Media by Aarushi Bute

College Board announces some of their AP exam plans for the 2020-2021 school year.

Q&A: AP Teacher Jocelyn Fretwell Discusses Tips to Students For End-Of-Year AP Exams

With the unusual changes in learning this year, concerns about the scores for the AP end-of-year exam with the College Board are not uncommon. The Messenger asked Jocelyn Fretwell, AP Literature teacher, for some words of wisdom.


Q: What is your focus for this year?

A:Personally, my goal each year is to just help the students become stronger readers and writers. We have students who do not end up taking the exam, so our sole focus can’t be the exam itself; it’s about developing college-level skills. That focus is the same this year. Yes, we prep for the exam, but no matter if a student takes the exam or not, and no matter how well a student does on the exam, what’s most important is student growth. I would hope the administration feels the same way this year or any other “normal” year.”  


Q: Can you give some insight to students on how they can better prepare for the AP exam?

A:Come to class and be engaged. Most of the learning takes place in class with their teachers.  Both virtual students and in-person students must participate in class. The AP teachers (all teachers actually) work so very hard to make valuable lessons for our students, so the students need to show up and participate; that is when they will learn the most.”


Q:  How do you think students will be affected by the quarter and hybrid schedule for the AP exam?

A: “I was worried about the quarter schedule this year as it takes so much time away from learning the material and skills; however, we all adjusted and we will continue to adjust to make this the best learning environment we possibly can for our students. My hopes are that by May, my students who decide to take the exam feel prepared and all of my students see an improvement in their writing and reading skills.”


Q: Can you offer any information on how AP exams may look this year?

A:  “College Board has suggested the students will take a full exam, but who really knows at this point. I am hoping they will give us a more definite answer soon. As to if the exam will be virtual or seated, we don’t know that either.”


Q: Will MHS offer additional services to better prepare students?

A: “Students can always get extra help from their teachers, but I am not aware of any additional services offered at this time.” 


Q: Overall, what is your expectation for students and staff regarding AP testing? 

A: “I expect my students to show up to class ready to learn-to be engaged in the learning. They can expect me to offer them valuable and meaningful lessons that will help them improve their reading and writing. An AP class is a joint effort. Teachers can do their best every day, but if a student is unwilling to put in the work and effort then no gains will be made.”


Q: How are you feeling about this year?

A: “I love teaching AP and this year is no different. It is definitely more challenging, but that doesn’t make getting to know these students and teaching them any less fun. Good luck to all AP students as they continue to prepare for their exams this year!”

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