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The May Exam

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bunkymoo
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@aplitstudent123 also reading impromptus has made me see flaws in my work, and maybe give me some ways to improve in my paragraphs. There are also some that I start to notice things that aren't as good, so I stray away from those habits when I am writing the paper myself. Doing practice impromptus has really helped me and made me improve over the past couple months.


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abuzz
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I think it is also important to break down the separate impromptus and look at them individually, for they are all asking for something different. Regarding Q1 (or the poetry question), I would say I feel like I write best when I take a risk with the meaning behind the poem. Using details that may be overlooked and really zooming in on those can make you stand out. I also think it is important to address oppositions in the poem to your thesis to show you are aware of them.


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Jackson Von Habsburg
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something that has been helping me is just looking over the novel that I want to go and read about the day before the novel. so I kinda find my favorite parts of the novel so that I can go and figure out something that I can write about. So this is something which we need to go and look at. something else that I go and do is try and go over some poetry from the old modules and take some more practices tests which would let me know what i need to study 


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wildsalmon
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@abuzz Making sure I have it in my head that I plan on taking risks is a huge thing. It's a way better idea to take a total risk that falls flat than to do something broad and boring, because worst case you get the same score in either without the reward from the risk. It's all about chasing that gut feeling and trying to connect a possible stretch of an idea together.


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TheBoulder
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@abuzz I agree, each type of question requires different method of response. I have also found it really helpful to make an outline each time I do an impromptu. Writing down my points in order makes it much easier to not repeat myself. It also helps me make sure my points actually make sense. If I don't outline my paper I end up writing and writing, sometimes adding irrelevant information, or having nothing to think of.


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abuzz
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@theboulder For all of the Impromptus I always create my thesis sentence first after getting an outline done. This sets a basis for where my paper will go, and tends to keep me on track so there aren't too many ideas where the main point gets lost. When creating my thesis, I tend to take a main idea from a passage or prompt and attach it to some obscurity in the work I am talking about so there is space for creativity and ambiguity. 


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abuzz
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@salmon This is a really good point. Going along with taking a risk, it is always good to get those ideas out and solidified and be short of a conclusion than having a conclusion that is a mere summary. We have been conditioned through our English courses to bring together all of our thoughts at the end, but I am trying to steer away from that now because I have realized how pointless it is. You have said all you need to (in great detail) so going against what we were taught and ending with a new thought is something I am trying to practice more.


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aplitstudent123
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@abuzz This is a great point and I think it is something I personally need to work on. Mr. Chisnell has hit home the idea, like you said, of making conclusions beyond the obvious ones. This will make our papers stand out. I like the way you mentioned focusing on smaller details that are normally overlooked because I think this is a good way to ensure you have a somewhat unique interpretation on the poem. Q1 is probably the one I struggle on most time wise, so I think that it also something I could work on.


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Persephone
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Posted by: @savhoisington

The impromptus at first felt less like practice and more dreadful,

I totally agree with this haha! At the start of the year I used to struggle with the time limit a crazy amount, but now I feel like I can write a solid essay in the time given and maybe even have time for surface level errors. Moreover, I think that confidence really is key like you guys have mentioned, because when I feel like i don't have any confidence I sit and think about what to do about it for awhile, which really drains the clock. 


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aplitstudent123
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@persephone I feel the same way. In the beginning I think I spent too much time planning and trying to decide what I was going to do. so that by the time I actually started writing, my time was very limited. Now, I feel more comfortable with deciding on an idea quickly and just going with it. As I write my introduction, I am able to really form my ideas and decide where my essay will go. I do take a few brief pauses to think, but other than that I remain writing most of the time. Time is super valuable, especially because if you can save some time on one essay, it will give you more time for another. 


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Delphine
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Posted by: @persephone

Hey everyone! With the May exam coming up, I figured it could be helpful to start a thread about things that have helped or not helped us, and maybe even drop some resources to help our fellow classmates!

Starting off, while I first hated writing a bunch of impromptus, I now appreciate them immensely because I feel like I'm a much better writer now. Same goes for the MC practice quizzes, from the start of the year to now I think I went from a 10 point average to a 20 haha. I've also used Kahn Academy, but only a little bit, but it seems promising! What about you guys?

I agree, especially regarding the MC Choice quizzes. They are very tedious and I used to find myself guessing just to get them done. However, as the class progresses, I find they are a very helpful and even interesting resource. I think these are very helpful in preparing for the AP Exam in a way that's not too long and stressful.


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aplitstudent123
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@delphine The MC quizzes are something that I have seen some improvement on, but still struggle with a bit. Does anyone have advice on how they go about that section? I think the timing is the hardest part for me, because when I normally read I take a bit longer to understand what I am reading.


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Delphine
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@aplitstudent123 Definitely! My advice to you would be on the actual exam to skim the reading and go back and search for the answers after. You'll find yourself rereading over and over again anyways, so you might as well save the time on the initial read! This is something I've found really works for me.


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MangoMan
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@username27 right! it took me some time to be 100% ok with what I was writing during something with a time limit but as long as you kept your focus during class, you know what you're doing.  Sometimes even going back and changing what you had is a bad thing because it changes the way something later in your writing sounds.


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TheBoulder
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@aplitstudent123 I struggle a bit more here too, for me I try not to read the answers to the questions before I have my own answer. I will read the question, think of my own opinion, check the text, then try to choose an answer. If I just read the question with the answers, I'll try to reread the text looking specifically for each answer, which wastes time that I don't have. So my advice is to trust your gut with the answers, because you have been practicing for a while, and only look in the text to justify what you think is right, not to try and eliminate the other ones, just takes too much time.


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