Study Survival Guide to AP Testing

CollegeBoard’s AP testing begins May 2nd. Prepare and conquer.


Clay Vesser

Study Survival Guide to AP Testing

Advanced Placement testing is upon us with only one week separating the start of two weeks of bubble filling. Hundreds of Antioch students have spent two semesters preparing, studying, and learning critical material for May’s big tests. After speaking to a couple students, the average AP student takes around one to two tests each year, but a couple take up to four or five. As a senior who has already taken five AP tests throughout my years at ACHS, and planning to take four this year, I can honestly say that these are not fun weeks of the school year. From European History to Biology, from English Language to Psychology, I have covered the bases when it comes to genre and style.

After hours of homework and endless lectures, AP courses have left me with three valuable skills: time management, organization, and how to study.

  1. Time Management At this late in the game it is somewhat difficult to plan months ahead, seeing that AP tests begin next week (yikes), but there is a chance to scramble in last minute studying. For example, if Sally is taking United States History and their are 12 units, Sally would break up the 12 units over the days until her test. Depending on when the test is, either the first or second week, Sally may have more or less time to cram. With days rather than weeks, there is not time to study extremely specific details. Save the day before the test for pure relaxation. Really. There is not much your brain can absorb in the hours before a test.
  2. Organization Begin by laying out the seemingly endless pile of packets and handouts from the year on a flat surface so you can see everything. Then continue to organize each packet by the unit, throw out useless papers, and search for any test guidelines the teacher may have given. At this point, every unit is separate and in plain sight. It is now up to you to dig into each unit and study, study, study.
  3. How to Study Studying is the essential key to getting a five on an AP test. Of course throughout the year you would have learned the material, but it is the recall of this information that is difficult. The AP test is geared to see how well students understand the basics and can apply these basics to other problems/issues/situations. With this in mind, break down each unit, identify key terms, and understand the gist of the information. Do not forget about the Internet. It is your best study tool besides a text book. I highly recommend Quizlet, CollegeBoard’s website, and YouTube review videos (heard of John Green?).

Good luck Sequoits as you enter two weeks of AP testing. Happy bubbling.