AP: Approaching Panic

AP Preparation/Testing Tips


Courtesy of the HoofBeat

AP testing commences next week for students all across the country.

Juliette Fournier, Editor

It’s that time of year again, the dreaded month of May. AP students understand exactly what I’m talking about. From those taking one test to those taking five or even six, it’s a stressful time for many students. From experience, here’s a few tips to make it through the next two weeks and feel more confident when taking the test.

  1. Practice: There’s a reason that people say practice makes perfect. Using the review books such as the Princeton Review or Barron’s book infinitely help make sure you are familiar with the content. Depending on the APs you are taking, Khan Academy also provides lessons and practice problems that could prove helpful. Make sure to understand why an answer is right or wrong.
  2. Study: Obviously, similar to practicing, studying the required material will help.  Again, review books are a great way to refresh your mind about important points. Annotations or at least reading and highlighting key phrases can help with this too. Try to do a little at a time, possible an hour or two per subject every day. Even thirty minutes per day can go a long way on days when you are too busy. Mabel Ra(12) recommends to also “go to the College Board website and practice previous FRQ’s and multiple choice to see what you get wrong so you learn from it.”
  3. Study sessions: Besides just studying alone, for some studying as a group can also prove beneficial. Many if not all teachers across campus hold study sessions either before school, during lunch, after school, or even on weekends. Take advantage of these; teachers are there to help you prepare. Plus, if you’re still having trouble grasping the material, they can probably help. Study sessions with friends are also helpful, although too big a group can become almost too chaotic. Stick within the range of four friends max.
  4. Sleep: Of course, sleep is probably the most important thing on this list. Without any sleep, the brain won’t function properly. Teens need between seven and nine hours of sleep, even though the weeks leading up to APs usually result in four hours or less. Although it’s not easy, getting the right sleep will help you concentrate on the exams. At the very least, get this much amount of sleep the day prior to each exam. That way, your mind is completely refreshed.  
  5. Relax: Going in stressed to the maximum will do anything but help you do well. For some a little stress will keep the motivation and adrenaline going as they test. Being completely riled up and nervous will only mess you up. Take a deep breath, even right before taking the test, to lower your anxiety. Remember, these tests will not count for grades; just do your best. These tests are meant to be challenging, and there is no way of knowing what material will be thrown at you. Focus on what you know, cross out the distractors (I know, easier said than done), and at worst, just guess and move on. Good luck on your AP tests Mustangs and do your best!