The Student News Site of Tompkins High School

The Nestline

The Student News Site of Tompkins High School

The Nestline

The Student News Site of Tompkins High School

The Nestline

Best Wing forward: Falcons Prepare for AP Exams


As AP exams draw closer, the determination to acquire college credit hours prompts students to begin studying. Students use a variety of study techniques to increase their confidence of being prepared. Their responsibility to plan ahead and follow through with that plan results in the maximum amount of preparation.

AP classes and exams are designed to challenge students to gain exposure to their future college education. This year AP exams begin on May 7 and last until May 18. Some students take a few AP classes while others take several. Junior Aditya Varma takes five AP courses with one of them being AP U.S. History.

“It is interesting to learn about where America has originated from and to see how an event from the 1800s can have a direct effect in following eras. In my opinion, pairing events up to see how they connect to one another is what makes the subject interesting,” said Varma.

To study for this exam, Varma plans on reading over the material to get everything organized in his mind. However, having the causes of historical events matched to their effects is only a portion of what is required to be prepared for this exam. In order to ensure success in all aspects of the exam, Varma plans on preparing for the writing sections in addition to reviewing the content. Varma’s AP U.S History teacher Jason Gigliotti gives his input on when students should start studying for their AP exams.

“The best time for students to start studying is about four to five weeks prior to their exams. This will give them enough time to slowly go through all of the information, while being able to balance it with other classes,” said Gigliotti.

Junior Tarini Thiagarajan is another student who takes five AP classes, one of them being BC Calculus. She works hard to manage her rigorous course load while making sure she still finds time to spend with friends and family.

“For me, school should never be more important than bonding with friends and relaxing. So I make sure that I get my work done, but I also find time to have fun,” said Thiagarajan.

Thiagarajan has not started studying for the exam because her teacher has a three week in- class review session planned and she prefers to follow her teacher’s schedule instead of starting to study on her own. When she does begin to study, she plans on looking through her notes and reviewing the most recent lessons taught first and lessons taught at the beginning of the year last in order to ensure that she can remember the lessons she may have forgotten.

“Since new Calculus topics build on the previous ones and it requires me to understand the material instead of memorizing it, I do not think studying for this exam will be that hard. I just have to familiarize myself with all the tools I have available to be able to solve the problems,” said Thiagarajan.

To be able to focus all of her attention on studying for any of her exams, Thiagarajan prefers to study alone. One of the methods she uses to study is to talk about concepts out loud, which allows her to re-teach herself the material while also making sure that it stays in her memory. She has her notes on one side of her room and a whiteboard on the other. After thoroughly studying her notes, she walks across her room and writes it on the whiteboard to test how much information she remembers. When she finishes her study session, the whiteboard contains a summary of all of her notes. She then uses this as a study guide. Thiagarajan’s Calculus teacher Lauri Crestani has worked all year to prepare her students for this exam. In addition to being a BC Calculus teacher, Crestani is also the multivariable Calculus teacher and an AP grader.

“Mrs. Crestani makes Calculus seem simple, fun, and easy to understand. I do not like subjects that require me to learn from a textbook. I want learning to be a challenge. What I like about math is that it requires me to think to be able to solve problems in more than one way, which is what makes it challenging,” said Thiagarajan.

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