NT Sophomore Geography students opt to take AP test

Though Geography is not an AP class, curriculum prepares students for the test

Some sophomores have started to study for the approaching AP tests, despite the fact that New Trier does not offer AP classes until junior year.

The AP geography test is particularly popular with sophomores since the geography class matches up with the AP Human Geography curriculum.

Geography Teacher Ian Duell said “We let the kids know upfront very early on in the year that the curriculum is very similar to the AP human geography curriculum and that we strongly encourage them to take the exam and the majority of the kids do because a lot of the material crosses over.”

While the geography class does not teach everything on the test, they provide supplemental readings and outside review to help prepare students for it.

Duell added that “We have a unique opportunity as teachers. We are not beholden to the exam like other AP courses are where it is an expectation that you teach the AP curriculum. If we do go off of the AP topics, which we all do, we feel confident that along with the textbook and supplemental readings that we give, and the material that we cover in class, that they will be well prepared for the exam.”

Although geography does cover the same material as AP geography classes do, the class is not centered around test review, and the majority of the preparation is done outside of


Sophomore Morgan Fagan said the class does not review specifically for the AP test because it’s not an AP class and not everyone in the class is taking the AP test.

“All the units we have covered and the one we are currently covering contains information we need to know for the AP test.”

The studying is mostly done at home, but teachers do host review sessions to help students prepare for the test.

Junior Beth Fisher said “My teacher gave out a bunch of study guides, practice questions, and key vocabulary for each unit. We mostly completed and studied these at home

but our teacher was available to answer questions mostly outside of class time.”

For the majority of the sophomores, the geography test is their first AP test, and so many students choose to prepare for it.Junior Camille Scrine said “I prepared for the test by making flashcards for every term, as well as looking through all of my in-class notes and assignments. I started preparing a few weeks in advance, and found that really helpful in limiting my stress level and avoiding last minute cramming.”

Some feel that sophomore year is too early to start AP testing, but there may be benefits to taking the AP geography test.

Duell said he thinks [the test]  gives students the reality of what the AP program is like and what to expect from AP classes going forward.

“It gives students one more opportunity to potentially get college credit because some colleges will either give them credit, or they will waive a certain requirement.”