Irisdian Mayeres, Reporter
Even if you only start studying 3 weeks before the test, there’s many things you can do to be prepared. This year students can take the tests for AP Spanish, English and Composition, Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, United States History, or European History and some are taking more than 3 of the tests. Since even sophomores are allowed to take AP’s this year, some students from almost all grade levels will be taking tests.
With the cost of an AP exam at $93-- or $53 for recipients of reduced lunch-- students have been taking part in fundraising since last year to make sure they can afford it. While fundraising is necessary, so is diligent studying. In the same month as the SBAC test, and the month before finals, it’s necessary to be prepared before the actual dates arrive.
Tip #1 Start studying now instead of cramming. It will make it even harder on yourself if you try to take in that much information in so little time. Starting today instead of the weekend of the test, even if today is already pretty late, can save your score yet.
Tip #2 Be relaxed when coming in to take the test by making sure you’re well rested and fed. It’s hard to be prepared to take a test when you’re falling asleep in the middle of the test and can’t concentrate because you’re hungry.
Tip #3 Practice beforehand as much as you can with either official College Board practice tests or your own. Time yourself to see if you can answer all the multiple choice questions and FRQ’s in the time given. Find out then and not in the middle of the actual test. Also, if there are certain sections you particularly got wrong you can then put extra focus on that during your studying. Lizbeth Martinez, Junior, took practice tests last year as well as used practice books to prepare for AP exams last year. Wikihow suggests you get to know the test beforehand, so you don’t get caught off guard during.
Tip #4 Use flashcards to study and memorize. You can’t always learn everything just by looking at your notes for 10 minutes straight. Quiz yourself and make sure you can answer questions about the topic. Maybe find already-made quizlet’s for your subject/topic and test yourself that way. Even if you’ve never used flashcards, Sidney Nolan from Huffington Post says “Don’t be afraid to play around and see if a different method might be a better fit if you’re having trouble understanding your notes or aren’t totally grasping the material.” You have nothing to lose!
Tip #5 Make study groups even if it’s really late in the year. College Board recommends that parents encourage study groups since the beginning, but it can still help even now. You can learn things by explaining them to your study group and learn from them too.
Tip #6 Make a study guide for yourself. Only you know how you can best study everything you need to know so organize yourself in a way that’s most helpful to you. Make sure to include only the things you really need help with so you don’t spend end up with zero time to study other, demanding concepts. Go through all your notes and textbooks, but only stick to the information you don’t understand, it’s wasteful to spend time going through all of it according to WikiHow.
Tip #8 Ask your teachers any questions you still have before it’s too late. Those pesky topics you never fully understood during class can’t be left forgotten now. It’s not the time to be shy with the tests so close ahead. Even asking a tutor or a friend is better than leaving questions unanswered. Lizbeth Martinez said tips/lessons online are even better than a prep book, try looking into that to answer all your questions if there’s nothing else you can do.
Generally, just make sure to go over all the important topics you’ve forgotten. Learn what you need to know in any way possible: by asking teachers, friends, or tutors for help. Regardless of your current level of preparation for the tests, stay encouraged and hopeful!
Get those 3’s, 4’s, and 5’s!
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