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AP Exam Tips

pianogirl2422's picture

Allright, been meaning to get around to doing this. Here are my suggestions on how to prepare for the AP test.

Obviously we all need to study for the exams. However, teachers tend to bog students down with work around this time of year whether it's an AP class or not. So study when you can and in groups whenever possible and try to make it to any study session that your teachers are planning. Look over your notes from the year and use a guide (such as outlines, a review book, or previous test reviews) to make studying more organized and faster than if you pull out random paper or subjects to study. Look over any old tests and essays that you have. And I highly recommend creating a binder with all of your papers for a subject in it so that you don't have to fish around in piles of papers to find one document or worksheet.

If you are having trouble finding time to study, don't say "I'll just do it later". Cramming is NEVER, I repeat NEVER, a good idea. If you're schedule is heptic (like mine), set aside at least 15-30 minutes each night before bed to study for your AP exams.

And last but not least, don't kill your body or your brain before the exams. Get a decent amount of sleep from now until the exams. I realize that the recommended 8 hours isn't always possible, but don't settle for one or two. And take some time off for yourself every once in awhile. Even if you feel like you'll never get stuff done, prioritize and take some time to do something relaxing, even if it's only for 15-30 minutes. Not only does it calm you down, it helps to give your brain a break so that it can tackle your work more easily and more quickly. And get plenty of rest the night before the exam, even if it means not studying as much.

The day of the exam:
Make sure you know where to go and how you're planning on getting there. I highly suggest preparing your stuff the night before to allow for a more relaxed morning. Make sure you dress in layers, the testing areas may be cold or they may be hot, there's just no knowing. And even if you think "it was freezing last year, no need to wear a t-shirt" think again. There are all sort of reasons for the temperature to change from one year to the next.

As for what to eat, I suggest that you eat something that fills you up. Protein and fiber are generally good ideas and some sugar can't hurt either. Unless you're used to caffeine and the effects of sugar, I would stray away from using them to try and get more awake during the exam. Crashing from a buzz in the middle of an exam is not fun, trust me. Bring a snack to eat during the break in your exam. Your testing venue may have machines, but the lines get long very fast and the food isn't the best for you. And bring a water bottle. I believe you can drink water during the exam, but you will definitely not be allowed to drink anything else or to eat.

Try to get hold of your school code before you get to the test. You will need it in order to get your booklet. Also, make sure that you have a picture ID. Without it, you will not be allowed to take the test. Well, at least not without a lot of stress, waiting, and frustration. Check the rules to see what you can bring in. Make sure you're calculator isn't too advanced, or you may end up doing all of your calculations by hand. Sometimes there are extra calculators, and sometimes there aren't. If you are allowed a calculator, make sure it has enough battery life to last the test. If you're not sure, bring some spare AAA's. And make sure you have plenty of pencils/lead. You can get spares, but it takes away from your testing time. And if you're taking more than one exam remember to bring your booklet to every test. It gets complicated if you forget it. And bring a watch. There will be clocks, but they aren't always easy to see.

As to bringing study materials, if you want to get there early and study, it's fine to bring a book or your notes. Just make sure that you have a bag that it will all go into. Do not remove materials from your bag at any point during the test, especially not during the break. If you are caught with materials during the test they WILL take your test up and you will not receive any credit for that test.

When you take the exam, don't panic. If you feel rushed, put your test aside for a second, take a deep breath, and wait until your heart rate goes down. If you rush, you'll misread and that can have bad results. Make sure that you read the questions correctly and be on the lookout for words like ALL, EXCEPT, NOT, etc. Try to pace yourself, especially on essays.

Well, that's it I think. I'll edit if I think of anything else.

Good Luck guys!:D

[=RoyalBlue][=Comic Sans MS]
"I refuse to prove that I exist," says God, "for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing."
"But," say Man, "the Babel fish is a dead giveaway, isn't it? It could not have evolved by chance. It

AdminChris's picture

Awesome post! :) Great work!


Course-Notes.Org Administrator If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, complaints, rants, raves, random thoughts, etc etc- feel free to direct them at me :)

pianogirl2422's picture

Thanks Chris :D

[=RoyalBlue][=Comic Sans MS]
"I refuse to prove that I exist," says God, "for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing."
"But," say Man, "the Babel fish is a dead giveaway, isn't it? It could not have evolved by chance. It

Jessikay's picture

Yeah thanks this is going to help me friday.

Shadow's picture

Now I know it's out of character for ol' Steve the mean mod to say this, but:

Good luck to everyone on all of their AP Tests!

prodigy90's picture

yeah.. I'm taking the ap ush test tomorrow and I really want to get a 5. I took a practice college boiard multiple choice test and got a 49 out of 80 with the subtractiosn fro incorrect answers. Does anyone have any advice on how I could study tonight? I seem to be guessing on a bunch. Please helpppp!!!

pianogirl2422's picture

It's that time again...

Good Luck Guys!!!

[=RoyalBlue][=Comic Sans MS]
"I refuse to prove that I exist," says God, "for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing."
"But," say Man, "the Babel fish is a dead giveaway, isn't it? It could not have evolved by chance. It

bebeswe3tz's picture

PG, you're the best!!! Thanks so much for the tips!! Good luck to you too if you have any AP tests this year.

[=2][I][=Comic Sans MS]Smile and stay happy, there'll always be someone out there that's waiting to care for you. Even when life gets hard, all you have to do is try even harder!

[=Teal]Work hard, but let's play h

Asian.Vince's picture

Great job! Tips from a pro. I am going to print this later because it's so good. BTW this is my first post!!!

Grade:10th or Sophomore
AP Class(es): US History
Future AP Classes (?): Biology, APUSH or APWH, Calculus, AP English III and IV...

I may not know much, but I know the difference between chicken shit and chicken salad.

godshome's picture

Awesome advice. I will follow these tips

WhoopWhoop's picture

Are there any good AP US sites where you can practice DBQs and FRQs?


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