For students participating in the Advanced Placement (AP) testing program, the first two weeks of May are a time for anxiety. Unlike finals, which occur in the final two weeks of the year, AP tests are coming up soon, bringing concern with them. “Some students are worried and are driven to succeed, adding some internal pressure.” AP Physics teacher Rob Ahrens said.
However, this pressure can be avoided. With the right preparation, each step to the AP process can pass with relatively little concern.
The first step: studying.
Ahrens says that the key to accessing the right information is to examine the textbook. “The key is to go back and review the old stuff from the beginning of the book,”Ahrens said.
He also recommends using study books. Study books provide an in-depth description of the needed information as well as sample problems.
Some teachers have study sessions that can also provide valuable information. “If your teachers have study sessions, go to them,” junior Mary Lubbers said. Lubbers has taken three AP tests in the past.
However, a more accessible alternative is online studying. “Honestly, there is a lot of work on the Internet,” Ahrens said. Many sites provide great studying tips, and past tests can be examined on the AP college board website.
Some students may be struggling with balancing different AP tests. A great method for dealing with these troubles is to have different study periods for different classes. “Set aside time for each one, and don’t put it off,” said Lubbers. “It can be a small time, as long as you have a specific time for each class.”
The second step: taking the test.
A second step to the process is the actual testing. Of course, following exam protocol is absolutely necessary. There are many rules that must be followed. For a complete list, talk to your AP teacher or check the collegeboard.com website. An important tip is simply to relax. “Be prepared, but don’t freak out,” senior Olivia Van de Rostyne said. Van de Rostyne had previously taken the AP Language and Composition exam.
Itt is also important, however, to try as hard as possible. “Work hard. Work fast. Don’t get scared of the setting. And turn your cell phone off,” junior Beth Meyer said..
As there is a break period, senior Nic Clifton advised to “bring snacks. And wear a funny hat for good luck. [sic]”
The AP test is useful not just in learning but as preparation. “It gives [students] a good example of what they might expect in college,” Ahrens said.
Whether the test is AP biology, French, or United States history, just a touch of studying can clear away those AP blues.