AP exams week can feel much less stressful with these simple tips

Saige Gitlin, Staff Writer

There are few high school students that look forward to AP exams.  As the weather gets warmer, sitting inside cramming for these tests is not exactly ideal.  So how can you lighten the load?  There are many ways that you can make your AP studying both more manageable and effective.

One of the most important tips is to start studying early.  Try to give yourself at least two weeks to study before the test.  If you have more time, you can spread out your work and you won’t have to cram and get no sleep.

Some people choose to make a schedule for themselves, so they can stay on track with their studying.  You can make a detailed plan for any amount of time: for two weeks before or the weekend of.

“I think that giving myself a lot of time to study has allowed me to process all of the information,” said junior Lucy Hurt.  “Sometimes when I try to study all the information in a day or two, I have a difficult time actually understanding what I’m studying.”

Getting a head start will definitely put you at an advantage during AP testing week, especially if you have more than one test. Once you get started, you need a solid study plan.  An effective way is to combine multiple study techniques.  A good way to start is by taking practice AP exams.  This test will enable you to understand where you need to improve, and what information you already know.

You might want to purchase an AP review book that has multiple practice tests with explained answers.  These books can give you access to practice material and help you understand why you are making mistakes.

“Practice Tests are a key part of my AP test studying,” said junior Davida Harris.  “The tests have a very specific format so it’s important to know the timing and styles of questions you will be asked.”

Once you know where you need to improve, it is time to dig into the information.  The amount of material on these tests can be daunting at first, but there are many ways to make memorization and application easier.  Some people like to read over their notes and re-write the key points.  Additionally, many people use index cards or websites like quizlet.com so they can quiz themselves on the information.  These techniques will help you memorize the material and ensure that you understand it.

“I always re-write my notes when I am studying.  It seems excessive at first, but once I’m done I have a really good understanding of the material,” said junior Sarah Gottesman.

Studying is all about teaching yourself the material in a way that you will remember it and be able to apply it.  If you have a group of friends who are all in your class, then it could be beneficial to set up a study group.  When you work with classmates, you can learn information you did not understand before, and you can teach concepts to your friends as well.  This is an effective way of assessing how prepared you are.

“I think studying in a group is a great way to get ready for the AP test,” said junior Idell Rutman.  “Not only does it help you better understand the material, but it also makes studying more fun.”

Studying can be really draining, so it is very important that you take a break.  At a certain point, you will not even process the information if you stay locked up inside for hours.  Don’t be afraid to take a break; get outside and be active.  A positive attitude and stress-free mind can make way for effective learning.  Studying is all about balance, and if you manage your time, use multiple techniques, and have a relaxed attitude, you will see good results on test day.