Club AP Study Sessions: A Much Needed Reliever for the AP Fever


Nichelle Wong

Synapsis officers present challenging AP Biology concepts for members to review for the AP Biology Exam.

Spring: the season of joy, flowers, allergies, and…AP exams. As pearly blossoms bloom, students worry about their upcoming exams, hoping to receive their desired scores. Luckily for students, clubs are at our rescue! 

Throughout the month of April, clubs at Irvington have all held study events to ease test-takers’ miseries. Their studying methods vary: Synapsis featured easily-understood presentations, while Spark Chinese encouraged more hands-on approaches of having participants themselves present.


Synapsis held their AP Biology study session on Tuesday, April 12 during FLEX in Room 54. Participants engaged with organized presentations with tips and strategies for the exam in diagrams.

“I think one of the best ways to understand hard topics is through visualization. And the diagrams that they drew really helped in being able to understand those parts and pieces of information,” said Mahitha Gollpudi (11), one of the participants preparing for the exam. “As a result, I learned more in-depth about the concepts that we covered, which were photosynthesis and cellular respiration.”

The club first surveyed participants on what they struggled the most with AP Biology, then used that data to determine the meeting’s focus–cellular respiration and photosynthesis. After the thorough presentation, officers called upon participants who had any questions.

This information was entirely presented by Synapsis officers and alumni who had all taken the exam. One of the speakers, Shamita Bhattacharjee (11), self-studied AP Biology, which provided her with valuable experience teaching the subject to peers. 

“Because most of the learning was my own responsibility, it kind of gave me a unique insight into what it’s like to like, learn the material, especially when you’re on your own,” explained Bhattacharjee.

The club concluded its event by providing students with resources for final exam preparation–including study guides and potential study schedules for students. After the event ended, presenters answered any questions participants had–which in future events Synapsis hopes to be answered during the meeting and not after it.

Spark Chinese

To prepare its members for the AP Chinese exam, Spark Chinese Club held its own AP preparation workshop on April 29, 2022. The session’s main focus was on cultural presentations, which are one of the more challenging parts of the exam. Students often struggle with cultural presentations because it tests impromptu speech, which is a hard skill to master when learning a new language.

Spark Chinese club heavily focused its workshop on this section to help attendees with their speaking skills. Jintong Li, the president of Spark Chinese, helped arrange the content for the session, picking specific cultural presentation topics provided by the Collegeboard to test students on. 

During the event, participants grouped themselves and collaborated with each other to deliver two impromptu cultural presentations. Spark Chinese club officers used the official AP scoring guides to evaluate each group’s presentation: task completion, delivery, and language use. Speakers that addressed all aspects of the prompt with full detail, spoke with minimal errors, and showed mastery over the language through using rich vocabulary were awarded high scores. 

“The session was very useful and simulated the AP Chinese exam structure well. It definitely made me feel more confident about taking the exam in May since it was like a practice test,” stated William Ju (10), a speaker at the meeting. 

Spark Chinese distributed donuts to winning groups that had the highest cultural presentation scores. The donuts were a major attraction, causing many students to actively participate throughout the session. However, the high number of attendees at the session also caused some problems for event organizers.

“We weren’t sure which students were actually preparing for the exam as some of them came to our club meeting just for fun. That kind of made it hard for us to focus our attention on groups that really needed our help,” reflected Ronald Li, Vice President of Spark Chinese club. 

In the future, the club hopes to release a poll, asking the students that are taking the exam to prioritize them. Overall, the study session was a huge success and Spark Chinese Club hopes to host many more study sessions for the exam in the future.

Bringing it Back Together

Many other clubs, such as IHS Math club, also hosted their own AP exam review sessions for students. Such sessions not only allow students to prepare for their exams, but also let students have fun while learning. As AP season comes to a close, we wish you all good luck on your exams!