AP Exams: Student Reactions

This past week, students from all grades took Advanced Placement (AP) exams reaching a wide range of subjects including math, science, and foreign languages. Most students reported a positive experience in terms of Andover’s accommodation for the exams and expressed relief at having completed the difficult task. 

Elise Zhang ’26 (AP Chinese Language and Culture):  

Overall I think it went pretty good, considering I was unable to finish the exam because of a technical difficulty. They rescheduled the AP to be this coming Thursday. I actually think that the technical difficulty was an opportunity for me to study more. In the week leading up to the exam, I didn’t really spend that much time studying, and just crammed until 2 a.m. the night before the exam.”

Molly Mackinnon ’24 (AP Chemistry): 

“I didn’t prepare a ton for it in advance. I did it more for the experience, and after taking Chemistry 580, I thought I’d be more prepared for the test. The test questions I took were more straightforward than the tests in Chemistry 580. They released the tests from the last few years, specifically the free response questions from the AP website, so I did those. Then we did some multiple choice questions in class to practice.”

McKenzie Williams ’24 (AP Biology, AP Calculus BC): 

They went really well. The Math 590 department did an excellent job of preparing us for the test. Of course there were a few things I could have done better in the days leading up to it, but I think I went in there very confident. Because I had worked so hard [to prepare], it wasn’t very hard to see myself getting a really good result from that test.”

Wooba Song ’26 (AP Chemistry, AP Music Theory): 

For AP Chemistry, it was a new experience so I had a little bit of trouble with time management, but I think overall it went pretty well. For music theory, there were a lot less people and I was more familiar with them and the test format so that went a lot smoother. Even though some of the classes here don’t cover the entirety of the AP material, a lot of the teachers put in their own effort to prepare for it, and I think that’s a really good thing for the students.

Russell Robinson ’25 (AP Calculus BC, AP Physics C: Mechanics, AP Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism):  

I think they went alright because I know there’s a pretty huge curve… which is pretty nice. I know I messed up in a few places upon reconsideration especially in math I think… For both of the physics tests I would just go over all my problems, homework questions, read the textbook over again, see what I don’t understand, look through my notes, and continuously do the past AP exams.” 

Helios Hong ’25 (AP Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism):  

I think the multiple choice section was easier than previous years, and the free response section was pretty difficult. For me, I finished the [Physics 550] sequence in the fall. I had to restudy for the AP so it was a little difficult. I think [my preparation process] was a little different this year because last year it was all concurrent with the classes I took. There were also three of them [last year], so I had to prepare a little more. This year it was a little lighter, but I had to re-study everything in Physics 553 and 554, so it was a little difficult.

Claire Wang ’26 (AP Chemistry, AP Calculus BC, AP Music Theory):

At first, over spring break I just took some review books and did them, but I realized it just became a lot, especially to balance with schoolwork, so I decided that I would take it for fun. I wasn’t going to not take it because you miss all the chances you don’t shoot, but I just decided to let go and take it no pressure and see where I’m at. A lot of the courses that are ‘APs’ don’t really cover everything on the APs and you’re not going into as much depth as needed. It requires a lot of self studying.”  

Mario Calvo ’24 (AP Calculus BC, AP Physics C: Mechanics):  

“I would say both of [the tests] went pretty well. Personally I think BC Calculus probably went a little bit better. It was a more comfortable test in my opinion, and I think it’s because we did a lot of good preparation in our math class specifically, so I think that helped me a lot. For physics, I think I went into the class pretty prepared. We also did a lot of preparation within the class itself. I just think the test itself was a lot harder than I thought it was going to be.”