AP Testing is Fast Approaching: Here’s What You Can Do To Prepare


Photo by Owen Davis

AP testing is just around the corner, creeping up on all students that are participating. AP testing can be very stressful, can raise anxiety, and students might not even know where to start. This article will provide tips and tricks on studying for AP exams from students who have already taken AP tests in the past. 



Time is such an essential and important factor that plays into studying for these tests. For some students, starting earlier is better. The best time for students to start prepping for their AP exams is after the 2nd semester starts. By then, students essentially have 4 months left to get ready, since testing usually begins in May. Four months is a perfect amount of time to review class material from throughout the year without rushing through everything. The most students should wait is two months prior. Starting earlier will give students more time to focus on the areas they don’t understand, rather than just briefly reviewing them. Additionally, most AP courses cover a wide variety of information, which is why it is incredibly important to get a sense of all the material; students will not know what is on the test. More time will also help students prepare for the structure/layout of the exam. On some AP tests, there is a multiple choice section and some type of essay that has to be written. More time will help students better understand the content of the exam and what to expect. Above all else, do not procrastinate.



The most obvious but underrated resource is the CollegeBoard. Many students seem to ignore the website, but if you play around and look through it, you can find many things to help you study. From practice quizzes to review sessions to helpful videos, there is a wealth of information on the website available to students. When looking for material online, it’s important to make sure that the material you’re reviewing is actually for the correct class. For example, there’s AP English Literature & Composition, and AP English Language & Composition; two very different classes with completely separate review materials and purposes. Websites from other teachers that teach the same subject can also be really helpful because it is essentially the same information, but from a different angle. Many teachers also make YouTube videos for each chapter or unit. Most websites with “.org”, “.edu” or “.gov” can be trustworthy as these suffixes are tied to trustworthy, reputable sources. Let’s not forget about a student’s best friend, Quizlet. Quizlet is filled with endless material, sometimes identical to what is taught in class. Even if you don’t feel like creating your own, it’s extremely easy to find one just by searching for the name of a class on Google.


Study Groups & Communication

Sometimes it can be difficult for students to ask for help, because students do not want to feel inadequate. However, everyone taking AP classes is studying for the same thing. And if some students are more educated on certain topics, they can help. Students should make study groups with their friends or people they’ve gotten to know in their classes. Everyone’s minds work differently, so other students might help another student understand things from a different and better perspective. If students know people who have taken the courses, they ask them to help! They’ve already been through the whole process and their perspective is as close as it gets to actually being in the test. Finally, students need to make the time to go into their teacher’s classroom during lunches or office hours for extra support, especially if they have had a difficult time understanding a certain topic or concept.


Student Advice

“Try to get as much rest as possible. Ask your teachers all and every question you have.” – Samantha Sullivan, Junior

“Review the notes you’ve taken and assignments that have already been done. Watch videos online or youtube. But do it with time, cramming so much material, in little time, is nearly impossible and inefficient.” – Daniela Maldonado, Senior

“Use Quizlet! It’s a lifesaver. Take the time to review material every night for at least 10-15 minutes.” – Zoe Vestal, Senior

“Remember that it’s just a test, and it won’t define your success. Regardless of the outcome, you’ll still benefit from the class and all the material taught. Thank yourself for taking on the challenge.” – Maci Bentivegna, Senior