Studying for AP exams

This student fell asleep during testing. According to the National Sleep Foundation, students ought to get eight to ten hours of sleep every night. However, a study found that only 15% of students reported to have gotten eight hours of sleep on school nights.

This student fell asleep during testing. According to the National Sleep Foundation, students ought to get eight to ten hours of sleep every night. However, a study found that only 15% of students reported to have gotten eight hours of sleep on school nights.

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As AP exams near, many students of Patterson Mill struggle finding the right resources to study. Students do not understand what websites to use, how to find the right information in their notes or even how far in advance they should start reviewing for their exam.

Organize your studying

Make sure to establish what you need to know by referencing your syllabus, any old tests, quizzes, or papers and the AP Course and Exam Description. Then, once you have figured out what you need to review, make a review schedule. This schedule does not have to be super-specific. You do not need to know exactly what to cover every single day but should have a general idea of what content areas to review and the skills to work on every week.

Resources to use

The website www.collegeexpress.com recommends three specific places to find College Board resources. First, in the AP Course and Exam Description booklet, students may read an overview of key subjects, which will appear on their test. The booklet also also has sample exam questions in the back. Another recourse recommended are the Official free-response questions released by the College Board and free response questions from previous years. You can access these questions by going to the College Board’s AP exam information page and selecting your exam; scrolling down from that page will take you to the released free-response questions. Lastly, the College Board sometimes releases complete exams from past years for free. These are, however, hard to find even though they are hosted on the College Board website. CollegeExpress advises that students Google the name of their exam with “previously released materials college board” or “complete released exams college board” to find the free exams.

Stay hydrated

The website www.albert.io suggests that students stay hydrated during their exam. They claim that, “Your brain is like a muscle; you’ve got to keep it healthy and raring to go! Having a water bottle isn’t a massive time drain either, since it only takes about a minute to refill the average water bottle. You probably even have a reusable water bottle in your home right now, so fill up and drink up.”

Study far in advance

Many students attempt to cram studying a few weeks or even days before their exam. However, senior Larry Clarke states, “If you try to cram everything, it’s not going to work.” Additionally, senior Jeneanne Mittman advises, “You should study throughout the year.” Lastly, the AP Language and AP literature teacher, Mr. Robert Bruce suggests, “studying the summer before the school year starts,” but, “most students tend to do just the opposite… they tend to take on huge tasks in a short time toward the end of the process and I think that’s less effective.”

Space out your studying

AP Human Geo and AP Psychology teacher, Mr. May teaches his students to space their subjects out when studying. When students learn periodically, the brain is more likely to remember the content. For example, don’t read through your notes and review them on the same day. Study your notes and practice them the next day. Even better, space this out over a few days. Additionally, flash cards are great reviewing tools. Make sure to study them in small stacks. The more cards you have in your stack, the more time passes before you go through the stack and return to a card you’ve studied before.

Study for any AP English courses differently

AP Language and AP literature teacher, Mr. Bruce’s teaches courses that test very different than many other courses. “I don’t encourage my students to study the same way they might in… AP Bio.” He says that students ought to focus on “writing clearly and effectively,” which they practice in his class throughout the year. Mr. Bruce also recommends that students practice their inference making skills. He shares that, “In the reading section, typically, you cannot read everything at a typical level… you have to be able to go beyond that.”

If you don’t know what you’re doing, don’t take the exam.

Many students do not feel confident in the material of the exam. Seniors Megan Hall and Larry Clarke expressed that if a student feels that they are unprepared for their exam, they shouldn’t attempt it. Larry Clarke suggests, “If you don’t know what you’re doing, don’t waste your time and money.” And when asked if one should take an exam on a subject they do not feel confident on, Megan Hall replied with a strict, “No.”

Test taking tips

According to Pennstatelearning, Instructors and the College Board often use inserted names, dates, places or other details to make a statement inaccurate. They advise that students “be alert for grammatical inconsistencies or concepts within the same true/false statements.” All parts of the statement must be true or the entire statement is false.

Additionally, if you must guess on a question, know the following tips: Sometimes lengthy or highly specific answers will be the correct answer and be aware of words like “always,” “never,” “only,” “must” and “completely.” These are usually the wrong answers since there are many exceptions to rules. “These are extreme words that are more likely to be the wrong choice.”

Most AP exams are on computers. Computers can cause many uncomfortable eye-related symptoms such as eyestrain, dry eyes, headache, fatigue, difficulty focusing, blurred vision, and shoulder and neck pain. If you have prescribed reading glasses, use them.

Studying for AP exams is stressful for most students. Make sure to stay hydrated, get enough sleep and space out your studying. Using these tools will ensure your success in the AP exams.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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