How to Study for Advanced Placement (AP) ExamsPosted March 9, 2015, 1:00 pm by
AP exams are not the easiest things to prepare for, especially when you are going to take more than one exam. It takes a lot of time and diligence to ace those AP college tests; however, with the right preparation, you will not only ace the exams, but also earn college credits. Here is a timeline to follow in order to ace the AP College Board exams.
1. August: Be in the Right Courses for Your Level
Perhaps AP courses are not right for you. Make sure early on that you are able to take on the challenge of being in an AP course. Maybe you might be better off or more interested in taking courses at a nearby community college instead. Just make sure you are aware of what you are signing up for.
2. September – December: Get into Study Mode
Get into the habit of studying and practicing every single day, even on the weekends. These exams are not easy. You will earn college credits if you ace your final exam, so of course they are going to be very challenging. To overcome this challenge, you have to be diligent everyday to process new material, especially if the course is math or science-related.
3. Winter Holidays: Review
Spend this free time reviewing everything you have learned thus far in the semester. Once January hits, you are going to be learning new material with barely any time to review old content.
Buy an AP subject preparation books to relearn the topics your teacher has already covered in different ways. Maybe there is a topic that you are not too strong in—these books can teach you more than what you have been learning in class.
4. January – March: Study Groups
Continue to study and practice everyday and use the extra AP subject preparation books. Think of it as having an extra load on your homework to help you better prepare for the upcoming exam! In addition, form a study group with your classmates. Sometimes they will not only help you be more diligent with your studying, but they can also help you come up with good mnemonics to better memorize difficult vocabulary and math equations.
5. April: Review
Divide this month to review ALL the topics that have been covered in your AP course. Split your days by topics (31 topics in 31 days) and spend all your free hours on a specific day reviewing for an individual topic.
6. May: Last Preparation
This is it! You are almost there, but it is time for one last quick review on all the topics that you have learned this year. Take extra time to go over the most challenging topics and highlight the things that are important to remember on the exam.
On the actual day of the exam, wake up early. Do not pull an all-nighter because this is one of the WORST things to do to your brain on test day. Eat a good breakfast and skim review your highlighted notes. Then, drive to your testing location and ace your AP exams!