The Quill

The Student News Site of BASIS Independent Silicon Valley

The Quill

The Quill

Precomp Interviews


As we approach the middle of our second trimester, our beloved middle schoolers have started to worry about the infamous exam, the pre-comps. Worth 15% of their trimester two grades, the pre-comps can alter students’ grades both positively and negatively. For some, it may be their first pre-comp and for some, it may be their last. We’ve interviewed students from 6th through 8th grade and asked them various questions to see not only how they feel but also the different responses in each grade.


6th Graders

“I’m nervous because I don’t want to fail. I’m doing a bunch of study guides and making study guides to remember things. I’m most worried about English because I’m bad at it.” 

– Kelly B. 

“I think I’m going to fail. I’m mostly studying biology, Latin, and physics. My worst subject is biology.” 

– Serena L.

“I feel stressed because it’s my first year taking it. I hope it’s not that hard. I’m doing study guides and following teachers’ instructions. My worst subject is biology.”

– Jason H.

“I feel very bad because it’s hard. [I have] not [studied] yet. My worst subject is math.”

– Daniel W.

“I feel like it’s just another test because I’ve taken a lot of big tests before so I’m not that stressed. I haven’t started studying yet. My worst subject is chemistry.”

– Vinayak S.


7th Graders

“I’m pretty prepared because I have very strict parents and I want to do good. I make my schedule beforehand and just do a lot of studying and follow the Dean’s instructions. I’m most worried about math.“

– Astin W.

“I feel a bit nervous but I hope I’m prepared because I don’t really know how to study. I’m doing all the study guides and hoping they work. I’m most worried about history.” 

– Nitya A.

“I feel good because I’ve studied a lot. I’ve done all the study guides and reviewed stuff. I’m most worried about Latin.”

– Vyas I.


8th Graders

“I feel ok because it’s my third year taking it and I realized it’s actually not that bad. I’m studying a bit and I’m most worried about math.”

– Brian M.

“, I’ve started to study a bit. I’m most worried about everything.”

– Alan Z.

“I feel nervous cuz they’re a pretty big chunk of your T2 grade so if you mess up, your grade is pretty much screwed. I’m not really doing anything special. I’m kinda just doing what everyone else is doing, like studying and reading and stuff like that. I do try to sleep more though, because I’ve been told that helps to tone down my stress and anxiety levels. I’m most worried about history.”

– Jady Z.

“Uh low-key I was really stressed in 6th grade but now I just study like 2 nights before which is not ideal but it still works, also if I study like 2 weeks before I’ll forget everything. I do a lot of highlighting because it really helps like knowing what to actually focus on. I’m the most worried about chemistry 100%.”

– Kavya V.

“I feel mostly confident about the pre-comps since I studied throughout the trimester so I don’t need to cram at the last minute. I’m making study guides for each subject and doing practice tests. The subject I’m most worried about is history since I’m not great at memorizing all the battles and important people.”

– Alessia B.

“I think pre-comps are a relatively useful way to prepare upcoming high schoolers for their AP exams, although the process can be stressful, in the long term it’s very helpful.   One thing, in particular, I do for pre-comps is dedicate one subject per day where I study it for around three hours until I get a basic overview of the lessons. The subject I’m most worried about is history.”

– Iris C.


The countdown of weeks has caused some students to start worrying about the pre-comps. However, there is a lot less negativity towards the pre-comps as students become more experienced in taking them. 8th graders seem to be less anxious about the precomps than 6th graders, likely due to having gotten used to them already and realizing that pre-comps may not be as scary as they thought back when they first took them.  Nevertheless, students work hard and study for the pre-comps in hopes of improving the trajectory of their education. Many students follow guidelines from teachers, while others have methods that work best for them. Although grades don’t determine everything about our students, the pre-comps will serve as an academic milestone for many students alike.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Quill Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *