01 May 2005

The Test is Coming! The Test is Coming!

It's about this time each year that I start to get nervous. And I'm not even the one who has to take The Test. But this year, I have 21 kids who do. In just over a week, they will face down the AP Biology Exam.

What's at stake? A lot, in some ways. They pay $83 to take the test. Depending upon their score (and the college they attend), they can get credit for their score. Savings on tuition, room, and board can be up to $4000 for one of our state schools. If you're a kid who is going to struggle to pay for college, it's worth your efforts to score well on The Test.

Yes, we've worked hard all year. Yes, we've done all but one of the requisite labs. We've taken a practice test and talked about strategies for multiple choice and free response questions. On Saturday, the kids are coming over to spend the day with me. We'll run the final lab...take a walk on the beach and through the woods to review plants, animals, and taxonomy. We'll eat and play and build up our confidence as best we can.

But I want so much for them to do well. That's why I get nervous. I know they've worked hard. I want them to be rewarded.

I hate that each year when my kids return from The Exam that they look so defeated. We always go to lunch together and try to relax. I do my best to make them feel better about their efforts and to get them to celebrate their accomplishments. Even if they don't "pass" The Test, I always hope that they'll feel like it was worth it just to try.

Anyway, I plan on a lot of tossing and turning the next few nights. I'll be glad when this annual event passes.

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