AP deadlines are arriving, or have already passed, for some schools which also means that it’s the season of exam studying. While many people focus on studying for the SATs and ACTs, the AP exams are just as important; in addition to assessing your knowledge in a certain subject area, AP exams can also give you college credits (if you score high enough) giving you more freedom for course selections in college. All students should be sure to remember exactly when their exam is.
The AP exams are coming up in early May, and it’s important to start developing a study plan early on. Many students take certified AP classes at school, and are usually sufficiently prepared without having to spend a lot of their own time studying. However, many other students also take outside courses, or simply prepare from a prep book. Either way, practice for an AP exam will always be beneficial; but the best way to ensure complete preparation without wasting time is to study efficiently.
There are many AP books out there, and finding a reliable and trustworthy edition is easier than you may think. Barron’s is one of the most highly recommended AP exam book brands because it not only includes multiple sets of practice questions, but also gives tips on timing during the exam, how to study effectively, and overall suggestions preparing you for the style and format of each exam. Barron’s exams books come in many different subjects, from Biology and Calculus to Chinese and Art History. For language courses and others that require audio, many of their exam books also come with CDs to practice the listening and speaking portions of the exam.
However, Barron’s is the panacea when it comes to studying for AP exams. While its material is thorough and sufficient enough for most exams, some subjects may have books from lesser known brands that specialize in one or two AP exams. This site has great information for the best AP test books based on subject, as well as general tips for all students.
If you aren’t too fond of reading textbooks, or are unable to purchase one, there are also many easily-accessible, free, websites where you can access quality study material. One of the most reputable websites is Khan Academy, which offers free lessons and classes for a variety of different AP classes. Besides their full-length practice questions, they also offer many detailed video tutorials and video solutions with thorough explanations.
As Prep Scholar advises, creating a schedule for studying for AP exams, and sticking to it, is crucial. Based off of your subject, create a weekly schedule, assigning a couple of weeks for each major topic. For example, if you are studying for World History, assign the first week to WWI, the second to WWII and so on, making sure you’ve reviewed all topics by the week of the exam. Set aside a specific time each week to study so you don’t “accidentally” miss a session because you are busy; make studying a necessity even though there are technically no due dates (besides the exam)
Overall, there is no way to earn the score you want without studying. But there are ways to decrease your studying time by being more efficient.
Article by MoCo Student staff writer Valerie Wang of Richard Montgomery High School