AP Study Tips

A student uses music as a tool for memorization while studying for AP tests.

James Kelly

A student uses music as a tool for memorization while studying for AP tests.

Amber Reddish, Photojournalist

May is fast approaching and so is the most stressful part of the year—AP tests. Whether you are a Senior, Junior, Sophomore or, in some cases, even Freshman, you need to start preparing. These tests aren’t just like a normal test or final. They are extremely hard, accumulative tests that cover a whole year of material for each AP class you take. In some cases students can be taking as many as 6 AP classes in one year. The more classes you take, the more tests you have to study for. No matter how many AP classes you have decided to take, there is one thing every AP student needs to do—study.

As an AP student you are probably used to studying by now. If you’re not then you’re probably one of those lucky people who are naturally smart, but regardless studying for these tests is a necessity. It’s ok, no need to worry if you don’t know how to study! I am here to give you some great studying tips so you can ace those AP tests!

First of all, you should be studying in a clean, stress free environment, such a desk or table that is clear of clutter. It is very important to have no distractions and to practice in an environment as similar to that of the actual test as possible. Zyra Rehman (11) says that “when she studies, she accomplishes the most work when she’s in an environment cohesive to getting stuff done.” You should also be sitting in a chair with good posture. This stimulates your brain in a way that forces you to focus on what is in front of you and therefore study more effectively.

Next, you can try little tricks that will help you memorize difficult material. One way to do this is by chewing a specific flavor of gum as you study. You can then chew the same flavor of gum during the test and your brain will relate the material you studied to that flavor of gum, therefore bringing the material to the forefront of your mind during the test. Similarly, you can wear a specificity scented perfume or listen to a certain kind of music that would then in turn have a similar effect as the gum for your memorization.

Another great way to study, although a bit old school, is flash cards. If you make them a few weeks prior to the test and study with them by reading aloud, then you’re brain will register the information visually and audibly. You can even go one step further by writing down the information multiple times to create an even deeper memorization if the material. By using multiple senses to study you are activating a greater amount of your brain. This means a larger amount of brain power is interacting with the material and can then help aid you during the test.

No matter how you decide to study for your AP tests, the most important thing is that you do study. It may seem tedious and unhelpful, but when you finally get the scores back in July all your hard work will have a major pay off. There is nothing more satisfying than knowing you succeeded at something that you worked hard for, and trust me, these tests are something you have to work hard for to succeed.