Firsthand tips on taking this year’s AP exams

This year's AP exams have gone through many groundbreaking changes in response to the novel coronavirus. Here are some first-hand tips to conquer this year's exams.

Graphic by Alex Gresham

This year's AP exams have gone through many groundbreaking changes in response to the novel coronavirus. Here are some first-hand tips to conquer this year's exams.

Jason Kanetakis, News Editor

The first online AP exam was administered today at 9 a.m. Without knowing exactly what to expect, AP Physics students were the first ones to access the College Board’s 45-minute, open note tests.

AP testing for 2020 has gone through massive changes due to the coronavirus, but the college-credit-earning tests are still happening, from this week until May 22. The online tests are notably different than traditional AP exams. After experiencing the first online exam, junior Sam Heyman lays out top tips for keeping students on track while taking their AP tests.

1: There is no reason not to study, even with a condensed test.

Sam Heyman: “Make sure you do study. Even though it’s an open book test, you won’t have enough time to look through everything.”

2: Don’t cheat. It’s counterproductive and bad conduct.

SH: “There is no point in texting or calling your friends; they’re gonna have a different version than you, and it’ll just waste time.”

3: Make a schedule and be prepared.

SH: “Make sure to log in at least 10 minutes before the test. [The College Board recommends 30]. It takes at least five minutes to enter your information.”

4: Keep an eye on the time.

SH: “Do not lose track of time. It can get really easy to do so and the clock goes down faster than you might think. And be sure to give yourself a grace period so you have enough time to submit stuff.”

5: The early bird really does get the worm.

SH: “Make sure to wake up nice and early so you can prepare with a good breakfast and coffee, if you want. That way you’re more awake during the actual test.”

To understand more about what to expect for this year’s AP exams, click here to watch the College Board’s video tour of the testing system and to practice with a demo exam. Or click here for the College Board’s complete guide to preparing for AP examinations.