AP Tests don’t have to cause stress! Tips from AP Students and Teachers on how to prepare

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To start off studying for AP exams strong, organize all of your previous class work, study guides, tests etc. by unit. This way each item is easily accessible when you start reviewing. Photo by Rachel Sandstrom

Rachel Sandstrom, Staff Writer

AP exams are quickly approaching meaning it’s officially time to dig out wrinkled up study guides from the beginning of the year and start studying. Getting ready for these exams doesn’t have to be the stressful experience many students think it is if they are preparing adequately. Here are some helpful tips from AP students and teachers on how to proficiently prepare for test day.

AP teachers are getting their review guides and videos up and running in order to help students review what they have learned throughout the year. AP World teacher Mrs. Omen says, “Mrs. Pierce and I have scheduled a full week of content review so that the kids who need a bit of a refresher can have class time to work on it.”

On top of the review students are getting in class, they should be doing their own studying at home. It is important to do a bit of review everyday starting now till the day of the exam. According to AP Lang teacher Ms. Bregeth, 10 to 15 minutes is enough studying time per day to be adequately prepared for the test. Of course this time will vary between classes. It is just important to set aside a set time each day to study. This way students will not get overwhelmed by the amount of information that must be known eliminating the stress factor of procrastination. 

It is important to note that students shouldn’t worry about what they should use to review because most AP teachers will provide them with review materials. Mrs. Omen says, “I plan on posting my “cheat sheets” and content review guides to our TEAMS pages as well as printing out paper copies for those that want them. I’ll also be providing the kids with review packets that they will not be required to complete but if they do, will certainly improve their performance on the College Board exam.” 

Ms. Bregeth has also provided her students with review materials but she highlights an important point, “We’ve been gathering materials all year, so there is no grand packet of sorts.” Of course, if a teacher makes a specific exam review packet use it, but it is important to remember every worksheet, test, video etc. that was used throughout the year is a study material for the exam. 

A couple study suggestions from AP students, Veronica Soroka and Kendall Gilreath are, taking practice tests, reviewing past tests, watching old lectures and youtube videos, and reading review books. Gilreath states, “It helps to complete a variety of reviews so I don’t get bored during my study sessions. I like to switch from review sheets to youtube videos to keep myself on track while reviewing as much information as possible from different sources.” 

Stress levels are high leading up to test day and teachers know that. Mrs. Omen provides students with some reassurance, “It’s just a test! Space in my heart isn’t reserved for students who make fives on exam day, it’s reserved for students who do their best all year and love learning, whether it’s with a score of two on the exam or a five.” 

Ms. Bregeth wholeheartedly agrees with this statement. She says, “Eat well, Sleep well. And show up to exam day to perform. Also, I can only speak for myself here, but though tests are often related to goals, they are absolutely NOT the litmus test for your overall intelligence, contribution to the world, and positive citizenship–the real stuff that makes you a cool human being.”

All in all, try not to stress too much about AP tests. Gilreath shares some stress relievers she has been using, “Taking breaks and being active help me relieve stress.” When in doubt, get outside and enjoy some fresh air, That is always a sure fire way to calm yourself down. In addition to this Soroka says, “I have tried to go to bed early in order to be refreshed for the next day of school and studying.” In other words, don’t try to cram hours and hours of studying into one day. Just take it a step at a time. 

If you want to know exactly how AP exams will be administered this year take a look at Claire Mulkey’s article on just that.