AP Testing Tips


Anja Asato, Editor In Chief

With AP testing week just around the corner, students often panic as they begin to review the year’s material to begin preparations. This is a time to refresh your mind on what you’ve spent all year learning and to refine your skills for the subject.  After having worked hard all year, it is extremely important to spend time studying so you’ll be fully prepared for the test.  Here are some tips to be best prepared by test day:

1. Make a Plan- Figure out how much time you have before your test, and make a calendar blocking out how much material you must review each week. Set aside specific times to study for the test.  If you are taking multiple AP tests, make a schedule for each class.

2. Get Organized- Get all your notebooks, homework, handouts and other materials for the class together and organize them.  For example, you could organize all your history material in order of chapter and put them into a binder.  Get copies of any material you are missing to ensure you have all the information.  Having the material organized will make it easy to find information you might be looking for and easier to review.

3. Know the Test- Find out exactly what is going to be covered on the test and what the structure will be like so you know what will be expected of you on test day.

4. Use a Review Book- If you haven’t already done so, purchase the review book for the class that your teacher recommends, or a review book of your choice for the subject such as the Princeton Review.  To be best prepared read through the whole review book at least once, and highlight and take notes as you go though the book.  If you have extra time, re-study the sections you struggled to understand.

5. Prioritize- Make sure to review the topics that you are least comfortable with first.  Don’t worry too much about reviewing things you feel confident with.  Focus on reviewing topics that come up on the test most frequently.

6. Stay Motivated- With so much studying to do it is easy to get lazy.  Remember how hard you’ve worked all year! It would be a shame to throw it all away at the very end.  Give yourself rewards like ice cream for every time you accomplish a large section of studying.

7. Study Buddy- When you feel that someone is supervising you, it make make it easier to stay focused and get more studying done.  Study with a friend, or change your environment to try stay focused.

8. Take Practice Tests- Most review books have practice tests at the end, or you can find them online.  You can take the practice test in sections since it can be hard to find a large block of time to complete the whole thing at once.  Score multiple choice sections, and have a friend or teacher score the essays to get an idea of how you are doing and what you need to focus on to improve your score.  Take at least one full practice test in one sitting before the actual test to build mental stamina and learn to focus on a long period.

9. Be Prepared- Check to make sure you have all the necessary materials for test day such as a sweater, watch, or calculator with batteries.

10. Relax- Get some rest before the AP Exam and try to relax to avoid getting overly stressed.  Remember that it is only one test, and no matter your score, you only have something to gain.  If you’ve done your work and studied then you’ve prepared yourself to your fullest potential.