice, then the essay. And the hardest was the DBQ.

Q: How long did you study?

A: Well, we’ve been studying for the past week with (teacher) Ms. (Sue) Nellis. And we had a review session on Saturday at her house. I didn’t do too much studying. I got a lot of rest and I felt really well prepared.

Q: How did you study for the exam?

A: My method of studying was looking over the study guide notes and using the website Gilderlehrman. (Gilderlehrman) gave a nice summary of each section and unit. It went over units one through nine and gave a summary that I thought was great.

Q: Were the review days with Ms. Nellis helpful?

A: Oh yes, definitely. The most helpful thing was taking the practice multiple-choice AP section. I felt really good after I took that because I got a good score and it made me feel reassured. And it gave me a good idea on what (I needed) to study.

Q: How do you think you did?

A: I think I did really well. I feel like I got a 5, but we’ll see.

Q: Do you have any advice for future APUSH students?

A: Yeah. I think paying attention to what Ms. Nellis is saying and self-assessing is important because AP goes over a lot of things, so it’s good to have an understanding of everything. And (also) knowing small ideas because they back up bigger ideas.

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