AP Testing Tips

By, Alexis Weppner | Writer

February 2, 2016

Fortunately, here at San Clemente High School, students have the ability to enroll in AP classes. This course, to the dismay of many, includes the taking of AP tests towards the end of the year. However, if you have the availability to take an AP test, seize that opportunity! Many high schools have received word from prestigious colleges and universities such as Princeton, Harvard and Yale stating that they would “rather accept an AP student who got a 1 score on the test or a stellar ADV English student over AP students who choose not to take the test and instead just accept the advantage of a higher grade boost.”

Although these tests are rather expensive to take, there are many financial aid options at our school to help provide you with the money to take the test. If scheduling is a problem then you need to talk to your adviser immediately to find a viable option that sits well with both you and the AP Board. Reasons for rescheduling must be bona-fide reasons such as an athletic event already scheduled or other AP tests at the same time that you plan on taking. Changes in testing times are possible though, so don’t be discouraged if you need one.

Once you have already signed up and paid for your AP Exams, you do need to prepare for them! There are two types of preparation for you exams–academically, and physically/mentally. Academic preparation for your exams need to begin as soon as possible. This consists of not being the typical second semester senior or, for juniors, just not slacking off. Paying attention in class, raising your hands to ask questions (I promise, there’s going to be at least one other person with the same question), take diligent, copious notes, studying, and taking mock AP tests. All of this is probably stressing you out, but if you start now and continually do these this every day–even for 20 minutes a day–you won’t have to become a hermit closer to the exam date by locking yourself in your room, pouring over old notes that you forgot from first semester, pulling your hair out due to stress, because you will already be academically prepared.

Being academically prepared helps you better mentally and physically prepare, considering that your state of mind can drastically change your physical state. Studies have shown that being overly stressed can lead to poor retention of information, a lowered immune system, slower metabolism, little to no appetite, insomnia, and even depression. You may have even witnessed some of your friends experiencing similar symptoms from AP exams years prior. Don’t let that happen to you by not academically preparing now. When your AP exams are about a week away make sure to start drinking plenty of water and eating a well balanced diet–nourishing your body and brain will make you feel better and help maintain information you’ve studied. The night before the test, pretend as though you’re back in elementary school and you have a bedtime of 7 pm–embrace going to bed early for once! The night before, don’t worrying about studying–by then you should feel confident in your knowledge and just focus on being mentally and physically ready for your extensive testing the next day.
The main idea to realize when getting ready for AP testing is not to wait. Start everything early and take it slow. It will all pay off in the end!

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