Unit 1 test grades should be in this weekend.
Since I realize this is the first AP class for many of you, I have a feeling the Unit 1 test (and grades that follow) may come as a bit of a surprise if you're used to getting A's in social studies without putting in the extra work. If you did well though, congrats!
I am making this post to remind you of a few resources and to reflect on what you are expected to do in this class. Here are 5 things to keep in mind:
1. Review your test-taking strategies and practice questions online.
The time limit is a killer on the AP exam. In order to get ready for it, we will have plenty of timed tests. This is a good resource to learn about how to answer the questions better, but keep in mind there is no magic bullet. The best way to do well on these tests is to know the material.
A great resource to study for the test and to practice questions is GetaFive.com. We may even use it this year as we get closer to May 12.
2. You might fail one or two major unit tests. Re-assessments are a thing. Use them.
You can re-assess (or in our case, make corrections and discuss with the teacher) two tests during the semester. It's worth doing for a few reasons: 1.) the tests prepare you for the AP exam in May, and 2.) the tests are a big part of your grade.
Map tests and timeline tests also even out your grade, as well as any projects or mini-projects we might have.
3. The study guide is your friend. The website and blog are, too.
The teacher wants you to do well on the tests, seriously! It's tough, but knowing the study guide well and knowing the terms is a good start. Even better: check the website every day. Read the blog posts and don't ignore what Mr. Fahler mentions before class starts as to new resources you can use to be successful.
4. Staying organized is essential.
SPICE, OPTIC, SOAPSTone, oh my. Seriously though graphic organizers, which we will use more as we move into more detailed information, will come in handy. In addition there are numerous study guides (two of which I recommend in the syllabus) and materials to help online.
If you aren't the type of person who stays organized without nagging, change your habits in order to keep up. Oh, and yes I do expect you to keep notes, handouts, etc. throughout the year as we move closer to May 12. Just because I don't grade you for keeping them doesn't mean I don't expect you to use them as resources in the future.
5. You are undergoing a tough challenge. Keep going!