Wednesday, March 2nd was the last day to turn in your forms and order your AP tests – which leads to the question of: what next? The answer varies on which test and what kind of student you are; but the general consensus seems to be prepare early.
It is likely your AP teachers have been constructing the year’s lessons with the assumption of everyone in the class taking the exam. Granted, they know that it is not the case; especially in classes in which the average score is below a three, such as in the advanced sciences.
The first step, while it might appear obvious to others, is to look up the date and time for your AP test or tests. Mark it on your calendar but don’t become too obsessed with counting down the days, unless you want to send yourself spiralling into a state of constant anxiety and test-phobia.
You’ve most likely been hearing the same words since elementary school’s MSA testing – go to bed early the night before and eat a good breakfast to help you focus. When it comes to AP testing, a good breakfast and deep sleep can only do so much to help you.
“Succeeding on an AP Exam is mostly about working hard in your AP class,” the College Board website states. For the most part, that is true. Communication with your teachers is the most vital key to succeeding in any classes, and teachers are more than willing to lend out study guides and other books designated to help students prepare. Many teachers have multiple copies of Barron’s editions for whatever their subject might be. Often times, those books can be signed out or borrowed from them until the time of the AP exam.
It is also important to find out whether there will be review sessions after school, before school, or during lunches. English classes often schedule these for their classes, and peers get together to review terms or learn to improve their essay writing.
The College Board website is a valuable tool and it is worth visiting and doing your research, especially if this is the first year you are taking an exam. There are plenty of resources on test-taking policies and test accommodations, among other things.
Do your practice problems.
Perhaps the most useful thing to do is to practice. Under the section of the College Board website titled ‘Preparing for the Exams,’ there are bulletins and a listing of every AP exam subject. Find your subject and follow the link. These practice problems are gathered from past AP exams.
This means you know exactly how the questions will be worded, and the subjects that the test likes to question you on. There are not enough words to describe how incredible this resource is, so it is worth at least one visit.
In the end, all of us students feel stressed about our exams. When test day comes, trust yourself and do your best. Wearing yourself thin before the test even starts is exhausting, and your nerves need a break.