Easy Ways to Prepare for AP Classes

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AP Classes

AP classes can be challenging but are worth the effort for students who want to earn college credit and save money on tuition. Talking to your teacher and creating a schedule for homework, studying, and exam preparation is a great start. It’s important to take every class test seriously. These grades will eventually end on your transcript and can help or hurt your future.

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Studying

Depending on the quantity of material you need to review and your level of comfort with the test question structure, the time you spend studying for AP examinations will change. However, it’s important to maintain a consistent studying schedule. It will ensure that you’re reviewing the right materials and addressing areas of weakness in your understanding. Your AP class syllabus and the course exam description on College Board’s website are key resources for identifying what material might be covered on the upcoming exam. Using these documents, compare the information you reviewed in class with other sources. You may find that some concepts were addressed less thoroughly in your classroom, while others have been more closely examined through previous tests and quizzes. If you’re struggling to grasp an idea, ask for help from a study buddy or your teacher. Also, don’t hesitate to read some resources for AP students. It will help you learn the material and develop your skills for each test section. Also, don’t forget to follow all the general test-taking tips, such as getting a good night’s sleep, eating breakfast and packing your bag the night before.

Homework

If you take an AP class with an exam in the spring, setting aside time each week to review previous work is important. Keeping the material fresh in your mind will make it much easier to study for the exam when the time comes. When reviewing, focus on the concepts you struggle with rather than just memorizing facts. The AP tests are moving away from just wanting memorization of points, but you still need to have a general understanding of the concepts if you want to do well on them. Additionally, be sure to answer every question on the multiple choice exams even if you’re unsure of the answer; you won’t get penalized for incorrect answers. It is also helpful to look at the AP Course and Exam Description booklet to know what knowledge you need to prepare for the exam. Also, be sure to find AP practice questions and tests created by the College Board; these will be most similar to the AP exam you’ll take in the spring. Another great resource is your teacher. If you have a good rapport with your teacher, don’t be afraid to ask them if you have any questions while you are studying for the exam. They’re there to help you, and it will save you hours if they can point you in the right direction.

Exams

It’s generally accepted that students must encounter concepts multiple times to retain them, so studying for AP exams should include a mix of content review and practice exam-taking. A high-quality review book is often the most helpful, but students should also look for supplemental resources like podcasts or YouTube videos, Khan Academy lessons, and more. Review methods should be tailored to the student’s learning style; for example, visual learners might benefit from drawing diagrams, while auditory learners might prefer podcasts or audiobooks. When reviewing for exams, students should compare their AP class syllabus with the corresponding AP exam description to identify areas they might need to study more thoroughly than others. It’s also wise to take a few full practice exams under test-day conditions and practice individual question types. For students preparing for several AP classes, it’s wise to split up their studying schedule so that each subject receives the time it deserves. And don’t forget to do all the best test-taking practices, including getting a good night’s sleep, packing snacks and extra pencils. If students feel they can use a different study, boost to prepare for the big day, signing up for a tutor might be a good idea.

Assessments

While AP courses are worth taking if you’re passionate about the subjects and can benefit from college credit, they can be stressful and time-consuming. Staying on top of the material and developing strong time management skills is important. If you’re struggling to keep up with the work or find the subject challenging, skipping the exam may be best and saving your school and college time by dropping the class instead. The most common type of AP exam is a multiple-choice section that’s taken one day in May and will be the only score sent to colleges. However, some AP courses include “through-course assessments” that require completing projects over the year. These assignments will often factor into your final AP exam score, so it’s essential to know the specific requirements for your course before you register for your exam(s).

When studying for a test, review with your learning style in mind. Many study guides are available online and can help determine if you’re a visual, auditory or kinesthetic learner. Knowing your learning style can also be helpful when choosing a test prep company, as some specialize in teaching different methods. Preparing for AP exams requires consistent studying and effort over the year. If you want to earn a high enough score to receive college credit and give yourself a leg up on competitive colleges, it’s worth the extra effort.