Some Advice for Students Taking AP Exams Who Have Yet to Start Studying

Eleni Aneziris, Advertising Manager

  1. Start studying.
  2. Get yourself some review books. If your teacher recommends a book that they particularly like, use that one. They’ve been teaching the course for quite some time and definitely know what they’re talking about. If not, then go for Barron’s or Princeton Review. Those are generally pretty popular choices.
  3. Take advantage of Spring Break! We are lucky enough to have an entire week, a month before AP Exams. Make sure you use this time effectively! Make a schedule for the week and plan your activities realistically. Will you actually wake up at 8 in the morning and read US History until 3 in the afternoon every day? Probably not. Make up a more reasonable study schedule!
  4. Take some practice tests. As you begin approaching the day of your exams, you’ll probably want something to give you an indication of how productive your studying has been. A lot of review books will have practice tests in the back, although keep in mind that those are created by the review book companies, and may therefore not be very accurate to the actual exam. It’s usually a better idea to use the internet to find practice tests or released tests from College Board if possible, as those will generally be good representations of what you’ll face come test day.
  5. Make sure that when you’re grading your practice tests, you go back to the questions you got wrong and understand why you got them wrong. This is the best way for you to find out which parts you’re still struggling with so you can focus on those specific sections.
  6. After all that preparation, you’re probably in the week just before AP Exams. But, don’t stress out! This final week is actually the perfect time to start cramming facts and vocabulary that you might have skimmed over before when you were mostly just focusing on the main concepts. Make flashcards, use Quizlet, and surprise your friends by yelling out definitions really loudly whenever you pass by them in the hallway. Do anything it takes to solidify these final pieces of information in your brain.
  7. Do not pull an all-nighter the night before your test. It will not help. If you’re going to study the day before the test, close your books at a reasonable time. Make sure you have ready your student ID, pens, pencils, and calculator if you’re taking a science or math test that allows one. If it’s a TI-Nspire, make sure you charge it. If it’s a TI-84 or some variation of that, it might be a good idea to bring extra batteries. Remember that for AP Biology, you’re only allowed a four-function calculator (with square root). Get some rest and eat something in the morning.
  8. Now for the day of the exam: make sure you don’t miss your bus to North Country! When you get to the building, make sure that your phone is turned off completely and that you didn’t set any alarms or anything that could potentially make sounds while you’re taking the exam.
  9. Now just try your best and keep in mind that AP exams are designed to be hard. College Board does not expect you to get every question right, and neither should you.
  10. Wait until July for scores to come out. Try not to brag too much about your inevitably amazing results. No one likes a show-off.