Connections: Linking Talented Educators
Connections: Linking Talented Educators

Helping Students Ace AP Exams

July 23, 2020

AP collage2

College-level Advanced Placement (AP) classes are among the most difficult courses high school students take. AP exams are long, intense and nerve-wracking, but passing scores equal college credit, so the stakes are high. We asked four Milken Educators whose students routinely outperform state and national averages on AP exams to share some of their strategies for success in the short videos below.


Gina Benz (SD '15)

Every week, Gina has her students at Roosevelt High School in Sioux Falls do timed writing exercises in preparation for the AP English Language and Composition exam. These assignments aren't graded—instead, Gina uses them to build self-evaluation skills.


John Lary (LA '15)

How do you teach high school students how to think? At C.E. Byrd High School in Shreveport, John teaches AP European History and AP Research—but he doesn't focus on memorizing names and dates. Instead, John's students tackle big questions with thoughtful analysis and synthesis of primary sources.


Maria DeBruin (NJ '17)

Maria boosted AP Chemistry scores at Brick Memorial High School by handing out notes ahead of class, recording her lectures and posting them on YouTube, and always assuring students that she believed in them.


Lindsey Bibler (SC '15)

What's the key to helping students shine in AP Calculus? Lindsey creates a supportive community in her classes at South Florence High School, where students work together to reinforce their skills and build their confidence.

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