Ways to ace any AP exam this May


Amber Carver

AP students are preparing for this year’s AP Course exams, which take place in May.

Amber Carver, Staff Writer

With less than a month before AP exam testing begins, many students are starting to feel the heat. Fortunately for them, there are plenty of useful tips and tricks to give them the extra edge that they need to test smarter, not harder.
AP exams are graded on a scale of 1 to 5. This means students are striving to get at least a 3 on their exam so that they can be awarded college credit for their year’s worth of hard and strenuous work.
First and foremost, it is crucial for students to have a study schedule that helps them make the most of their time as they grow near to their testing dates.
This can be as simple as setting aside a good time and place that they can dedicate to studying each day. Having healthy habits like these are a major aspect of student success on standardized tests.
Many students have adopted study regiments that are tailored to their style of learning.
“Quizlet is saving my life right now,” said junior Kaylee Dobucki, who is in two AP classes. “I personally, for AP GOPO, write out vocab over and over for muscle memory.”
Study sites like Quizlet, Quizizz and Khan Academy all offer highly personalized opportunities to help students study what they want and how they want. Some of these resources also offer practice tests that let students practice multiple choice skills, which are vital for AP exam success.
Another great resource for students who enjoy physical copies of learning resources is Barron’s series of AP exam prep workbooks. They offer practical course-specific knowledge, material outlines, and even practice exams.
“Another great thing you can do for English is just look over your high scoring essays for the year and just keep that in mind,” said Jason Auvdel, the AP Language and Composition teacher at Hayes.
This piece of advice is critical for not only advanced English courses, but every other AP class. Just as English has essays, science and history classes might have FRQs or DBQs, which are essentially writing prompts that students must navigate.
Going through and seeing what has and hasn’t worked for a student during the school year is beneficial, because it allows them to avoid mistakes they have made previously and see which areas need extra work.
Cramming in as much material as possible before the big day is the goal of most AP students. However, when mental and physical health are neglected, it can have devastating effects on academic performance.
Breaking up study sessions into manageable chunks is extremely beneficial. The Pomodoro Technique is a perfect example of what such a study session will look like for students.
“I’m studying every other day and making sure I don’t put too much pressure on myself so I can do my best,” junior James Wolford said.
Every student learns differently, which is why it is important to devise a study plan that not only helps them meet their specific goals and learning targets, but also keeps them happy and healthy.
As study sessions grow longer and more dense, students need to make sure they are staying hydrated. It has been proven to have positive effects on cognitive abilities, which is key for anyone studying for AP exams.
Getting a good night’s sleep and eating healthy and nutritious meals are also key for student success. A good sleep schedule is another integral item in every AP student’s toolbox.
Review is every student’s best friend. YouTube channels like Heimler’s History provide effective and engaging review on course material. College Board has similarly structured videos.
“Again, maybe touch on a few skills that you have from August, September, October, just to refresh your memory,” Auvdel said.
No matter how daunting these exams may seem, there’s still plenty of time for students to prepare properly and get a good score.