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SownTogether December 30th 2009 12:31 AM

English 11 AP Grief
I am a Junior in High School and currently taking English 11 AP. It's my worst subject but I decided to take this class because I need to get better at it, and having this challenge definitely motivates me. However... I feel like no matter how hard I try to understand, I just can't get the concepts. On top of that I am probably the worst writer in my class. My sentence structures and range of vocabulary are a joke compared to everyone else in the class. I really want to drop this class, but it would be so embarrassing; its also my only AP class, so if I fail it or drop it, it would probably look terrible on my transcript.
I'm so tired of being extremely frustrated over this class and feeling like a complete idiot. All I want is to get into a good college. :(
How can I get better at English?

Elizabeth December 30th 2009 12:42 AM

Re: English 11 AP Grief
Hi there,

I would talk to your follow students to see what they are doing to become so successful. Often times they might have a study group or be using a program that helps them. My other suggestion would be to talk to the teacher. He might be able to help you personally, or give you other resources.
As far as how this is going to affect you for college, you should talk to a school counselor about this. It might be best for you to drop the class if you are going to fail it.
I hope that everything works out.

St.Vincent January 1st 2010 02:18 AM

Re: English 11 AP Grief
Not sure if group study is the best way to get better at AP Lang... I think the best way to get better at reading and writing is, well, doing a lot of reading, and doing a lot of writing.

A good way to get used to more advanced sentence structure is to read lots of texts with good prose style. Things like the New Yorker, New York Times, Washington post... even magazines like Vogue--they are easy to get your hands on and are written by good writers. Also, maybe pick up an essay reader, like THIS and read short prose by good writers. Living like Weasels, Mother Tongue... fun fun.

Also, often it helps me to write something (anything!) right after reading good writing, because sometimes some of the style "sticks" better that way.

I don't think you should drop the class. Honestly, good writing is something that you are going to need so much in college, and in life--that I would just persevere and try your hardest in the class. AP 11 was like, a turning point for me in writing even though my teacher rarely RARELY gave me above a 6 or a 7 on my exams. PM me, ok? I could talk for miles about reading and writing.

Grover January 4th 2010 04:10 AM

Re: English 11 AP Grief

I took this course last year and the best advice I can give you to improve is to practice often! Too many times I slipped by activities by just doing what was required, and when I finally started doing more practice activities, more flash cards, and more online exercises, I felt more confident on those awful multiple choice exams and essays. Ask your teacher for more resources! Perhaps there is an online textbook on grammer with extra exercises, or some extra packets that differently explain things. Your teacher is your best resource.

I never would have made it through that class if I hadn't talked to my teacher every once in a while and asked for extra help. Doing all the extra work may seem tedious, but AP courses are pretty much all tedious and that's, oddly, why we sign up for them. :) Don't be discouraged, I believe things will start making sense too. I didn't feel great about AP english until about the 3rd quarter of my junior year. Now I am halfway through my senior year and taking senior AP enlgish and AP government and I'm doing great. Ask for the help and do all of the work and your hardwork will be rewarded!

Good luck!


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