AP Prep 


Christian Jimenez, Staff Writer

It’s that time of year again; the time when students take their deepest breath and attack the AP Tests, though like many AP students, we may be overthinking it.

As an Ap Student, I like many, struggle to find simple yet effective tactics for exam preparation with another concern being the amount of time to prepare. 

Time management, Academic Guessing, and positive thinking are the top 3 attacks I believe will be universally beneficial to AP exam Testers.  Though I was not able to get in touch with the AP Coordinators here at Edison, I was able to interview students as they share insight on tactics they have used in previous years or ones they have been working on. 

With the AP Tests being on a tight time schedule, it is important to map a 5 minute or less plan of action after reading the prompt. For example, from my personal perspective, the English Language AP Exam will have 2 large DBQ and some multiple-choice questions. In this situation, I would proceed to read the prompt followed by the title of the documents.

What many don’t know, or skip is the small yet helpful context clues: dates,  titles, footnotes to the prompt and with this I would be able to save 10-15 minutes of what would be wasted time as I try to find information in the prompts. If you come to a question that looks either difficult or time-consuming, skip it and come back later. Edison student Luke Salazar summarized his near failure during the AP test. He explained how one question in his AP World Exam stumped him and he stayed on the question, trying to find an answer, until he checked the time and found to, he spent more than 8 minutes on one question. Though we must give it our all, we should also consider that in case of an emergency it is better to proceed forward if we are stumped on a question. 

As mentioned, time is not on our side, and it is a constant race between your pacing and the questions though we do find ourselves stumped on numeral questions but there is no need to worry. There is no penalty for guessing on the exam, which is one feature we should use to our advantage when finding the right answer to a multiple-choice question. The first thing we should do is eliminate as many answers as we confidently can before guessing. This elimination of options lets us concentrate on fewer choices giving us a greater chance of selecting the correct answer. The same tactic can be applied to a Free Response question as just remembering a little outside context can give you some points which are better than a blank zero. 

The biggest impact which can alter your preparation is self-confidence. A negative thought process can lead to distraction and doubt which when it comes to the Ap test it is best to go with your instincts. Though sounding corny, positive thinking and motivation will give you the confidence to prepare for the exam, which at the end of the day should not be taken too seriously. What I mean by that overthinking the exam will not only impact your test scores but will leave you with negative thoughts well past the exam date.  

Although these tips are my top 3 picks, they are not the only points when preparing for the Ap test. As all students think differently and react differently to certain situations, we should acknowledge that it is not impossible to pass. Go with your guts and reduce the amount of overthinking and attack the Ap test with all you got.