We had the opportunity of interviewing Luke Drago, a student at Oxford University, about: High School Courses
In high school, Luke was the Public Forum Debate captain, an octofinalist at the 2019 NCFL National Debate Tournament, a three-time national qualifier in the National History Day documentary competition (and three-time finalist in the local and state National History Day documentary competition), a strategy intern for the McCool for Matthews campaign, the co-founder of his school's social justice club. Luke also scored a 32 on his ACT and has over 2000 hours volunteered at his local church.
Key points Luke shares:
I grew a lot in my AP classes. They taught me how to write, how to research, and how to problem solve. So qualitatively, I learned so much.
Time is what you make of it. Prioritization is key. I ranked what I thought was most important to complete first, based on its due date, work level, interest, etc and completed tasks based on that ranking.
Q: When did you find time to do your homework/study (during breaks in school, on the bus, after extracurriculars, etc.)
A: Time is what you make of it. Prioritization is key. I ranked what I thought was most important to complete first, based on its due date, work level, interest, etc and completed tasks based on that ranking.
Q: How did you plan and keep track of your time?
A: I used two apps to keep track of everything. First, Google Calendar. If it’s not on my calendar, it doesn’t exist. It’s really easy to use it to keep track of what’s next. Second, ToDoist. It’s a to-do list that lets you organize your tasks by priority, due date, and subject.
Q: What type of test-taking strategies did you use?
A: I didn’t really use any specific strategies. I just eliminated answers that I thought made no sense and answered questions based on the remaining answers. I’d also skip questions that I was stuck on to come back to later.
Q: How did you build up your AP courses in high school? (1 in freshmen, 2 in sophomore, etc.)
A: I took AP World History my freshman year. Then, I took AP Psychology and AP Computer Science principles in my sophomore year. In my junior year, I took AP Computer Science A, AP US History, AP Comparative Government, and AP English Language and Composition. I didn’t take any APs in my senior year, but I did do dual enrollment at a local community college to take US Government and Music Appreciation. I did take the AP US Government exam in my senior year.
Q: Do you think that you benefited more from your AP classes or from your extracurricular activities?
A: It’s a mix of both. My extracurriculars were undoubtedly helpful for learning skills that translated into my AP classes—especially debate.
Q: Which AP classes are accepted as credit by Oxford?
A: Credit? None of them. However, Oxford allows any AP scores to be used to meet their admissions requirement, so long as they are related to your course of study.
Q: How did you do in AP courses qualitatively and quantitatively?
A: I grew a lot in my AP classes. They taught me how to write, how to research, and how to problem solve. So qualitatively, I learned so much. From a numbers perspective, I achieved a 5 in all of my AP exams except for AP Computer Science Principles and AP Computer Science A.
Connect with Luke on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/mwlite/in/luke-drago-89a5a7b0.