Top 10 ways to prepare for AP tests

Maggie Sweeney, editor in chief

It’s that time of year when AP teachers begin to cram teaching that last bit of the textbook in hopes of finding enough time to help the class prepare for that dreaded AP test. It seems like no matter how fast you go, the year is almost always too short to fully process the information and enjoy the topic. However, it is important to prepare yourself for the AP test in order to ensure your hard work pays off and you pass the test. Here are some ways you can study:

  1. Shmoop- If your teacher uses it, Shmoop is an excellent way to help you pass the AP test. It offers many different areas of review as well as helpful quizzes and even full AP tests for practice. This will help you gauge how much you really need to study in order to make the most of your time.
  2. Buy a book- There are a handful of really helpful review books available on Amazon or your local Barnes & Noble for every subject that are available for a relatively low cost. Find out what book is the most helpful for your test here.
  3. Study group- You’re not the only one stressing about the AP test. Get a group together in your class and plan to meet at Vinaka or the library and help each other study and brush up on information from the beginning of the year.
  4. Flashcards- One of the most effective ways to study is by using flashcards. They help you retain information better and can make a difference in improving your overall success on the AP test. Making flashcards is even easier with the help of Quizlet.
  5. Look at College Board- On College Board, you can find the most information on AP courses and tests. They release FRQ questions and multiple choice questions from past years for every subject to help you study. College Board will also provide you with information on receiving credit for your AP tests in college and it will be your go-to site for checking to see if you passed.
  6. Review homework and notes- Too late to order a review book? Look over your homework and notes that you took throughout the year. There’s a reason you put so much time and effort into completing it.
  7. Talk to your teacher- Your teacher has probably been teaching this course for years and knows what to expect on the test. He or she has definitely prepared you, but ask for their help in figuring out the most important things to study so you don’t waste your time studying the menial things.
  8. Practice test- Using your review book, looking at flashcards and going over your notes will definitely help you, but nothing will make you more familiar with the AP test format than taking practice exams. There are many websites that have full AP tests for every subject that will surely help you succeed. Although it may be time consuming, it is worth it.
  9. Make a calendar- Many of you will be stressing over multiple AP tests over the course of the next month, so it is smart to make a calendar of when to study for each subject in order to focus your full attention on one test at a time. This allows you to process information from one subject rather than scattering every subject at once.
  10. Relax- You have worked hard all year and you know what you’re doing. Try some meditation and don’t stress too much because once it’s over, it’s over and you can grab some food and celebrate all your hard work.