After AP exams are administered during the first few weeks of May, there’s often no further material for a teacher to cover. The weeks leading up to the exams can take a lot out of both the students and the instructors, and diving into new material might feel a little overwhelming for everyone involved. So here’s a suggestion—use the remaining weeks to do an exam autopsy and refine your course for the following year.
When I taught SAT classes in college, the instructors would take the exam, too, at the end of each course. We did this so that we could see for ourselves exactly what was tested and refine our curriculum for the course. An AP teacher obviously can’t take the test with her students. But you could get feedback from your students and let them help you do an even better job the next term.
Ask your students to give you honest feedback on how prepared they were for the exams. Let them tell you what kinds of questions appeared, which portions of your course were particularly helpful, and where you might have spent even more time and attention. Once you’ve done an exam autopsy and gotten a sense of what was tested, let your students help you revise your lesson plans and maybe even create updated study guides based on what they’ve just seen on the exam.
Finally, if there was any material your students seem to have struggled with, you can use the remaining class time to cover it without the added stress of an impending test. Yes, the exams will be over, but that doesn’t decrease the value of learning European History or Spanish or Biology (I know I don’t have to sell teachers on that concept, but I’m pointing it out for the students reading this). And if your students will be taking the corresponding Subject Tests in June, they’ll be even better prepared.