If you follow these seven steps, you’ll likely increase your chances at doing well on your AP exams.
1. Make a Plan
Start now by creating your plan, because failing to plan is planning to fail. You need to know what you need to know, how you’re going to acquire that knowledge, and the sequence of study by which to acquire it.
2. Familiarize Yourself with the Questions
Become thoroughly familiar with all the types of questions that appear on the test. In addition to multiple-choice, there may be free-response questions on the math test, short-answer questions on other tests, and essays of varying lengths on others. Knowing what you’ll be facing will allow you to prepare for all contingencies.
3. Review Content from Class
Early in the process, focus on content review covering what you’ve already learned in class, and save actual test prep for later. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t be answering practice test questions early in the game to familiarize yourself with them and learn what you don’t know, but focusing early on content not covered in class until later isn’t your best use of time.
4. Take Practice Tests
Within two weeks of taking the actual exam, take as many practice tests, under actual test conditions, as you can. You’ll reveal your areas of weakness so that you can focus on them, and you’ll better understand timing while building stamina for the real thing.
5. Review Essay Prompts
For tests with essay questions, sharpen your ability to understand the prompt, practice outlining your response before you write begin writing the essay, and then practice transforming your outline into an organized, logical, and coherent narrative. If you don’t do that on the test, nothing else matters. Length for the sake of length is counterproductive.
6. Hire an Expert
Work with us individually or in a small group of your peers, because your commitment will translate into results. You’ll learn best if when challenged by knowledgeable, like-minded individuals who have your same goals in mind.
7. Review Online Resources
There are a staggering number of AP test prep resources, some from the College Board itself, many of them free, and others available at modest costs. By all means use them, and contact us if you’d like recommendations.
Bonus study tip #8: Doing it right – studying properly for an AP exam – is a little like preparing for, and then running, a marathon: lots of rest, good nutrition, and productive practices. Then, when the finish line is in sight, you reach back for those last reserves of energy and speed toward the tape. Let us help you get there by joining us and your peers for one or more of our AP Crams. Reach us at (844) GET-1600 for more information.
Want more tips? Download our AP exam study skills checklist.