I’m done with AP Biology! I still have the final exam for my actual class, but I don’t have any more assignments to do and the CollegeBoard exam is done and over with, and I am SO happy about that.
It. Was. Difficult. I only had the 2013 test to practice on as an official test, and that one was so much easier compared to today’s! (I was able to get all of the 2013-2016 FRQs and the scoring guidelines from the CollegeBoard website, though.) Compared to the 2013 official test, this one dealt more with technical stuff (like cell cycles) than with ecological stuff (like symbiosis). I answered the first question confidently, proceeded on to the second question, and then sighed in exasperation at myself. The multiple choice question was a bit iffy (I felt like it was a 75%-80%, honestly), but I really enjoyed the FRQs! Yes, they were difficult, but they were also very interesting and I liked getting to weave and craft my answers a bit—they don’t care about your writing skills (this isn’t AP English!), but it’s something that brings me joy. I spent way, way, way too much time on the first FRQ (about thirty minutes), but I got to all of the questions (both multiple choice and free response) and had plenty of time left to go over my answers and change them if need be.
This happened last year too; I loved the writing portions in AP English Language and Composition and AP United States History! But I did feel more confident on my multiple choice sections last year; I left the testing area very sure of myself. This time, I was a bit hesitant and nervous walking out, but I don’t want to just say that science is not my strong suit and reject the whole thing entirely because of that. I did my best, I studied hard, and that’s all that matters! If they release the FRQs in two days, I’ll write up another post about that section on Sunday.
Before the Exam
I’d packed everything I needed (calculator, pencils, pens, erasers, ID) and set aside my clothes for the day the night before; I woke up at 6:10 AM and sat in my bed reading Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell (one of my go-to authors and books for relaxation). I changed into my clothes at around 6:30 AM and headed downstairs to go through my social media and watch some last-minute Bozeman Science videos before eating breakfast (my mom almost always cooks every single meal—it’s Taiwanese culture), which was eggs, bacon, and oatmeal. Afterwards, I brushed my teeth, washed my face, threw on my contacts (not literally), grabbed my bag, and was out the door. I arrived at the testing center (a local Jewish private school) at around 7:30 AM and loitered around the testing room with my sister. We finally went in at around 8:00 AM; our proctor was very young, looked like a younger version of Bradley Cooper, and wasn’t too casual nor too serious. I think there were ten to twelve of us in total, and after going through all of the bubble filling and speech listening, we started at around 8:15 AM. After the multiple choice section, we took a ten-minute break and started the free-response section. We ended at around 11:45 AM and drove back home to quickly grab our lunches (cooked by mom, again) and our choir folders; we hopped back into the car to head to choir practice.
After the Exam
My sister was extremely tired and didn’t eat lunch; she slept the way to choir instead. Meanwhile, I was wide awake and gobbled down my lunch in ten minutes flat; I like being busy 24/7, and by the time choir was over, I’d almost completely forgotten about AP Biology (which was great). Being with others takes my stress away, so I was elated that choir was right after testing.
One of my favorite parts about standardized tests (other than seeing how I rank, crazy, I know) is logging on to Tumblr and seeing how others fared; it’s a sense of camaraderie and belonging to a community, I guess. (Wow, my extroversion is really showing!) Hilarious memes by those who declare their lack of knowledge abound on Tumblr, but there are also the serious and dedicated “studyblrs” that have blogs dedicated to schoolwork and studying—I think there’s a good balance of the two. For example, there’s ones that say:
“much like the sum of p and q, my score will also be one.” – camp-halph-blood
“It’s called AP Bio because after the first question, I was like ‘bye-o’ to my future.” – turn-to-page-9-and-3-4ths
But there’s also ones that say:
“AP Exams Start Tomorrow! I wish everyone good luck and if you don’t make a 5, that’s fine! You tried your hardest and that’s all that matters, but strive for excellence! I believe in you!” – alectus-hive-mind
“I think this really needs to be said to all the high schoolers freaking out about AP exams, SAT scores, and ACT scores. Hell, even to those who are applying/applied to colleges or other things. The number that you end up reading off the collegeboard site does not determine your worth. The number that you end up reading off the collegeboard site does not determine how smart you are. The number that you end up reading off the collegeboard site does not determine your future. Only you, as a person, can determine that. I know it’s hard, I’m still in high school too. But I think you guys need to, have to, know that even if you get all A’s and a 1450+ (or 2200+) on the SAT that it doesn’t automatically guarantee you a job. You could end up going to Stanford, MIT, or Harvard but end up in a bad place. The school you end up going to doesn’t necessarily grant you a job either. Okay, yes, it makes it a little bit easier but either way, you’re going to have to work hard for everything to get where you want. All of you are so much more important than some score or letter grade. Y’all are gonna do great, as long as you have the passion and drive to work for it. Having straight A’s and perfect scores does not mean you will survive in the real world. Now, this isn’t a way to make you feel better or myself (since I’m not a straight A student either) about all of this because honestly it’s all so true.
Good luck on your AP exams and everything else though. 🙂 You guys got this.” – thestarsintheknight
I absolutely love both types of blogs on Tumblr! We’re all in this together, no matter what, and that’s something my little extroverted heart loves. (Plus, there’s a little bit of rebellion as we hint at multiple-choice questions and FRQs, haha.)
What Happens Now?
Now, I have Latin, Prepworks SAT, Introductory Astronomy, and my final AP Biology class exam; the classes I study at home (without an outside teacher) are chemistry and calculus, which I now have to double down on because I don’t have anything else. My Creative Writing class ended today as well, and my final grade is expected to come in by the end of May! I’m going to start writing fiction again (I took a break for AP Biology studying) and learning Japanese (I reached the peak at my local community college after three semesters). I still have a graded exam for Cecchetti ballet, and intensive classes are going to start in June; the exam is on June 23rd. I’m also going to pick up the slack and start practicing my ukulele again.
AP exam results come out in July!
To all those that participate in AP testing, good luck, good job, and relax! You did your best, and after taking the test, there’s nothing you can do to change your score. Treat yourself, you deserve it!
With that, I’m signing off! See you on Sunday!