Preparing for A.P. Exams
Like a B.O.S.S.
April showers bring May flowers... and also A.P. exams. Testing starts on May 1st and goes until May 12th, and that means it’s time to really start preparing for A.P. exams. If you’ve done well on your exams and homework thus far, chances are you have a solid foundation of knowledge to work from. Regardless, it’s time to hit the books, prepare yourself, and set yourself up for success.
DO PRACTICE TESTS
Practice makes perfect, right? Your teacher may have practice tests for you to go over, and you can also access sample questions here. By working on practice tests and questions, you’ll become familiar with the format you’ll see on the big day. Plus, you can identify any topics that you may have forgotten about completely!
GO OVER OLD TESTS AND HOMEWORK
You have an arsenal of study material at your fingertips. Read over the papers, handouts, assignments, and notes that you’ve accumulated over the semester. Go over your old exams, or block out the answers and take them all over again! This is one of the best methods for preparing for A.P. exams, and you already have everything you need to do it.
FOCUS ON WEAK AREAS
It’s no fun, but it’s important to study, study, study the areas that made no sense to you, or the topics that you just barely managed to pass. These are the things that can hurt you on test day. Make a list of the topics, chapters, or sections that stumped you, and make sure you brush up on them. You may be able to schedule time with your teacher to get a bit of extra help, or meet with classmates to study together. Preparing for A.P. exams always seems a bit less daunting with peers!
DO WHAT WORKS FOR YOU
Your best friend may ace all of their tests just by skimming through the chapters or brushing up on vocab words, but make sure you’re using the study strategies that have been proven to work for YOU. There is no “right” way to study for an A.P. exam. Make flashcards, jot down notes, have your parents quiz you out loud… just do whatever helps you retain all that valuable info!
Seriously… do not rip your hair out trying to re-read every single nugget of information over the past semester. If you attended class and did your homework, you’ve already put in a lot of work that will benefit you during the exam. Pulling all-nighters, speed-reading during every passing period, or skipping meals to memorize vocabulary will not do any good. Take some deep breaths and do your best!
A.P. exam crunch time should be handled just like crunch time for the SAT exam. The night before, make sure you know all of the logistics: what time your exam is, where you need to be, and what supplies you need to bring. Get a good night’s sleep, and eat a hearty breakfast before school. Finally, test smart! You will not be penalized for wrong answers, so make sure to fill in every question – whether you know it or not. If you do not know an answer, come back to it at the end. You do not want to waste your time staring at a question, hoping an answer will magically appear! Pace yourself, and make sure you keep an eye on the clock so that you don’t run out of time. If you’re anything like me, bring snacks and water to keep you going through the long exam.
A.P. exams might have you shaking in your boots, but R-E-L-A-X! Study hard, test smart, and you will do great things.