College Preparation Guidance A Timeline for Students College is a brave new world, and the unprepared student faces many disadvantages. Most high schools provide some degree of college prep, but being ready for college requires more than a few advanced courses and tutorials on filling out admissions applications. Being ready for college is as much a state of mind, as it is an attained level of education.
Prepare and Practice Writing a good essay requires synthesis of material that cannot be done in the minutes you have during the exam. In the days before the exam, you should: Look at the question from the last exam.
Did the question ask you to apply a theory to historical or contemporary events? Did you have to prove an argument? Imagine yourself in the role of the instructor--what did the instructor emphasize?
What are the big ideas in the course? You may decide to write a summary of each theory you have been discussing, or a short description of the historical or contemporary events you've been studying.
Focus on clarity, conciseness, and understanding the differences between the theories.
Memorize key events, facts, and names. You will have to support your argument with evidence, and this may involve memorizing some key events, or the names of theorists, etc.
Knowledge of the subject matter is only part of the preparation process. You need to spend some time thinking about how to organize your ideas. Let's say the question asks you to compare and contrast what regime theory and hegemonic stability theory would predict about post-cold war nuclear proliferation.
The key components of an answer to this question must include: A definition of the theories A brief description of the issue A comparison of the two theories' predictions A clear and logical contrasting of the theories noting how and why they are different In the exam Many students start writing furiously after scanning the essay question.
Do not do this! Instead, try the following: Perform a "memory dump. Read the questions and instructions carefully. Read over all the questions on the exam. If you simply answer each question as you encounter it, you may give certain information or evidence to one question that is more suitable for another.
Be sure to identify all parts of the question. Formulate a thesis that answers the question. You can use the wording from the question. There is not time for an elaborate introduction, but be sure to introduce the topic, your argument, and how you will support your thesis do this in your first paragraph.
Organize your supporting points. Before you proceed with the body of the essay, write an outline that summarizes your main supporting points.
Check to make sure you are answering all parts of the question. Coherent organization is one of the most important characteristics of a good essay. Make a persuasive argument. Most essays in political science ask you to make some kind of argument. While there are no right answers, there are more and less persuasive answers.
What makes an argument persuasive? A clear point that is being argued a thesis Sufficient evidenct to support that thesis Logical progression of ideas throughout the essay Review your essay.
Take a few minutes to re-read your essay. Correct grammatical mistakes, check to see that you have answered all parts of the question.
Things to Avoid Essay exams can be stressful. You may draw a blank, run out of time, or find that you neglected an important part of the course in studying for the test. Of course, good preparation and time management can help you avoid these negative experiences.As the profession transitioned to the modern mass-education system, the style of examination became fixed, with the stress on standardized papers to be sat by large numbers of students.
AP Exams are in May, but there are other dates to keep in mind. Course materials, exam information, and professional development opportunities for AP teachers and coordinators.
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