Students Reflect on Challenging Courses, Dynamic Teachers as AP Exams Begin

Mrs. Meehan teaches the AP European History course, which seniors found engaging this year.

The month of May signals the start of the Advanced Placement exams for students across the country.

For Academy men, it also is a time for reflection on their hard work in these challenging courses. CBA students are enrolled in 24 different AP courses, ranging from physics to music theory and everything in between.

“Overall, I feel like my AP classes have been taught very well over the past few years,” junior James Prunty said. “Even though some of them were taught differently, I still felt like each teacher set me up for success both in the class and on the AP exam.”

The AP exams are spread out between May 2 and May 16. Typically, there are two to four exams on a given day with a morning session and an afternoon session.

“Success on an AP exam can mean different things to different students, but all of our students are to be commended for following through on their commitment to AP courses and putting forth their best effort throughout the school year,” said Associate Principal Sean Nunan ’87. “The faculty that teach AP courses at CBA are deeply committed to their students’ success; it is a genuinely exciting moment each summer to receive these AP scores and to see the culmination of so much dedication from students and teachers.”

AP courses are open to students who apply and show an exemplary track record in their academic studies. While CBA students are not required to take AP courses if they meet the requirements, many students choose to do so.

One upside of enrolling in an AP class is the preparation it lends for college material.

“When it comes to AP courses at CBA, the hard work of the teachers is impressive,” senior Jason Gentile said. “The AP teachers impressively create a course that has college level difficulty, while maintaining the high levels of support for students that is standard in all CBA classes.”

Gentile points out two very different AP classes – AP English Language and AP Economics – that helped him refine his academic skills this year.

“AP English Language was a writing intensive course, and Ms. Biloholowski did an excellent job of offering just the right amount of constructive criticism to allow her students to enrich their writing while maintaining their voice,” he said. “In AP Economics, Mr. Santos’ pop quizzes ensured that students were doing their textbook readings, which I felt was a very good way to be held accountable for my work.”

Many times, it is the teachers that make the AP class worthwhile for the students. Many Academy men will credit a teacher for helping them through what is expected be a difficult course, like junior Nick Harnisch with Mr. Frake’s AP Calculus class.

“Yes, the class was hard and challenging for me, but Mr. Frake made the class enjoyable and easier,” Harnisch said. “In a similar sense, his class was very open discussion based, which I loved. We had many discussions at the beginning of classes, as well as an interactive classroom during calculus lessons. Overall, I was glad I took the class because of Mr. Frake, even with some tough grades and challenging nights.”

Depending on the subject, these AP courses can be very interactive, as Mrs. Meehan’s AP European History class proved to be. In fact, she kept the class topical based on current events, even holding a mock “emergency UN Security Council” session at the beginning of the Ukraine crisis in March.

“AP European History was the first AP course I had the opportunity to take at CBA,” senior Andrew Nardiello said. “Mrs. Meehan can make lessons that would otherwise be long and boring into an intriguing and engaging class period. I was lucky to take such an outstanding class this year.”

CBA offers AP courses in seven different subjects: computer science, english, history & social science, mathematics, music, science, and world language. Within those subjects, there can be a variety of different courses, like French, Latin and Spanish AP classes for world language offerings.

The AP exam dates are set by the College Board association.

Mr. Frake's AP Calculus class is challenging, but students have found his teaching style to helpful in learning the material.
About Christian Brothers Academy:
Christian Brothers Academy (CBA) is a private, Catholic, academic preparatory school for boys located in Lincroft, New Jersey. Founded in 1959 and taught in the Lasallian tradition, CBA is dedicated to helping students become intellectually mature and morally responsible leaders for society. Through generous contributions from family and friends of the Academy, CBA awards over $1.7 million in scholarships and financial aid to current students. Experience the Academy at