AP Test Survival Guide

AP Test Survival Guide

Radha Patel, News


It’s that time of year againAP testing is just around the corner. For the time leading up to those two long weeks in May, you may feel overwhelmed and uncertain about how to prepare, especially if you are taking multiple tests. But don’t stress! With proper preparation and trust in your abilities, you can easily ace your exams. With that in mind, here are some tips to adequately prepare for the upcoming AP exams.

One of most highly effective methods of preparation is studying a few weeks in advance.  This is especially important to follow if you are taking multiple AP exams, as this will allow sufficient time to build upon the previously learned concepts instead of cramming a year’s worth of content. In addition, preparing over a long period of time will allow your brain to better retain the information you are studying.  Although it may seem that reviewing over a stretched amount of time may cause you to forget earlier concepts, this is not the case because the brain has had time to both digest the information as well as form new ideas that stem from what was learned.

But, the question remainshow exactly does one study?  It has been proven that practicing problems to review the content is useful as well as to become acquainted with what you may encounter on the real exam.  It is better to start with multiple choice questions that were on past exams. Then, move on to free-response questions as you become more familiar with the key concepts.  All of these types of questions can be found on collegeboard.org. When the test date approaches closer, you can begin to practice by simulating a testing situation. For example, start timing yourself while answering these sample questions.  

A great resource that is easily accessible are the AP review sessions provided by teachers at school.  Sometimes it may be inconvenient to attend if they are held over the weekends. However, making even a partial commitment to these sessions can serve as a great way to refresh all that you learned over the year and pinpoint which areas you have trouble.  Furthermore, they offer a chance to ask your teachers questions. These review sessions do not conflict with after-school activities because they run after tutorial and can last one to two hours. This is ample time to consult classmates as well as teachers about any confusion, participate in group review activities, or to maybe do some independent studying.  

Preparing far in advance, practicing, and attending review sessions are mere three of a host of ways to study for your upcoming AP exams.  By following these three methods and several others, a five on your next AP exam will not seem like such a stretch. Good luck!