AP Exams: How to Prepare and Avoid Stress


Barbara Guerrero

Trying your best on AP Exams DO make a difference!

Angelina Abdelrahman, Editorial Editor

Students all across the United States have been preparing for the past 9 months for the anxiety-inducing exams occurring in May. Preuss requires students in 10th grade to take AP African American Studies, 11th graders to take AP English Language and AP United States History, and 12th graders to take AP English Literature and an AP Science. Students also take AP Spanish based on their level of Spanish and AP Spanish Literature and AP Art History as electives. The AP exams we take in May are added to our college applications and some colleges offer college credit depending on their scores. These are high stakes exams that can cause stress for students. It’s difficult to study for many exams at once, especially when classes are still going on and assignments need to be done for them.

There are various ways to prepare for this exam effectively and not feel overwhelmed. The number one thing to do is to not cram. Studying for 6 hours the day before the exam will not help retain any information. It can only cause stress and feel overwhelming. The best method is to split up time and do it bit by bit every day. Making a plan for each AP exam and how much will be spent studying in each class every day is the most effective. For instance, 30 minutes on the class that is the most difficult, 15 minutes on a class that is less content-heavy, and 25 minutes on one that is known for tricky questions. This means every day an individual would only spend around an hour and 15 minutes studying a day. This can be effective because it’s over many days instead of all in one day the night before an exam and the information is more likely to stick.

In terms of what resources to use during these study sessions, AP teacher channels on Youtube, Khan Academy, Albert.io, and College Board have been helpful for many students. For the AP English Language exam for the juniors, teachers such as Coach Hall and Timm Frietas (Garden of English) post helpful videos on Youtube. If an individual feels they’re lacking a skill on how to write a thesis or commentary in their essays for the exams, Coach Hall and Timm Frietas have quick videos to help review. Their videos are not strenuous unless they go in-depth with one of the prompts. These teachers also provide various prompts and multiple-choice questions to look over and practice with. Khan Academy and Albert.io are great resources for short quizzes to look over. Just search up, for instance, “APUSH Unit 7 Review” and a page full of practice questions and videos will be there for convenience. Finally, My AP Classroom on College Board has a lot of resources for AP exam practice, such as past exam prompts.

Advanced Placement exams can take a huge toll on an individual. There is a lot at stake with these exams, and they are a big part of our future. However, taking it day by day is helpful, especially when an individual has 3 exams in one week. Using these resources and tips will support in being successful in the exam. Good luck everyone, and make sure to get enough sleep!