View Full Version : Can a dyslexic be successful in AP Government?


Dmitri
06-13-12, 07:15 PM
Hey guys I have ADHD-PI and dyslexia.
I am an incoming high school junior, and one of the classes I've signed up for Junior year is AP US Government. In this class you literally have to read a chapter a day out of a hefty textbook. I didn't even mention all the formal writing, research papers, etc... Well I kinda just did but you get the point.

Now my ADD is taken care of [vyvance] but what I'm really worried about is my dyslexia.

My dyslexia isn't awful, but still irritating. I'm always writing N's, Z's and S's backwards, and I mix up my lowercase p's and q's. My d's and b's are fine, and I don't have any vertical problems. In fact, my dyslexia really isn't a MASSIVE problem except for heavy reading and extensive writing.

The two main aspects of APUSG.

I know you guys don't exactly know me personally but would it be possible for anyone to ace this class and get a 4 on the exam in my scenario? because I GOT to raise my gpa and acing this will look great in my transcript.

If it's possible, can you guys give any suggestions on how to achieve my goal?

silivrentoliel
06-13-12, 07:24 PM
There are tons of tools for coping w/ dyslexia as far as reading ranging from colored glasses to a piece of paper w/ enough cut out that you can only see the line (it forces you to focus on just what's there), but for the writing, can't you type up your stuff? Are you dysgraphic as well? Being as so much is done on computers now, I can't see why having to handwrite anything would be an issue... If you're just talking about composing papers, my DH, who is a dyslexic dysgraphic will sit down with me and talk me through his paper- I just type up what he says. It helped him tremendously in college, and I didn't mind the extra typing practice myself ;)

TygerSan
06-13-12, 07:55 PM
Do you get accomodations in school (through an IEP)? If so, you should be able to ask for similar accommodations for the exam itself (like extra time and/or reader, etc), though you'll probably need to show that you've been using similar accommodations throughout the year. That would probably help immensely.

Dmitri
06-13-12, 08:21 PM
There are tons of tools for coping w/ dyslexia as far as reading ranging from colored glasses to a piece of paper w/ enough cut out that you can only see the line (it forces you to focus on just what's there), but for the writing, can't you type up your stuff? Are you dysgraphic as well? Being as so much is done on computers now, I can't see why having to handwrite anything would be an issue... If you're just talking about composing papers, my DH, who is a dyslexic dysgraphic will sit down with me and talk me through his paper- I just type up what he says. It helped him tremendously in college, and I didn't mind the extra typing practice myself ;)

Yeah at this point I have muscle memory of my keyboard so typing itself is fine- PROOFREADING is the biggest problem for me, I'll read everything the way I meant to type it, not the way it is actually typed up, and since it's an AP class they'll nitpick every single mistake I'm sure. As for that whole special text lines, I'm not sure AP courses offer those accomodations. Maybe they do, but as far as I know, that's something they'd offer for a special ed course. Thanks for the help though :)

Dmitri
06-13-12, 08:25 PM
Do you get accomodations in school (through an IEP)? If so, you should be able to ask for similar accommodations for the exam itself (like extra time and/or reader, etc), though you'll probably need to show that you've been using similar accommodations throughout the year. That would probably help immensely.

Um my counselar and teachers know about my dyslexia and the past two years I've been im a class called "support" which is like a special ed class for people who aren't mentally challenged but still have an LD. There's a lady who helps me train my mind and helps me read and study and stuff. Would that count?

TygerSan
06-13-12, 08:48 PM
Um my counselar and teachers know about my dyslexia and the past two years I've been im a class called "support" which is like a special ed class for people who aren't mentally challenged but still have an LD. There's a lady who helps me train my mind and helps me read and study and stuff. Would that count?

I believe that it would. You should *absolutely* be able get that type of accommodation in AP classes, and you can apply to get accommodations like being able to type the exam through ETS that adminsters the exam.

Talk to your support teacher about it.

silivrentoliel
06-13-12, 09:12 PM
Yeah at this point I have muscle memory of my keyboard so typing itself is fine- PROOFREADING is the biggest problem for me, I'll read everything the way I meant to type it, not the way it is actually typed up, and since it's an AP class they'll nitpick every single mistake I'm sure. As for that whole special text lines, I'm not sure AP courses offer those accomodations. Maybe they do, but as far as I know, that's something they'd offer for a special ed course. Thanks for the help though :)

Do you have any friends who can help with your proofreading? Or maybe one of your parents? My best friend is in grad school, and I still proof her stuff before she sends it in, so there's no shame in asking for a fresh pair of eyes to look over what you wrote.

peripatetic
06-13-12, 10:56 PM
unsure without more information, but i'd say there are a few things to consider:

1. do you receive accommodations?
2. can you perform decently on standardized tests (with/out accommodations)?
3. are you capable in similar subjects? (e.g. have you been successful in other courses that have similar criteria for determining your final grade?)

if you have documented dyslexia then you are eligible for accommodations and i *highly* encourage you to sort that out ASAP if you haven't already. i can tell you what i received throughout school if that would be of use to you.

those courses will have a standardized test and you need to get on top of having accommodations through your school so that you can apply for them with ETS--which i have learned from being on here i was atypical in receiving to some degree, so i encourage you to get that started if standardized testing is a concern--which, without accommodations most defo is for me.

finally, if you are generally a poorer student in courses that emphasize reading and writing (as opposed to lab or art courses, for example) it's unlikely that this course is magically going to be the exception to that trend. *however* if you're not a great student in those courses and you've not been receiving accommodations and that's why, then that's a different story.

with that course in particular: it can be a ***** and if you're looking to boost gpa and not super keen on the subject matter, i would advise selecting something different.

