Advice to future WHAP students


Olivia Griffin, Staff Reporter

AP World History, more commonly known as WHAP, sends many students into fearful terror over the difficult material covered in the course if they neglect to keep up with the class. The entire concept of taking such a difficult course can frighten many, but, despite the rumors, it is not as bad as some people claim that it is. Keep in mind these tips from a “WHAP survivor” and you will survive WHAP as well.

First and foremost, try to stay a day ahead on homework. That way, if you end up being really busy one night and unable to complete your notes, you won’t be in a panic to try and write a bunch of poorly taken notes in your spiral. Skipping a night of homework is not a big deal when you are constantly working a day ahead.

The tests are not complete blow-off tests, but they are manageable if you make sure to regularly look back over your notes and not wait until the last minute to study. Additionally, you get to take a “group retake”, where you and several classmates work together to take the exact same test, and on top of that, you can use the textbook, your notes, and handouts. The score is averaged with your initial individual test score to complete your final test grade. Mr. Finn DOES give extra credit assignments as well – take advantage of them!

History museums are a WHAP student’s friend. Going to a history museum provides you with tangible artifacts and stories of those civilizations that you spent so many late nights writing notes on. Seeing exhibits and other collections of different historical data and artifacts will help you remember details of connections about the various civilizations, plus it’s a great way to show off your knowledge to fellow museum goers. You get to learn without injuring your hand from overuse injuries related to taking too many notes. Which brings us to our next topic – WHAP related injuries.

Just like any sport, WHAP participants should be aware of the various types of injuries and illnesses that can result from the class. There is one condition, WHAPitis, or inflammation of one’s knowledge of World History, that afflicts many students. Symptoms of WHAPitis include, but are not limited to: wrist injuries from overuse (did I mention that there are a lot of notes), sleep deprivation from staying up too late studying the night  before the test, having the infamous Chinese dynasty song stuck in your head and being constantly paranoid about getting a correct Point of View statement in the Document Based Question, or DBQ, essay.

Not sure if you want to take WHAP? There’s only one way to find out if you can handle the class – go ahead and try it. Unlike regular classes, you have six weeks to switch from AP to Pre-AP World History. It’s easier to drop WHAP within the first six weeks rather than be stuck in Pre-AP wondering “I wish I would have at least tried WHAP.”

Reasons not to take WHAP: you have a strong, passionate hate towards anything history, you are absolutely horrible at taking notes and getting your homework done or you are not comfortable reading at a more advanced level than your typical textbook.

Nobody will ever tell you that WHAP is an easy class. There’s hours of homework and notes, difficult tests, and random pop-quizzes. But you will learn great study skills, and Mr. Finn is by far one of the best teachers that you will ever have. You’re in good hands – he will get you ready for the AP test (the big final exam that determines whether or not you will get college credit for taking the class) whether you are a history person or not.