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Alexandria students head back to school for advanced placement boot camp

Students at T.C. Williams High School participate in a two week AP course offered through Alexandria City Public Schools. Tuesday, July 25, 2017 (Kellye Lynn, ABC7)

Class is in session at T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria.

"I'm in this class to get prepared for an AP class I'm taking next year," 15-year-old Patrick Kenny told ABC7 News.

Incoming 10th Grader Olivia Ernst hopes being here will help her excel in an upcoming AP World History course.

"It's higher level thinking and I always want to challenge myself and it will look good on a college application," she offered.

It's the first Advanced Placement Boot Camp offered through Alexandria City Public Schools.

AP Teacher Erin Hudson helped develop the curriculum.

"A lot of students struggle the first nine weeks and this is trying to kind of build in a buffer zone for them so that every student can succeed," she explained.

The course is designed to offer support to students who are taking an AP course for the first time.

Monday through Friday for two weeks students learn problem solving, critical reading and writing, and do exercises that teach teamwork and strengthen communication skills.

The exposure is building confidence.

"How to read quickly and what information is important to write down in your notes was really helpful for me," Ernst remarked.

Kenny now has new test-taking strategies.

"Before I always had a lot of anxiety around tests. Now I feel much prepared going into tests," he shared.

The ultimate goal of Boot Camp: "Hopefully students after taking the class can take the exam in May and get a 3, 4 or 5 to get college credit," Hudson stated.

AP Boot Camp is provided by Alexandria City Public Schools at no charge.

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