You’ve spent several months doing homework and practice tests, and now AP tests are right around the corner. While there is no substitute for committed study throughout the school year, these nine things will help you feel confident on test day. (Here’s the AP exam schedule for the first two weeks of May, just in case.)
1. Know the test content—something you should be very familiar with at this point—and the test format. Half the battle is understanding how the test is set up and what to expect. If you know what you’re getting into, you’ll be confident and feel capable.
2. Understand the lingo. Know the vocabulary the test uses and the types of questions that will be asked. Refer to your textbook glossary for additional assistance.
3. Enlist the help of a knowledgeable, experienced tutor. Find someone who has taken the particular test you are studying for and study with them. Their tips, knowledge, and advice will be invaluable.
4. Get a study buddy. Work together with someone to practice specific concepts and ideas. Talking about your expectations, your fears, and the test material will aid you in preparation.
5. Practice, practice, practice. Study the test content as much as possible. Make charts, outlines, flash cards, diagrams, and timelines. Review, rehearse, and do practice questions.
6. Immerse yourself in your test topic. If you’re taking an AP language test, listen to music, watch movies, read stories, and speak the language as much as possible. If you’re taking AP Art History, go to museums. You get the idea.
7. Share what you’ve learned. You’ll know you own the material if you can teach it to somebody else. Tell your mom about psychological disorders, teach your friend about photosynthesis, or make your little brother listen to you explain how ideology shaped the foreign policy of Nazi Germany.
8. Make a plan for pacing yourself correctly. Work out a time-management schedule and write it on your test booklet. Practice answering questions within your pacing restraints.
9. Envision yourself doing well. Positive thinking will produce positive results. Imagine yourself staying calm throughout the test and completing the test with ease. You’ve got this.
Now relax. You’ve spent a year of school preparing for the test, so just take it one question at a time and show off what you know. Eat right and get adequate rest and exercise before your test. Take a deep breath, relax, and tell yourself you can do it!
If you have any questions about exam day policies or how the testing and scoring processes work, check with your teacher or CollegeBoard.com.