Arei
08-10-12, 03:36 AM
http://www.collegeboard.com/student/testing/ap/about_ssd.html

Here is a handy little link from the College Board on getting accommodations for the AP exam, there ya go!

Why didn't I know about this back then, I could've gotten a writer!!! I murdered my poor hand trying to write well ;3; (I'm a lefty with worse-than-chicken scratch writing, to write well means serious stress and strain on my hand, it would be shaking violently and throbbing after the AP tests XD)

Also AP exams are done in a book, you must write the entire essay, so he is justified in worrying about how his writing is going to be. If they can't read it, they deduct points, end of story.

I unfortunately did not get to take AP Government, they cancelled the class on us at the last minute and we were stuck with regular government and economics.... I didn't even show up for class most of the time and I scored higher on the tests then everyone else. It was that stupid. I can't provide much insight into how that class/exam would've been. I did do AP World History, US History, and English I.

Have you taken another AP exam before? The biggest thing they are going to make you do over and over and over and over are the DBQs (document based questions). It's where you get a prompt (usually involves siding with one opinion or another), with 3-4 bits/pieces of documents/opinions/sometimes pictures/diagrams and you have to write an essay to answer the question/support or disprove the question from the prompt using the documents and your own knowledge (it always looks good if you can draw knowledge from what you've learned in the course as well, if it applies. sometimes it really doesn't apply XD) to form an educated essay. No doubt about it, you will have to do A LOT of these, there is no AP class exempt from throwing like 20 of these on you before you take the exam XDDD (You will have 2 of these to do on the actual exam, hand written)

DBQs are why I loved AP classes. I would own these babies. Writing is my strong point though, and is apparently not the strong point of many, many people. Take full advantage of whatever Support can give you regarding helping you with writing prep if that is something you are not that great in. Because that is a giant part of the test, that can make that 3 turn into a 4.

That's probably the only reason I got a 4 in World History. I didn't even really study for the test and I only passed the class out of mercy from my teacher. It was so dull and I was untreated at the time and I was so inattentive it wasn't funny. Some of my classmates were making fun of me and telling me I was stupid and lazy and told me I shouldn't even bother taking the test. Me and one other girl (who became our valedictorian) made 4s. 3 other people made 3s. The rest of the class (there was probably 25 or so in this class) made 2s and 1s. And boy did I gloaaaaat. Even my teacher was like holy crap. They never teased me again ^_^

Man who knows how awesome I would've done if I had actually applied myself in school >___> I would do it now, knowing it didn't require that much effort.......

The biggest thing you need to keep in mind is if you are not confident about this course, it might not be the best for you to take it. An A in a regular class is still going to help you out more then all Cs in your AP class.

And keep this in mind too: More then 80% of students who take an AP Exam DO NOT PASS.

If you are not a strong writer, you are not going to get into the 4 range. If your essay was mediocre or border-line tanking you would have to do near perfect on all of the multiple-choice questions just to make a 3. Otherwise if your essay bombs you're in the 2-zone. At my school though I think it was more like 90% that failed. We did have a better percentage pass the US History one (I got a 3 on that, which surprised me because I actually studied and applied myself like crazy in that class, though i think i rambled on too much in my first essay >_> Also our teacher drug out the american revolution too much and it caused us to have to skim over and then practically skip some content we were supposed to study and that was on the test... thank goodness I am giant history nerd, and knew enough).

Oh lord barely anyone passed English I though, I did a massive victory dance because I don't know how I got a 3 XDDD I barely knew any of the questions because I only bothered to read ONE book (out of like 10) that we had read during the year XDDDD

If I remember correctly I don't think the actual exam score does anything for your GPA, but can you get credit hours in college. My school gave cash to those who did good on the tests based on their score, that was our bonus xD


As far as dyslexia hurting you.... Ask for that accommodation. Maybe with that they'll forgive you if you write some letters backwards. As long as you're articulate and follow the DBQ format, with your own personal and creative spins (they like this, and they love it when you can draw from what you learned in the course, like I said above) you will do good. Yeah see if someone in Support can help you out with creative writing. I put a lot of emotion and tried to make these dull appearing essays sound intriguing and that they were really important and you should totally care about what they're about XD Thats what they want to see.

Other then that study study study, pay attention and really learn the content in class. Of course knowing what you've learned is important but the quality of your essays is what your score really hinges on. Anyone can memorize facts, this is where you flex your skills.


If you want to go for it, I'd say it doesn't hurt to try but it might hurt your GPA. But AP classes are so much more informative and engaging and if you love the subject (like me and history, or english (though I like writing, I hate literature XD)) you're going to get a MUCH better course then the regular class, which just BSes around. Regardless, you'll learn A LOT and be better prepared for college, which never hurts. Challenging yourself is always the best way to learn and grow. I wish you luck!

rickymooston
08-12-12, 11:20 AM
I met a high power government official with dylexia on my first trip to China. He works
For the canadian goverment energy program

Sure, you can be successful

Many approaches exist. Some people may opt out and go into a career where it matters less such as constr ution or whatever He went through s hool. I do not know how he coped but he did.

Know yourself. Good luck

TurquoiseWind
08-17-12, 05:07 PM
hmmm i don't know much or anything about AP Government but i have a friend who is Dyslexic and he's pretty smart. he will be going to college in a year or so, so yeah i think you can be if you work hard at it :) hope this helps.

Dmitri
10-06-12, 10:45 PM
Hey guys just an update.

I got officially put on an IEP so I get accommodations.

I currently have a 91 in the class but i bombed two quizzes pretty hard so that might drop.