Hearing the drumming of pencils around me as eraser shavings fall onto the floor, I can tell it must be AP testing season.
As we prepare for the second week of the dreaded AP week, we prepare ourselves, but as freshmen and sophomores, due to a lack of previous experience, taking our first AP exams can be quite confusing. From good studying tips to how to de-stress, this guide has it all.
“I wish every week could be AP week,” junior Param Damle said. “Overall, this week has been the only week where I haven’t had any homework, so I’ve been able to do things that I actually want to do like watch shows and movies. I don’t usually procrastinate, and I learn things when it’s taught so I don’t do anything last minute,” For this reason, Damle starts studying the night before the exam.
Junior Zoë Gomez-So on the other hand, while also learning the material as it is taught, studies in advance. Sophomore year, having more time, Gomez-So started studying in early April, whereas junior year, with less time, she started studying a week before the exam.
“In French, my teacher gives us a lot of in-class practice, so I mainly use that, and the night before the exam I talk to myself in French. For Chemistry, or things that are more concept-based, I do a lot more practice-problems because I feel like that’s the best way to learn and memorize everything. For classes like AP US History, where it’s mostly memorization, I generally like to watch videos, but I think books are helpful too, despite what others might say” Gomez-So said.
Although studying for such big exams may at first seem intimidating, starting is half the battle.
“It feels like it’s going to be very difficult to start, but when you actually start, it’s not that hard,” Gomez-So said.
Although both Damle and Gomez-So do not find this to be the most stressful time of the year, to destress they recommend hanging out with friends, baking, playing sports, listening to music, watching TV, and going out with family.
But for those of you still stressing, even after de-stressing, Gomez-So offers comforting advice.
“Essentially, AP exams don’t matter as much as we think they do. When you look at what colleges look at, APs are usually just there for course credits, like if you want to skip a course in college. At the same time, colleges are making it harder to skip courses, so I don’t think APs are as big of a deal that people make them out to be.”
As always, it’s important to get a good night’s sleep and eat well before the exam, but finally, it’s also important to understand that you are not your scores: no test should ever take precedence over your mental health.