If you’re in an AP class, then you understand the stress of knowing AP exams are right around the corner. The exam season won’t start until May 7th, but it’ll be here before we know it. So whether you’re preparing for your first exam or your fifth, it doesn’t hurt to have a few tips to make the experience less stressful than it has to be.
One of the most common study methods most students do (including myself) is cramming information the night before. Not only is procrastination one of the most stressful ways to prepare for a test, but it has also become a serious obstacle for most students. However, with all the mandatory homework and projects we’re assigned for school, it’s understandable why students would have difficulty finding time to study for something that won’t happen for another few weeks.
“I’ve taken a lot of different AP exams, and they’ve all been challenging in some way,” Claire Chung (12) said. “One method that helped me while studying was planning a study schedule. Spend some time during the week to read through part of your AP textbooks, and take notes as you’re going through the material.”
Audrey Chen (10) shared her chosen method of studying for the AP Calculus exam.
“The course is centered on the AP test, so you already get a lot of practice,” she explained. “But I’m also doing a lot of practice tests, and they’ve given me an idea of what the real exam will be like.”
In most classes, the tests students take throughout the year are already structured to mimic the actual AP exam. So taking more practice tests will not only serve as a preparation strategy for the end of the year, but also as a way of becoming more familiar with the types of questions you’ll need to answer throughout the year.
“I don’t have any experience taking the AP exams, but I’ve been attending tutoring classes outside of school for AP Physics,” commented Kylan Zhao (11).
Kylan also joked that while taking extra classes is beneficial, it would be even better if he knew the answers beforehand.
Tutoring classes are a great way to review all the material that’s been covered in class, and you’re often presented with multiple opportunities to work on practice tests as well. Considering how close the testing days are, another alternative to this method could be organizing a study group of your own. Work with your friends or classmates from the same class, and help each other with the concepts or ideas you’re struggling with. Even if there are ideas you don’t understand, someone else will! Not only will everyone benefit from studying with people who understand the work in class, but you can have fun while doing it!
There are plenty of ways people are studying for AP exams, but the most important thing to remember is to stay focused and have faith in your abilities. For those of you who have been working hard and focusing in class, you already have everything you need to succeed. Good luck!