AP Test Tips

AP Tests are approaching quickly! Due to the coronavirus outbreak, AP has changed the test from the usual three-hour in-person test to a 45 minute free response exam. Students will take them online and on any device of their choosing. For more information, you can click the link below:


Because the tests are only a month away, now is the time to start studying! You should have a bit more time now that schools are closed, although Memorial will move to online testing by April 6. Follow some of the tips below to succeed on your tests:

1. Create study schedules. Try and block out a 30 minute or hour long session each day for studying for a specific exam. It’s important that you progress and build your skills over time, even if it means shorter sessions each day, rather than cram it all in the week leading up to the test. That will lead to burnout and stress, which is the last thing you need for a difficult test like AP! Make sure to study the subjects that are the most difficult for you and work on practice problems and note review.

2. Stick to your schedule. Now that you made a plan, you need to be responsible about keeping up with it. Procrastination becomes anxiety when the test is just a week away; it’s not worth it! To encourage yourself you can plan fun activities or treat yourself after studying. 

3. Find a study group. Forming a study group can be extremely beneficial because discussion and explanation helps you remember concepts and the material. Furthermore, you can help each other understand the content and quiz each other. Just make sure not to get too off task, and keep up with the solo studying as well! You can try calling your friends or using hangouts or Zoom to create study sessions together when having to talk rather than text.

4. Do practice problems. Nothing is better than putting your studying to work through practice problems. Try to look for problems in your textbook or redo challenging homework problems, especially in sections or concepts that are difficult. Search online and read over explanations if you need to, and find resources that will help give practice and explanations as well.

5. Ask your teachers for help. Your teachers are here to help you out with any problems you have. Because we no longer are in school, it would be best to email your teachers or ask questions during online class meetings. Your teacher should have plenty of experience and knowledge about AP test requirements and what to focus on, so make use of that!

6. Get all your materials prepared beforehand. Make sure to gather paper, pencils, pens, AP approved calculators, whatever you may need for the test. Don’t leave yourself searching for materials when the test comes! You no longer need to bring IDs and test papers because you will be taking it online, but you should still organize your desk or workspace beforehand. Working on a clean surface will help you concentrate as well.

7. Find an adequate test taking space. You need to take the exam somewhere that is quiet and free of distractions, but also allows you to focus on the test. An extremely cluttered desk, the living room, or a super comfy couch might not be the best options. Instead, go to a room where you can close the door, or be sure to let your family know that they need to give you peace if you need to work in an open area. 


By Jessica Jiang

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