How To Study For AP Exams
May 27 2021
It’s almost AP Exam season. Get that college credit by studying hard! Here are some things that will help you succeed in the next few weeks as you start reviewing for the exams.
Find Out What You Need to Review or Learn → Damian:
It’s once again the end of April and the AP exams are less than a month away. Juniors this year are facing two enormous obstacles: the uncertainties of the finals and the, you guessed it, new formats of AP exams. While trying to handle the pressure from upcoming tests and soon-to-be-opened college applications, the Princeton Review suggests that it’s easier for students to prep for the AP exams when they’re mentally ready one to three months prior to the exam. This means by this time, you probably should be sitting in front of your desk doing the reviews from TPR instead of playing Genshin Impact (or practically any other games). TPR suggests the 5-step method to prep for exams:
- Start with old material: every time you’re reviewing, make sure you set aside 15 mins to review your old material. The more you refresh your memory, the more likely they’re gonna come in handy during the exams.
- Approach new material with AP exams in mind: you should always take notes on what future topics that you might find hard to understand, so you can tackle it later when you’re fully prepared.
- Don’t overly rely on your teachers: your teacher’s job is to make sure they taught everything to you, not necessarily prep the exam for you.
- Invest in an AP prep book: a good book can always help.
- Get expert AP help: TPR suggests getting extra expert AP help from AP authors, but personally, I think the Khan Academy is also a great review material as well.
Design a Study Plan → Angie:
You are the only one who knows your study habits the best. Therefore, you are the only one who can decide on how you are going to approach your study plans. You should make study plans based on how much time you are giving yourself to prepare. If you are a full-year prep student who likes to study very far in advance, you should study the chapters you learned in school each unit. You should be well prepared by April where you can spend your time doing practice exams till May. However, like most procrastinators who have a few weeks left before the test, you should focus on evaluating your strengths and weaknesses.
To start off, you should begin with a diagnostic exam to see where you’re at. You can find online practice AP exams or use practice books. From there, based on the amount of time you’re going to allocate to studying, you should focus mostly on chapters you had trouble with. Note: it's important to know which chapters CollegeBoard is testing you on. You don’t want to waste your time studying for the wrong chapters! You can check out the college board website to see what you need to know for the test.
In general, you are expected to study for several hours a week from 2-3 sessions. After creating your schedule, make sure to stick with it. And most importantly, review review review. Reviewing information for the rest more than once is essential. You must engage with the material in order to retain it whether that is making flashcards, writing notes, or doing practice problems.
All in all, best of luck to all ap testers. You can do this! Stick with your study plans!
Use Resources → Nicolette:
Finding resources to study for an AP exam can be difficult if guidance as to which sites are trustworthy or accurate is not given. That’s where we come in! We recommend Fiveable, a resource that provides countless subject tests in 3 different categories: humanities and social sciences, math and science, and languages and art. Not only does Fiveable provide written resources, but they also offer information in the form of videos. These videos are hosted by experienced AP teachers who will answer your pressing questions about the worksheets or any other questions. In addition to the live streams, some passes (such as the cram pass) allow you to chat on Discord servers with fellow students to gain their input. The cram passes are especially useful but there are also feedback passes, which allows for the student’s work to be checked by a professional, the cram sessions, which include one live event in the subject/concept you need, and the five-hour cram finale, which you can attend with many other students who choose this event. The events and sessions do cost money though, but it is a small price to pay for the immense amount of information in each pass. The sessions are 5 dollars each and a cram pass, which has everything you need about the subject costs 25 dollars. However, if the price point is too high, AP Classroom videos are also incredibly useful. The videos are organized by unit, so the site is easy to navigate. Another completely free resource is Khan Academy. The website has a wide variety of AP subjects from AP Art History to AP Microeconomics and everything in between. It provides articles, free-response questions, and videos, but some subjects may have limited resources, so watch out for that. So, hopefully you use these resources well and feel completely confident to take your exams! Good luck!
Practice Makes Perfect! → Sejal:
Practicing for AP Exams is incredibly important to your success. But what’s the use of practicing if you don’t do it right? I’ll share some tips and strategies that I currently use to study for AP exams:
- Online practice tests or practice prep books
- Of course, doing practice AP exams is one of the best ways to practice for the real thing. On the College Board website, there are many practice tests, even real exams administered in the past! Doing these once a week leading up to the date of the test is a great way to practice. You can also buy prep books such as Barron’s, Princeton Review, etc. to get an overview of all the information covered in the course + many practice tests.
- Quizlets are AMAZING to study with, especially for content-heavy subjects such as history, science, etc. These are great for actually learning and memorizing the material, as well as testing yourself to see if you have a good grasp on the material. Creating the Quizlet sets themselves are a form of practice (though you can also use pre-made sets), and there are many other modes to practice such as Flashcards, Learn, Write, Spell, and Test and games such as Match and Gravity.
- Going over missed questions and redoing them to understand better
- After practicing with the practice tests and Quizlets, it is important to review questions that you are getting wrong or questions that you are consistently getting wrong. Figure out what you are doing wrong, and then try to fix it by going back to previous lessons to find missed information, watching Youtube videos, or asking friends and teachers for help. You should also try redoing these problems frequently to make sure you completely understand and you will not forget.
Be Consistent! → Sharana:
Stick to your study plan, and try your best to study every day! I understand it’s difficult and easy to get distracted, so try rewarding yourself once in a while for your hard work, with your favorite meal or an episode of a TV series you enjoy watching. That will help you enjoy the process! Don’t worry you’ve GOT THIS!!