2018 Nov 21: What is AP?

What Is AP?


The Thanksgiving Holiday is here, and before you know it, St. Nicholas will be making his rounds. This week we have a little food for thought (pun intended) during this week off for Rockdale ISD. Rockdale High School’s Patti Darby is glad to assist our readers in answering the thought provoking question.  What is AP?


For those of you with students in AP (Advanced Placement) classes I’m sure you’ve noticed by now that they are difficult and time consuming to say the least. But do you really know what it takes for your student to be successful? As the current AP Biology teacher at Rockdale High School here are a few of my tips and tricks that I tell my students so that they can be successful and earn that coveted college credit.


  1. The success tangle is real. What I mean is that we all get caught up in extra-curricular activities, homework and life itself. Sometimes that means we get so overwhelmed we can’t seem to find our way to a place of peace. In my class we call that the success tangle. You don’t get to be successful without a few hardships along the way. Helping your student recognize when they are in that success tangle and to ask for help is critical to their success. No one is in this by themselves.
  2. Writing is crucial. On the AP Biology exam there are eight FRQ’s (Free Response Questions). These questions can ask students to simply identify information or have students develop an experiment and calculate the statistical probabilities of their experiment. Having students write in concise and complete sentences is vital to their success on the writing portion of the test. Like with anything, practice makes perfect. The more your student writes, the easier it will be, come test time. 
  3. Vocabulary. Science is essentially a foreign language because of its vocabulary. You can help your student learn key vocabulary terms by making flashcards or utilizing the online program, Quizlet, and quizzing them a few nights a week. Being able to fluently utilize vocabulary will increase not only their test scores but will help their writing as well.

For more tips and tricks on how to help your student earn credit on their AP exam or to see what we’re doing in class, follow us on Twitter @scienceanddarbs.