Meridian High School Student Newspaper - The Lasso

The Lasso

Meridian High School Student Newspaper - The Lasso

The Lasso

Meridian High School Student Newspaper - The Lasso

The Lasso

Turn AP Gov into AP love: An AP Government survival guide

Not+only+will+students+learn+about+the+House+and+Senate+wings+of+the+capital%2C+but+also+the+election+processes.+%28Photo+via+Rawpixel%29 / Carol M Highsmith
Not only will students learn about the House and Senate wings of the capital, but also the election processes. (Photo via Rawpixel)

As most students are aware, AP US Government and Politics (AP Gov) is not an easy course. There is a lot of student-driven effort and memorization needed to be successful, and with the start of the second quarter, assignments escalate in difficulty. As an AP Gov alumni myself, I feel it is my civic duty to lend advice to both current and future generations of students.

To begin this survival guide, I turned to my AP Gov teacher, Ms. Kelly Hill. Ms. Hill is one of two AP Gov teachers who are impressively knowledgeable in how the electoral college works. She has been a teacher at Meridian for three years, and with her years of experience, has some of her own advice to give.

“Do test corrections, because the second quarter has started and for those students that didn’t do test corrections in the first quarter, and now are on the cusp of a B+ plus or a C+, and they’re like, ‘Oh man, I wish I had taken advantage of that opportunity sooner,’ always do it. Even if you get a good score, it’s always worth it, it always pays off,” she said.

I can fully attest to the fact that test corrections are life saving, and students really should take advantage of them while they can. Once you reach IB level courses in junior and senior year, test corrections will be a  blessing of the past. I can’t even count the number of times where my test grade had improved just because I spent one mustang block in the AP Gov classroom.

“Do your homework too, making sure your notecards are really filled out,” she continued. “Not just definitions, but context, significance, etc.”

During my time in AP Gov, I tried to fill out the required notecards to the best of my ability. Even though they are usually just a completion grade, they really do help with the studying process and everyone should do them. The notecards add up over time and prove to be a great resource when studying for the AP exam. In order to create helpful, detailed notecards, students should start writing them as soon as they have the vocab list. On a few occasions, many other students and I struggled because we started making the notecards only a day or two before the test date. The earlier you start writing the notecards, the more time you have to ask your teacher questions, and the more time you have to study and feel prepared.

I would also strongly advise that students utilize the Khan Academy resources. A very good amount of test questions are similar to Khan Academy resources provided for each unit, so it would be a good idea to take a look at those. I almost never looked at Khan Academy, and to this day, still regret it.

Another resource that has truly been a lifesaver (especially when studying for the AP exam) are the Carey LaManna videos. Carey LaManna is a Youtuber who makes videos where he goes very in depth on units and concepts of AP Gov, and his videos are also very short. When students begin to memorize required Supreme Court cases and documents, his videos definitely come in handy. More importantly, he also goes through the processes of writing the FRQ (free response question) and the argumentative essay.

Lastly, (and I feel this is implied) be present in class, pay attention, and take notes. Missing class in AP Gov, or any class for that matter, is not a fun experience. If you do happen to miss a class day, look back at the slides, look at the agenda for that day, and see the teacher to catch up on missing work. It is important to stay on top of your work  as the class moves at a relatively fast pace and IB classes in your future only get faster.

Anyone is capable of surviving (and passing) AP Gov, as long as you are willing to put in the effort. I did have some moments where I was really struggling, however, I managed to pull through to the end and triumphantly complete the AP exam. Taking an AP class my sophomore year helped me prepare for all of the IB classes I’m taking my junior year, as they are relatively similar in workload and pacing. It is also important to remember that since the class is AP, it is on a 5.00 gpa scale instead of a 4.00, so you can end the class with a B and that will be a 4.00 weighted gpa.

“Anyone can do it, like it’s daunting to take an AP class, but anyone should if they’re feeling up to challenging themselves,” said Ms. Hill. “And really if they’re willing to put in the work, anyone can be successful and do really well.”

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About the Contributor
Tessa Kassoff
Tessa Kassoff, Opinions Editor
Tessa is a junior working for The Lasso for her second year. She is insanely excited to be the opinion section editor, and loves her two cats and her dog.