The Straight Dope helped me on AP Exams

4 AP Exams in one week, boy was that rough. Anyhow, on two of them I actually was helped by threads here on the SDMB.

On AP English the free response essay (which means you can use any book you’ve read in class that year) was about how morally ambiguous characters affect the books they’re in. Of course, this was a question meant for Crime and Punishment. I had pondered doing Svidrigaylov just to wow the AP committee but I lost my gumption and wrote about Raskolnikov instead. After the exam, our teacher told us that you almost automatically get a 7 out of 9 on the essay (which is about what you need to get a 5 on the exam) if you write about C+P simply because they become impressed you read the novel. When my teacher first assigned it I wondered if I should read it because I had just come off the worst book my teacher assigned all year (Madame Bovary, I’d kill Flaubert if he weren’t already dead) and second semester, in which grades don’t matter, was getting under way. So I started a thread asking Dopers if the book was really worth it. After a resounding “yes” from all those who replied (for some reason I can’t remember any who did with the exception of Miller) I decided I’d read it. If you were one of the respondents feel free to check in) I decided to read it. So Miller and others, thank you for that.

Also, I started a thread on World War I in which I was eviscerated by John Corrado, who holds a B.A. in History from Maryland. Much to my delight, one of the AP Euro essays was “How did World War I affect European society and culturally in the Interwar Period.” Thanks for kicking my ass, JC. The other essay for Euro was on how nationalism has declined since the end of World War II, and I was able to use all the stuff I read on this site about Le Pen and Fortuyn in how the resistance to the EU has been fairly meager.

Bottom line, I’ll take the SDMB over Barron’s any ol’ day of the week.

Wow, I think that’s fantastic!

Go you!

I also come off a lot smarter thanks to the stuff I read here.

Congratulations, and I’m jealous. I would have clubbed a baby seal to have the SD when I was taking AP exams so many years ago. For me, my thread title would be “Killing time at a track meet helped me on AP Exams”.

Right on, and congratulations. Glad I could help in a vague and unspecified way. :slight_smile: Also glad you enjoyed the book.

I bless the day I discovered the Straight Dope. I’ve compiled lists of good books to read, movies to see, and other websites to visit. In the year or so that I’ve been here, I’ve been exposed to so many new ideas, that I feel I’ve gotten the basics of a literature course.

First the good: I’m happy that this message board was able to aid you in your academic endeavors. Spreading knowledge, fighting ignorance, and cracking wise. That’s what the Straight Dope is all about.

About your above quote: I hate to burst your bubble, but my AP teacher last year said the exact opposite thing. She said that since C+P is a staple of the list along with Hamlet most AP programs push those two books and a lot of APers write about them. I hope your essay was damn good (I have faith!) because it is probably going to be up against a lot of competition.

Ah, AP English. I remember that test. I kicked the writing portion’s behind because I by some coincidence had read the poem and the passage that were on the first two question indepently within a week of the exam. On the open-ended question I wrote about “Zoo Story.” Don’t feel bad if you haven’t heard of it. Its’ a late 20th one act play by the guy who wrote “Who’s Afraid of Virgina Woolf” (the name is on the tip of my tongue). I was in the zone for that test and got a 4. That was enough to skip the intro to writing course here at school. I’m very happy about that.