5 Tips for Surviving AP Week

Gabriela Danger, Opinion Editor

Everyone understands that AP week is one of the most stressful and craziest times of the school year. It doesn’t matter if you have one AP test or six, it’s the bane of every AP students’ existence.

All that hard work, every single seemingly impossible assignment, and every indominable class test has led up to this week, to the one random day of you sitting in your chair and putting your heart and soul into your exam. How can we expect to perform well under that kind of pressure?

Well, normally I would say you can’t, but there are a few tips I’ve found that look like they could be helpful in calming our nerves and raising our spirits for this stressful week of exams. Here are 5 tips to help you get a 5 on whatever AP exam you might be taking:

1. Make a study schedule
If your AP test is one that’s content based, it definitely wouldn’t hurt to make a study schedule. Tests like science, math, and history ones usually are this way, and after a whole year of learning new topics, it’s a good idea to  refresh your memory on the older stuff. Of course, any way of studying will work. Whether you use your books and notes, YouTube review videos, flashcards, or Quizlet, find some time in the days leading up to your test to take one last look at your exam content.

More conceptual tests, like AP Lang and Lit, are a little harder to study. The most foolproof way is to go over essay rubrics and outlines, especially for Lang, so you remember the form. YouTube videos work, too. For Lit, Sparknotes of books you’ve read are your best friend.

Either way, keeping track of your free time and making a study schedule is one of the most reliable ways to prepare for AP week.

2. Be reasonable with time
Timing is the silent killer on every AP exam. It’ll sneak up on you and before you know it, you’re not even done and time is being called. Who knows how many more things you could have gotten right? How can we conquer this beast?

Normally, our teachers prep us for timing as we practice in class, so some people might not have a problem with it. But if it takes you a bit longer, I would complete the test in the order of how confident you are on each part. Complete the parts you’re sure about acing first, and work from there. That way, if time is called, at least you won’t be sad because you didn’t get to a part you knew you could do well.

Another thing you can do is time yourself at home as you practice to really help your brain know when time is up and get a handle on how long each section really is. Simple timing tricks like this can raise your score by a whole number.

3. Consult your teachers over any lingering questions
AP week is fast approaching, and as our teachers begin to wrap up the curriculum, there might still be some loose ends in your mind.

If you feel this way, don’t forget to ask your teacher whatever you need clarified. You never know what appears on your exam, and you would spend all day regretting it if you didn’t ask and it came out. So it’s better to collect your knowledge fully before the test with the help of your teacher.

4. Be realistic, and do the best you can
It’s easy to get overwhelmed waiting for these exams, especially when you’re taking a lot of them. The most important tip I can give for this section is to not psych yourself out. After all, it is a random day and nothing can prepare us fully to be on our A-game every time. All we can do as students is be confident and put our best foot forward. If you pass, amazing! Hopefully, your college will take the credit. If not, don’t worry, it’s not setting you back by not passing. So just stay alert and use your head, and it should be ok.

5. Go back to basics
The easiest tip is the usual. Go to sleep at a decent time and get some rest. Drink a lot of water, but not so much that you will only be able to focus on the next bathroom break. Eat a good breakfast so you’re not having a stomachache while the test is going on. Just make sure you feel good to take the test and take care of yourself to be in the best shape as you can before your exam.

I hope these tips are helpful. Surviving the AP exam week is a science we can all master. Good luck on all your AP exams!