Yikes! AP Exams are Here, But Help is on the Way!


Guys, it’s coming. That week we all dread. The one we’ve been preparing for all year:  AP week. The countdown for our first AP exam is just about two weeks from now. But fret not, for I am here to save you from an AP catastrophe!

Follow these steps for AP success:

  1. First and foremost, if you haven’t done so already, get an AP book. I know what you’re thinking–the exam is only days away and you’ve barely cracked open the book. But it’s not too late! The one that I recommend is 5 Steps to a Five because no matter the subject, 5 Steps does a great job of explaining and summarizing the main topics and points. It also gives you sample questions and explains the process of how to arrive at the right answer. I recommend pacing yourself and not trying to go through the entire book at once.
  2. It is now to take some practice tests. Make sure that you time yourself so you can simulate the exam schedule. Are you ready? Put down your phone. Shut down your laptop. Turn off the music. Log off all social media. Remove all distractions (even your annoying little brother). Leave the house if you must and find your quiet space. This means you should complete two practice tests before your exam a week apart so you can work on anything you did wrong the first time before taking it again.
  3. How often should you be practicing over the two weeks? Review material for your exams everyday. Yes, everyday. And it doesn’t have to be for a long time. Last year, when I took AP Government, I reviewed vocabulary on the bus to school every morning. By the time the exam came along, the vocab was ingrained into my head. Also, try to go over any notes pertaining to that test right before you go to sleep, even if it’s for just a minute. Studies show that your brain retains knowledge when you are asleep, so chances are you’ll memorize the information a lot faster.
  4. Know that you are not alone. Most of us have taken these exams, and know how scary it can be. So reach out to your upperclassmen who have gone before you. I have taken AP Physics 1 and AP Government so far, so if you have any questions about those exams, don’t hesitate to reach out to me (my email is ReeFar@bergen.org). I promise that most of us would be happy to give you advice about the exams.
  5. Here comes my favorite part: RELAX! The few days before the test are not your days to stress yourself out–these are your days to recuperate. If you’ve been practicing, you have nothing else to memorize. Go over some notes, but don’t do anything too drastic (like pulling all nighters to take practice exams).
  6. The night before the exam, go to bed early. Make sure you have a good breakfast the day of the exam and don’t forget to bring these three items: a pen or pencil, a calculator (if applicable), and CONFIDENCE!

Good luck, everyone!

(And don’t forget to share YOUR tips in the comments below!)

Author: Reem Farhat


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