If you’re taking one or more AP classes in high school, you might already be starting to get apprehensive about upcoming test dates in May. With an academic year’s worth of material to review and memorize, the idea of studying for AP tests can often be overwhelming!
So how can you relieve your worries and get the grades you want? Figuring out the most effective ways of studying for your upcoming exams is a start, so here are five tips to help you study for the AP tests you plan to take this spring.
1. Let Your Class Materials Guide You
The whole point of an AP class it to prepare you for the AP tests. All of the questions and problems you’ll encounter on test day will be based on subjects covered throughout the school year. So why not start with the course material when it’s time to begin studying?
Granted, not everything you learn in class will show up on the AP test. But the general concepts will, so make sure you have a handle on the information you’re learning throughout the year.
If there are concepts you don’t understand in your AP classes or the associated textbooks, you should get help via your teacher or a tutor. This way, you’ll not only improve your class grade, but you’ll also likely do better on the test itself.
2. Use a Multimedia Approach
There are lots of resources you can use outside of your AP class at school. First, there’s the CollegeBoard website, which has a section for AP students studying to take the tests. You should be able to get answers to any questions you have by exploring the website.
A different way to approach studying is to check out videos and podcasts all about preparing for AP tests. This way, you can listen to the experiences of students who have taken the exams already and have some advice on how to study.
If you still want more information about what to expect on the tests, head to the local bookstore or library to read a few books about studying for AP exams. Using a combination of books, podcasts, videos, and websites should give you a well-rounded studying experience.
3. Take Practice AP Tests
One of the resources you’ll find on the CollegeBoard website is practice questions from AP tests. Studying these can help you get a feel for the questions to expect when you take the exams.
You can also buy books full of practice tests to help you prepare for your spring exams. Your teachers or guidance counselor at school may have some practice tests for you to look over, as well.
When you take these practice exams, make sure you only allow yourself the actual amount of time allotted for each section. You can set a timer before you begin so you don’t have to constantly be checking the clock. This will not only give you a better idea of what to expect on test day, but it will also help you with your pacing.
4. Find Out If Your School Offers Any Resources
Your high school should strive to make studying for AP tests as easy on you as possible. This means the staff will likely be happy to offer some help as you prepare for this type of exam.
Both your guidance counselor and AP teacher should have some advice for you when it comes to studying, so be sure to ask them for assistance if you’re not sure where to begin.
5. Host Study Group Parties
One of the greatest resources at your disposal are your fellow AP classmates. They’ve all been learning the same material as you and on test day will find themselves in exactly the same boat.
Hosting a study group is a great way to pull all of your collective knowledge and help one another not only prep, but stay less stressed. Studying in groups is often less nerve-wrecking than studying alone since you have the group spirit to keep you motivated.
That said, study groups can sometimes get a little too fun and you may find yourself straying from the study topics at hand. That’s why we recommend you not rely solely on study groups, but use a mix of all the different study tips outlined above.
If you haven’t already started studying for you AP exams, now is the perfect time to start. The earlier you begin this process, the less stressed you’ll be as test dates approach. You’ll be able to avoid the frantic rush of cramming and instead have plenty of time to put these tips into action.