7 Steps to Successful AP Exams


Lucy Kocev, Writer

The days are getting longer, birds are chirping, the new sports season has begun. Spring is here, and one other thing this warmer weather brings along with it is AP Tests. Taking any AP classes? Don’t fret; here are a couple of strategies to keep in mind as the first two weeks of May draw closer.

  1. Use the resources available to you: You may not realize how much information is out there for AP students like you. Along with your past quizzes and tests, the internet has great practice problems, and there are study guide books in print if you’re a bit more old-fashioned. Having to review a whole year’s worth of material can be overwhelming, but don’t forget that there are plenty of resources to help you.
  2. Know what to expect: Don’t walk into your exam without knowing what you will be expected to do. Your teacher has likely gone over this in class, but it would never hurt to hop onto College Board’s website and search for your classes. Each exam has a page that gives important details like the test date and which sections the exam will be broken down into. Many times the website gives a breakdown of each topic and what percentage of the exam includes information on that topic. Make sure that you feel comfortable and confident in the areas that are more heavily covered on the exam. Oh, and you can also find plenty of real past exam questions.
  3. Start Reviewing Early: Don’t let your exams creep up on you. Start your review at a time that won’t allow for last minute cramming. Feeling overwhelmed? Go back to step 2 and take a look at the College Board page for your exams to make for smarter studying.
  4. Make study groups: Don’t forget about your classmates; they’re in this with you! Plan group study sessions so that you can ask questions to peers that may have different notes written down for a certain topic, and so that you can do the same for others. Work through released exam questions from previous years together and see how others tackle tricky problems.
  5. Take brain breaks: Don’t forget to give your brain a break every once in a while. Spend some time outside or take part in a fun hobby to let your brain reset. Your studying is likely to be much more productive when you go back. 
  6. Don’t study the night before: Use the night before your exams to focus on resting your brain and getting good sleep. Don’t make the mistake of trying to review the whole course the night before your exam; it could hinder your confidence and take away from necessary rest. 
  7. Have a positive attitude: In the end, don’t forget to stay calm and have confidence in the work you’ve been doing all year. A positive attitude will lead to more productivity. Just remember, while your AP exams are important and are to be taken seriously, it’s nothing to lose your head about.