Knock out your AP anxiety: How to prepare for the dreaded exams


It’s that time of year again. Warm weather, annoying allergies, and stress in the air. If you’re like me, then you might not have realized how quickly May is approaching; in less than 2 weeks we’ll have finally reached the last month of the school year. But before you start daydreaming about days spent lounging around the pool, and summer nights that feel like they’ll never end, remember that school isn’t quite over. AP exams are upon us.

Although it probably feels like you’ve spent all year preparing for your AP exams (because you have), unfortunately, you’re not done studying yet. AP exams start in just 2 weeks!

I will admit, that most of my preparation for AP exams in past years have involved coffee, crying, and repeatedly screaming, “I’ll just get a 0, it’s fine.” But if you actually care about passing your exam (which you probably should), then there are a few effective ways to help yourself get that 5!

Whether you have taken a million AP exams, or you’re an AP newbie, even a little studying before the exam can go a long way. Most students are taking more than one AP class at a time, so balancing studying for all of them can be difficult. With just a few weeks left before the dreaded exams arrive, this is the perfect time to set up a study schedule. Allocate a certain chunk of time every day to studying for each class. It can be as little as 10 minutes or as much as an hour depending on how much is the most beneficial for you. Everyone learns differently, so everyone requires different levels of study. A study schedule will help you balance study time for every AP class that you’re taking. If you’re insane enough to take more than 4 AP classes, well then good luck!

It’s impossible to remember everything that you’ve learned in class all year unless you have a photographic memory. If you don’t know all of the causes of WWI, or can’t name all 45 of the presidents, this won’t ruin your chances for the exam. Say hello to your new best friend: Quizlet.

If you haven’t already discovered the wonders of Quizlet, then you are in for a treat. Quizlet allows you to make flashcards, which is a good way to store your information for studying. However, if you’re too lazy to make your own flashcards, there are students from all around the country that have got your back. There are a million quizlets that have been made for every single AP class. Just do a quick google search, and you’ll everything you need to know for the big exam already made for you!

The best way to prepare for an AP exam (or anything for that matter) is to practice. Most AP classes are starting to offer mock exam opportunities over the next few weeks. Some are mandatory, some are optional, and some might even be extra credit. But either way, try not to miss out on this opportunity. A mock exam is your only chance to practice the exam before it’s time for the real deal. Although coming to school at 8 am on a Saturday isn’t very appealing, it will be worth it in the end. Your score on the mock exam could even give you an idea of how well you will perform on the actual exam, which can alter how much time you will have to spend studying later.

Whether you’ve studied every day for weeks before the exam, or have barely cracked open a book, the best thing to do the night before the exam is nothing. Take a break, relax, watch TV, and go to bed early. Wake up at a normal time and eat a good breakfast beforehand.

AP exams can be extremely stressful, but don’t let the pressure get to you. Whatever score you get on the exam will have no effect on your GPA, and receiving college credit is helpful, but not necessary. Besides, once you finish your exams, you won’t have to think about them again until the scores come out in July!