Mock AP Exams Benefit SHS Students 


Kelly Granatino, Staff Writer

As the middle of the school year approaches, teachers and students start thinking ahead to AP exams. Scituate High School offers nineteen Advanced Placement classes in the subjects of foreign language, sciences, history, English, art, and math. 

AP classes appeal to students who are proficient and motivated in a subject and are looking for a challenge. For some AP students, the most important part of their AP experience is the College Board exam, which is typically administered in the month of May during regular school hours. Students strive to earn perfect or close to perfect scores on their exams, which can result in gaining college credits or exemptions from entry-level college courses. 

This year, for the first time ever, SHS students taking any AP math, science, or English classes will have the opportunity to participate in a mock AP exam. This opportunity is available by virtue of SHS’s recent partnership with Mass Insight Education and Research consultants. The exams will be graded by Mass Insight, and students will have their results approximately six weeks after their test dates. 

Liz Grindle, chair of the SHS math department, said she “is excited to offer this experience to SHS students for the first time.” Grindle commented that students can “experience a real testing environment and a real test.” 

Although AP students are not required to take mock exams, they are strongly encouraged to do so. Unlike the real exams in May, mock exams are free-of-charge. The exam format is the same, and students will take the exams in a space dedicated to this purpose. Some Massachusetts high schools administer mock exams on Saturday mornings; however, SHS administrators felt it would be most equitable to offer mock exams on Wednesday mornings during the months of January and February. 

Junior Molly Ryan is enrolled in five AP classes, stating, “they surround me with motivated students looking to succeed academically.” Ryan shared that most of her classes focus their curriculum around exam prep. She is taking the mock AP exams for English and Biology and is hoping they will “help [her} have a better understanding of what the real exams will include.” 

On Wednesday, January 12th, SHS will host its first mock exam for AP Language and Composition students in the SHS library. Juniors Sorina Condon and Grace Dousa are looking forward to the mock exam experience, expecting it will help them “understand what the exam graders are looking for” and “gain insight to what they should prepare for” come the official exam day. 

Students who are taking mock exams should check with their teachers regarding expectations and what to bring to the exam; however, most exams require a black or blue pen, a number two pencil (no mechanical pencils), and a calculator (if applicable). Students will also need to bring their phone and a computer since they will be uploading pictures of their written work. AP Literature and Composition students will take their mock exams electronically and submit their work directly.  

Since the exam period lasts the duration of the morning (several class periods), students are encouraged to bring water and a healthy snack. Although mock exams are being offered on “late-start” Wednesdays, students will need to arrive at approximately 8:00 AM to begin their exams at 8:15 AM. Unlike the May AP exam protocol, SHS students are not permitted to leave the school campus following a mock exam period.