Best and Worst Things to Do for AP Testing

It may seem far now, but AP testing is in just two months. AP tests decide whether or not students will earn college credit for taking their AP class. Some students have been studying for the AP exam since the first day of school, while others have been more relaxed about it. Whether or not you’ve been preparing since day one or have just found out about the AP exam here are the best and worst things to do for AP testing.

Best Things to Do:

  1. Go with your Gut.

All AP tests consist of a multiple choice section. For some, the four letter choices taunt them when deciding which answer is correct. One answer choice may seem absolutely wrong while two choices may seem right. AP English III teacher, Lisa Cole, thinks the best thing to do is to trust the ol’ gut.

“Most students like to second guess themselves when they were right the first time. Most of the time your first instinct is the right one. They shouldn’t spend too much time one any single answer, keep it moving. Students need to trust themselves more when taking the multiple choice section,” said Cole.

     2.Actually Practice the Practice Test

Most AP classes have a set day for a mock AP test so students can find out what they need to study. Some take it as if it were the real AP test and some blow it off. AP statistics teacher, Tiffany Neelley, thinks the practice test should be a major source of student’s study habits.

“One of the best thing you could do is go over that practice test. Some of the FRQ’s in the practice test tend to be very similar to the ones in the actual test so the practice test isn’t just a thing we do so we can waste time. We do it so they can prepare for the real thing,” said Neelley.

3. Use your Resources

Most teacher have a google classroom or even a full website dedicated to study material for the AP test. Students have a lot of study material at their fingertips, so studying shouldn’t be a problem, but it’s when laziness kicks in that issues arise. AP European History teacher, Brandon Austin explains what he does every six weeks for his students.

“Every six weeks I make a calendar for my students. On it, it has what they should be studying that week or month. I just finished making a website for it so students who have lost theirs or have just not been paying attention can catch up,” said Austin.

Worst Things to Do:

1. Over-stress

For some students, the AP test has been in their nightmares since 8th grade. The test may even cause some students to tremble even at the mere mention of it. Stressing could actually lead you to forget most of what you studied. Mrs.Neelley thinks students just need to take a deep breath in and exhale.

“Over-stressing is probably the worst thing students can do for the AP tests. Most of the kids who do over-stress, are the ones who don’t really need to be stressing. Stressing will definitely not help whether you need to be stressed or not,” said Neelley.

2.  Cramming

Cramming has almost become a student tradition. Every night before a test, AP or not, the only thing you can hear is the frantic turning of text-book pages and regretful exhales of a student who forgot about a test. This might not be the best way to do it according to Mr.Austin.

“Cramming will only make things worse. The night before the test, you know what you know and you don’t what you don’t. Cramming will only keep you up all night for something you’ll forget in a matter of hours,” said Austin.

3. Sleeping During the Test 

It may seem obvious for some not to sleep during a test that may or may not grant you college credit, but sadly that’s not the case. Some students may be too confident the day of AP testing, thinking they can take a quick nap and write a full essay in under 30 minutes. AP english III teacher, Mrs. Cole, advises student not to nap during the test.

” Every year some students think they can write a great essay in under an hour when you will probably need the full time in order to get a product that is worth college credit. I can’t believe I have to say this, but don’t go to sleep during the test. Get a good night’s sleep the night before,” said Cole.