Cursory examination

First published

So AP exam day finally rolled around. Everybody and their dog pet1 hates exams because they inevitably mean three things: stress, failure, and aches in parts of your body you didn’t know could ache.2 The only consolation is getting to miss a short period of school during which you weren’t going to do anything anyway, since everyone else is also at the same exam.

Anyway, my first exam was Calculus BC, also known as the thing with all those symbols that look like the letter S. One of the first things I noticed was that whoever compiled the list of tests on the answer sheet has some alphabetization problems. Sure, Calculus BC followed Calculus AB, and that would be perfectly fine if the two weren’t wedged smug between Italian Language and Culture (which comes right after Latin: Vergil) and Music Theory. If these are the people creating the tests, we’ve got a bright future ahead of us. But I did perfectly fine3 on the rest of the exam, thank-you-very-much.

The other exam, which came after a fifteen-minute lunch — you’ve never seen me shake so uncontrollably, I had to drink my can of Sprite that quickly4 — was World History. The multiple-choice questions were easy; in fact, that’s why they give you seventy of them and then knock them around until they’re worth less than five percent of an essay. By the way, the essays were hard. In fact, you might know the process of speed-writing two pages on something you know absolutely nothing about by its other name, making stuff up. It sounds easy to do, sure, but you also have to make it look plausible to a reviewer who probably did the same thing to get into college and therefore knows every tactic in the book. That’s the difficult part.

By the way, I understand that AP exams are serious, but serious makes for boring commentary.

  1. I got complaints from cats. ↩︎

  2. I won’t digress; I’ll only say that I’m not thinking of what you are, you sick, sick person. ↩︎

  3. Perfectly fine means, of course, that I tested horribly but will probably end up ahead because everyone else did just as horribly. ↩︎

  4. Well, I hope. Stalkers creep me out. ↩︎