It’s that time of the year again. The birds are chirping, the sun is rising, and the AP students are freaking out. Yes, May has come once more, bringing the dreaded AP (advanced placement) test to all the AP classes.
AP test cost $93, but could be worth much more to the student given some time. AP tests have the potential to give the student college credit for the class, given that they are able to get a high enough score. Usually, a three or higher will give college credit, depending on the course and the school.
That’s why AP students worry so much over testing, but fear not. This is a simple three step procedure to help prepare for an AP test:
- Focus on essentials:
This may seem strange for a first step, but baby steps are often appreciated in the very beginning. What you want to do first is get your bearings on the subject, and there are many ways to efficiently get this done. For example, when looking at your current grade in the class, look for previous subjects that you have covered in class. If one part of a lesson never quite made sense to you, make sure to put that at the top of the list of things to study. When actually looking over the list you have made, take the most important and begin to pull it apart. Rip into that section, pull everything apart. Then, begin to learn the individual parts, one by one, until the general idea begins to make a little more sense.
When you have finished, put all back together and move on to the next. The main thing to keep at the back of your mind is your time. Don’t take all your time on one subject. Keep moving around by starting at the top of the list, then bottom, then start back up at the top.
Now, you may be thinking this is quite obvious, and you are exactly right. The only way you can hope for information to stay with you is with frequent studying. There are no cheap tricks to remembering information for the test. The main thing you can do is rehearse the information that you need to know. Now, this doesn’t mean whispering words to yourself in front of a wall in your room, hours on end; that’s just plain weird. Instead use one of the multitude of studying devices at your disposal. An effective strategy is taking as many practice exams as you can, as these are very beneficial. The practice exams have many of the same types of questions, and can provide insight on how an AP test is structured. There’s also apps like Quizlet, that let you study each section of your class in greater detail. There are even apps that are games that can help, like Quizup. All that matters is to constantly keep review the material, by playing a game on a bus or behind your computer at your desk.
While you study, it may prove beneficial to listen to music in the background. Now, this does not include rap or rock, but instead classical. According to thebestcolleges.org, certain types of music, such as classical, can activate the part of their brain that helps with paying attention and making predictions. Also, music can change your mood and overall outlook on studying as a whole. Overall, something worth trying while you are studying.
- Keep your cool:
There is no point in cramming until the sun comes up, as you are just working against yourself at that point. When the test comes, you want to feel calm and be sure of yourself. Don’t worry about every decision that you make, and don’t psych yourself out. Just get a good night of rest and eat a good breakfast in the morning. “Students prepare for the Ap test over the whole corse, so they shouldn’t need to cram the before the test.” Said Spencer Woods, AP English teacher. “You don’t see football teams having a nine hour practice before the Super Bowl. During the weekend before the exams, you need to relax, sleep, and get a good breakfast.” According to goodluckexams.com, the best foods to eat are brain stimulating foods. These are high protein foods, like eggs, nuts, yogurts, and many others. What you want to avoid are foods that will do the opposite. Avoid food that has white flour (cookies, cakes, muffins), because these foods will require extra time to digest. Remember, you want your body to spend most of its energy in your brain, not digesting your food.
Hopefully with these three steps you will ace that test and be on your way.
Jordan Rust, Staff Reporter