Advance Placement (AP) Tests are part of the most stressful time of any High School student’s experience. With the rising costs of colleges, students feel more pressure than ever to attain as much free college credit as possible. Similarly, there is more competition than ever to get into college, and many schools will look at these exams as part of their consideration. So, how do we ease this stressful time? The following tips will help you slow down and take a breath so that you do as well as you can on your AP Tests.
Give the AP Tests their due time.
I am a recent English and Spanish graduate. I took every English and Spanish AP available to me as I loved the courses and genuinely enjoyed the process. One small problem though: as I was getting ready to graduate High School I got the summer-job itch and got hired at Chipotle. I ended up working until late the night before my AP Literature exam, and it did not go well for me. I made a rookie mistake by confusing two authors when writing an essay and missed out on the college credit. If I had taken the day off and been able to get a good night of sleep, I would have been able to remember the right author or even review a little that afternoon. Instead, I focused on a job that I left after just a few weeks.
Remember why you’re taking the test.
These test provide the wonderful opportunity of reducing certain costs in college. While some may take them to improve their transcript, the majority will do it for the credit. Therefore, I recommend students look at each college’s requirement for AP exams. While top tier schools may only take 4 or 5 scores, many will accept a 3. While I’m not condoning complacency, I do believe it’s important for students to remember that sometimes a 90 is the same as a 97. If a student is struggling with stress, they should remember to scale back on the pressure they put on themselves to ensure they achieve success.
This is a stamina game
Obviously knowing the information is crucial to take these exams, but the most daunting part is their length. These exams are a marathon, not a sprint. Students can rapid fire answer information, doesn’t mean they will do well on a test. Rather, students should take full practice tests with the time guidelines of the exam. This will give them the stamina necessary to do well in the exam setting. Also, just like when running a marathon, students should get a good night of sleep and have a good breakfast to get the best results possible.