Are you ready for your AP Exams? May is a hectic month with tests, finals, and school events, so prepping for your APs early and often will ensure you’ll do your best on these important tests. Here are tips to help you put together your perfect review strategy.
When should I start studying for AP Exams?
Many students start shifting to AP prep mode 1 to 3 months before test day, usually ramping up by spring break. The goal is it give yourself enough time to get used to AP question types, take a few practice tests, review content, and hone your test-taking strategy.
The good news is that all your hard work for your AP classes is setting a great foundation for the AP test. Use your old tests and quizzes to track where you need to strengthen your knowledge and what topics you already know well.
How to study for multiple APs at once:
If you are taking more than one AP test this May, it’s important that you start early and make a schedule to map out your time. To come up with your study plan, ask yourself:
- How many days/weeks/months away are my exams?
- What time of day is my best, most focused study time?
- How much time per day/week/month will I devote to preparing for each exam?
- When will I prep? (Be as specific as possible: "Mondays & Wednesdays from 3 to 4 p.m. I will study for AP Bio," for example.)
Studying in small chunks keeps the workload manageable, so try to stick to one AP subject per night.
How to Study for AP Exams:
1. Start with old material. Begin by reviewing the material you have already completed in class. Set aside 15 minutes or so each evening to review past work. Refreshing your memory on a regular basis is the best strategy for effective learning.
2. Approach new material with the AP test in mind. You can’t just forget the material once you’ve been graded on it! The AP exam will be the culmination of the entire year. As you master new material, take a few minutes to make notes that you’ll use later for AP Exam review. Highlight the important points of each lesson while it’s still fresh in your mind, and note the areas where you struggled.
3. Don’t overly rely on your high school teacher. Your teacher’s job is to ensure all the subject material is covered—not to help you study. There often isn’t enough time during class to teach the material AND do a thorough review by May.
4. Invest in an AP prep book. A great test prep book will help you review essential content, introduce you to test format and question types, and help you practice for the big day.