AP Study Tips
AP Study Tips
Throughout the last few weeks people have been entering the freak-out period in their academic lives. It’s time to take a chill pill and suit up! Here’s some guidelines to surviving and beating the AP.
- Get a prep book! Just do it. They were born (printed?) for this!
- Buy one new online or at bookstores, they usually are around $13 – $15
- Or get a bargain on a used copy! Older editions aren’t that much different. If you hate excessive highlighting and chicken scratch, go get a new one. It’ll reduce the OCD-induced stress.
- Ask AP veterans for their old prep books. Do it nicely, with a sunny smile. (To clarify, it’s not the same as the creeper smile. That won’t get you pellets.)
- … Or blackmail them, if that’s your style.
- The Econ kids are selling and leasing prep books too. Check it out in Ms. Gray’s room.
- Study gradually! You may think you’re in control of your brain, but really, it just won’t cram. This may seem a little pessimistic since the AP’s are almost upon us. Don’t waste that time fretting – use your time more wisely.
- Find a consistent time to study every day. Maybe your brain functions best bright and early, fresh in the morning, or maybe it only wakes up after lunch. Just try to set aside a special time to do some studying. Most classes have been recommending an hour each night for just their material, and juggling this with homework and finals is tricky enough. If you’re feeling the time crunch, I’d recommend spreading the studying as evenly as possible and not freaking out about one thing too much.
- Cater to your strengths. This doesn’t mean you should just ignore Chem because you’re beast at it (Yes, I kid.) but perhaps you should allocate some of the time to weaker subjects or sections. Remember, even if you did ace titrations (Ha, I’ll stop.) the first time around, that was probably months ago – review to refresh that memory!
- Class notes. This is a dilemma because some people find them invaluable while others never look at them. If you are passionate about your notes or at least think they’ll be useful, go ahead and study them. If getting a tiny drop of knowledge out of them is more work than it’s worth, stop squeezing.
- Practice, practice, practice! Yeah, yeah, I know. But trust me, you’ll feel a lot more comfortable during the AP if you’ve done the practice tests and know the format through and through.
- Incentivize and take breaks. That doesn’t mean you should just check out for a few hours. It means you should stretch, wiggle, dance, and / or frolic every once in a while so your brain doesn’t overheat or your fingers don’t claw up. Snacking also helps, and is something you can look forward to. Little candies could be the difference between you flipping one more page and just spinning around lifelessly in your spinny chair. (If you don’t have a spinny chair, then I’m sincerely sorry for your loss.)
- Study in a way most effective to you. Singing vocab, flashcarding every term, making nonsensical mnemonics – it’s your test, you bought it, OWN it. Do it your way and you’ll rock it’s tiny little CollegeBoard world.
- Environment! Music distracts some, helps others – it depends on you. Generally, it can help when reading over material because it prevents drowsiness. But I’d recommend a quiet setting for practice testing – to best simulate the actual AP. Also, try to find a sibling / pet / technology-free zone. There’s nothing worse than having your cat sleep on top of your prep book and providing the perfect excuse! And unless you’re blessed, siblings normally don’t make your education a priority, and as for parents who do, they’d probably hover. Kindly kick them out.
T.V. and Facebook are just shameful demonstrations of a lack of willpower. RESIST.
- Study group, unite!
- Gather up those smart kids. But don’t just use them, offer them something in exchange. I mean, you are harnessing their brainpower after all. (Again, blackmail is applicable, but slightly more likely to backfire here. The other person might feel a little bitter and feed you false information, whereas with the prep book blackmail, the worst that could happen is getting the sneeze edition.)
- One word there, you can do it.
- If your teacher is offering after school study sessions or weekend reviews, they can be surprisingly helpful. Think about it, a room full of brains, ripe for the reaping… or don’t… point is – go!
- Eat, sleep, go potty, etc. You still gotta live, buddy. Don’t kill yourself over this. That’d be a lame way to die and you can’t let CollegeBoard win! On a side note, this doesn’t mean binge on chocolate in an effort to cheer yourself up about the AP’s.
- Be positive. All you chocolate chompers, just take it easy. Especially you first time APers, just try to relax and be confident, it won’t be as daunting as anything you imagine it to be. Being chill mentally prepares you much better than letting your nerves hit all the panic buttons.
- If you’ve made it down this list and a whole year in an AP class, you’re looking good. You can do this. You should arrogantly tell people who wish you good luck that you don’t need it. Except in your head. Be nice.
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