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The Diary of a Mad AP Student

June 04, 2008

Well, it’s the beginning of May and I can sense the tension of AP exam week in the air. AP exams are pretty important for me because my knowledge of my five AP classes will be put to the test. Literally.

In addition, my performance on these tedious tests can get me out of some basic introductory classes at the . Since UF is so large, I would like to get out of those three-hundred-student freshman seminars. I am aiming for a score of a five— or at least a four— on each of the tests.[Ed. note: AP exams are graded on a 1 to 5 scale, with 5 being the highest].

What can I guarantee in this endeavor? Well, I promise to display stress, “senioritis”, excessive swearing (which I shall keep to myself), exhaustion and finally, anticipation for graduation.

Week One

Saturday, May 4, 2008: It’s the weekend before my first three AP exams. I prefer to call this interval of time “crunch mode”. As a motivated junior last year, I continually ate, slept and studied. But this year, I’m really feeling the effects of senioritis because I am always distracted by , and everything else that doesn’t incorporate the cerebellum, Machiavelli, the antiderivative of cosine or Macbeth. While I may later regret this procrastination, right now I’m too burned out from school to really care.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008: It is the day before my AB calculus AP exam and I’m not studying tonight. But I’m not worried because I took many practice tests in class and performed well on them. At his point, I am as ready as I will ever be for this exam. So, I ate my favorite comfort food (shepherd’s pie) and went to bed at 7:30 p.m. I need a good night’s rest and a clear mind to compute arithmetic properly. Bon chance!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008: I took the calculus exam and it was actually pretty easy. While I found the calculator section of the free response tricky, I was comfortable with the test in general. I am sure that I will earn at least a four, possibly a five. Tomorrow is the literature exam. I’ve always hated the multiple choice section, but like the calculus exam, I can’t really study for this test either. It’s on writing ability and reading comprehension. Hence, I will go over Heart of Darkness, The Loved One and Macbeth for potential essay prompts tomorrow. I don’t feel too much pressure for this exam because I already have the English credits from the language exam last year. I will, however, study a little history and biology tonight.

Thursday, May 8, 2008: Oh dear. I sing at weddings as a part time job and discovered that tonight is the only time for a music rehearsal. Suddenly I wish I’d studied for tomorrow’s European history exam over the weekend. I can’t believe I did this to myself. This is an exam I definitely needed to study for. Since it is in the afternoon, I could cram a little tomorrow morning…but my senioritis continues to haunt me. Well, maybe I should take the pressure off my shoulders because I already have credits for United States History. Luckily, the apathy from senioritis prevents me from a sense of panic. Oh well, I guess I should start brewing some coffee. Tonight is an all-nighter. Next week is biology and Latin: Vergil.

Week Two

When I left off, I was brewing coffee while scanning over the Napoleonic Code. But when I got to the refrigerator, I realized there was no more coffee creamer. Perfect. The nasty black coffee reflects my current mood: bitterness.

Friday, May 9, 2008: I went to bed around 3 o’clock this morning and woke up around eight. My head is spinning as I try to remember different pieces of legislation, famous kings and philosophers. After reviewing my notes and AP review book, I can no longer decipher the meaning of sentences. I am accustomed to an all-nighter here or there for a test, but cramming for an exam is different. Exams cover a broader array of material. I stopped at half past 10. I ate breakfast and prepared for school.

After the exam, I felt ambivalent. I did my best on the multiple choice section and knew how to answer the essay questions, but I, the fatigued and burnt out procrastinator, felt pressed for time because I couldn’t concentrate. My last essay was not one of my best. Oh well. It’s over now. Exhausted, I went to bed at 6 p.m.

Sunday, May 11, 2008: This weekend, I woke up early to continue studying for biology and made sure that my distracting computer was turned off and unreachable. However, I went to school for a last minute lab review today. One essay on the AP always covers a lab and my teacher discussed the material to refresh our memories for a potential essay from two to four in the afternoon. While I was hoping to do all of my studying before the lab, I still had a ways to go for review. Oh, well. I either know the material or I don’t. At nine in the evening, I just watched Desperate Housewives and went to bed.

Monday, May 12, 2008: I liked the AP biology exam. While I could have reviewed earlier for a more thorough study, I think I did fine. After the exam, I went directly to the doctor’s office to receive my immunizations for college. After cringing from one injection, I went home, ate a wonderful piece of strawberry-rhubarb pie and took a nap. Afterwards, I read Joyce’s Araby for pleasure and watched House, one of my favorite shows, without worrying about homework. What a wonderful feeling! However, my throat feels itchy.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008: When I woke up, I discovered that I had a sore throat. Since I was sleep deprived for the last few days, my immune system finally responded. It hurts when I speak or drink a glass of juice and to boot, I have a mind-splitting fever. I’m worried because I need to sing at a wedding on Saturday. On the brighter side, my classes are pure fun periods because we’ve accomplished everything we needed to for the year. In addition, I am exempt from most of my final exams because I took the AP with a high average in each class. As I study for AP Latin, I am contemplating whether I should take the exam because I am not sure if I am really prepared for it.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008: I called in sick today. I have a fever of 102.6 degrees. My mom is taking me to the doctor, but I’m worried about missing the review for my most feared exam, AP Latin: Vergil.

Friday, May 16, 2008: While I pondered whether I should take this exam, I ultimately decided to give it a shot. I’ve studied Latin for four years now and know The Aeneid well. While I hated the multiple choice section, the essays gave me a chance to show my better grasp of translating and analyzing skills. I only need a three on this exam. The week is over. Halleluiah!

When I finally got home at five p.m. on Friday, I took a good look at my reflection in the mirror. My hair resembled a tangled, brown mop, my eyes looked sullen, bloodshot and glassy and my skin looked pale and sickly. Still congested from a miserable cold, I sniffled and blew my nose. Although I may have looked like a genuine train wreck, I happily brewed some spicy ginger tea for my throat and said to myself, “Thank God.” It’s over.


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