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The Knight Crier

Online News Day or Knight - Official news site of North Penn High School - 1340 Valley Forge Rd. Lansdale, PA

The Knight Crier

Online News Day or Knight - Official news site of North Penn High School - 1340 Valley Forge Rd. Lansdale, PA

The Knight Crier

Tips and tricks to ace the AP exams

Gianna Moser
With the AP Exams just about a month away, here are some tips and tricks for preparing for the College Board exams.

Starting in early May, the AP Exams can be a great way to earn college credit at a fraction of the cost of a college course at an actual university. That is … if you pass.

The time has come to lock into the study process for the Advanced Placement College Board Exams. Whether you’re a sophomore, junior, or even senior, prepping for the AP Exams is a long, confusing process for any student – no matter how experienced. 

With about one month away, time is of the essence for preparation. So, here are some tips and tricks to help you succeed in studying for the upcoming AP Exams. 

1. Calm down, just breathe, and get a plan!

If you haven’t started studying yet, there isn’t any reason to panic. There’s still plenty of time to study for the exams. Going into studying with a positive mindset is key to committing to the preparation process. Now is the perfect time to at the least plan a study schedule leading up to the exams. While College Vine recommends that students aim for 40-to-50 hours of studying per exam, it really depends on how well you are doing in the class thus far. Some students may feel the need to study a bit less for AP classes they are excelling in and study a bit more for the classes they are struggling with. Either way, set a goal amount of study hours and stick with it. Once a certain amount of hours for each class is decided, assign those hours further to smaller daily or weekly goals to add up to the total amount of study time needed before the exam. 

2. Do some self-reflection: Know your strengths and weaknesses

How have you studied for tests and quizzes throughout the year? The study methods certainly vary from class to class, and each year takes a bit of trial and error to get used to. The AP classes are all designed to help you prepare for the exam. So, looking back on some of the tests that you did well on, what did you do to study that time that differed from a test that you didn’t do as well on? Possibly, studying apps like Quizlet or Kahoot got you the score that you wanted; perhaps, making flashcards helped you pass Unit 5; or maybe all you had to do was skim your notes a few times to ace the quiz. Making note of the parts of the curriculum that you struggled with versus the parts you sped through will ensure a structured study environment. This will make sure you know all the material well enough for the exam. Now, split the previously assigned hours into units or concepts that will be on the exam, giving more time to the concepts that you struggled with and earlier units that need refreshing. Revisit your notes, flashcards, Quizlets, etc. to help review, sticking to the studying media that worked best for you and leaving the rest. 

3. Use free resources available

There are countless numbers of free resources to help prepare for the AP Exams. The first resource to go to, however, should probably be your AP teacher. If there is confusion over a certain topic or questions about a concept, your AP teacher is there to help you confidently know all that you need for the exam. Especially with the new implementation of Knight Zone, there are plenty of opportunities to go over the assessments you didn’t do as well on and ask questions. In terms of practice and review, AP Classroom offers its AP Daily Videos as well as review practice. There are numerous AP Exam prep books for practically every subject imaginable, so why not take advantage of the free ones available in a library, including the North Penn library? 

4. Know when you need help

No matter the stigma around it, needing or wanting help when it comes to an AP class, from confusion on the smallest concept to the whole exam, is completely normal. There is a reason why it is called the Advanced Placement Exams, the concepts in it are “advanced” and can be confusing. Thus, getting a tutor, getting help from your teacher, or even asking a friend who took the exam before are all viable ways to get the help needed to get the score you want to achieve on the exam. Even if you aced a concept early in the year, it’s still possible to completely forget it by May, and thus asking questions or reviewing it with a friend or tutor can be great ways to clear confusion before the exam. 

5. Stick with it 

Spring is always the most academically challenging time of the year. Big assignments like the Critical Paper are piling up, standardized testing is drawing nearer, and for Seniors, graduation is just around the corner. Despite all this, it cannot be stressed enough how important it is to study for the AP Exams in a timely and realistic manner. Procrastinating until the week before the exam will set up for stressful disappointing results. Sticking with a set plan will set you up for less stressful success. 

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