AP Exam season is just around the corner, and the stress (at least for me) has started to set in. AP courses are very heavy in material, take a long time to complete, and are very easy to mess up. But, if you are determined to do well, I have no doubt that you’d be able to do it. Here are some study tips to help you get started:

  • Start studying early

Depending on the course you’ve chosen, you should have already started studying, or at least have some sort of study plan. For a heavier course, like AP Biology, studying the material will take a very, very long time and will need to begin early. Lighter courses may need less effort, but more effort than a regular school test would.

  • Review the material

If you’ve got the time, read a bit of the material every day to keep your mind from wandering too far away from the topics. For AP World History, for instance, it’s recommended that you read the material as often as possible and never stop taking notes and making outlines. By the time the exam comes around, you’re at least familiar with what’s important and what isn’t, and you cram sessions can be shortened immensely.

  • Block out the world

Your friends will forgive you for ditching them for a few weeks. Just explain that these tests are stressful and important and you’d like to spend time studying for them. Your social life will be there waiting for you when you walk out of the exam room.

  • Practice tests!

There are many, many sites that give free AP practice tests. Set aside a few hours to complete one of these in full, in proper testing conditions. That means limit all disturbances and stick to time limits. Trust me, you’ll thank yourself on test day.

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  • Stick at it

Don’t stop studying until test day or until you know every single answer to every single question you could possibly be asked, whichever comes first. Make sure you know every vocab word or math formula, and never settle for “good enough”.

  • Don’t ignore your health.

Don’t be afraid to take breaks to eat or to take a walk or anything else you may need. These tests are important, but not as important as you. At the end of the day, it really is just a piece of paper. You and your health are number 1.

These are not regular tests, and you most probably can’t “wing it” on test day. But, these tests are not impossible to pass, and they aren’t written for super geniuses. All you need to do is study, and focus, and you’ll be fine. Remember that it is just a test, and that it is not the end of the world if you don’t get the score you expected.

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