Last Minute AP Advice

On May 3rd, what seems like the most dreaded two weeks of the school year will begin. If you’re one of the many students who (unfortunately) waited till now to begin your preparation for the Advanced Placement Exams (AP’s), here are a few things that you can try to make those “all-nighters” worth it.

Set the Mood: Dim the lights, light the candles…oh wait, wrong venue! What you should do first is find a well lit area with no distractions (T.V., iPod, computer, etc.). Make sure your work space is large and uncluttered. Also, it is important to wear clothes that aren’t too “snuggly” as this might induce an unwanted nap. Try to avoid couches and beds as this will also prevent napping. And don’t kid yourself; studying with a partner is also incredibly distracting.

Set Goals: Whether you have one week or one night, you need to set some goals for yourself. These should be written down and marked with the time allotted to them. This is especially helpful when preparing for multiple exams. Breaking the time up like this will make the entire process seem less daunting.

Getting Started: If you’re studying for Language and Composition or Literature, I suggest asking teachers for some practice tests and also making your own practice tests. You can do this by analyzing poems with some literary merit and then using the question given by the practice test and attributing it to that poem. For science and math courses, start by making an outline of the “big picture” ideas from the given class, and then branching off from there.

Don’t Stress Out: Sure, you waited till the last second to learn a year’s worth of information, but don’t sweat it. Stressing out about the upcoming exam will only waste time and make you anxious and restless. Just relax, take a deep breath, and get started.

Be Realistic: As much as you might think, chances are that you’re not a miracle worker. If you have waited till now to start studying, don’t expect to know everything there is to know about your given subject area. All that you can do is take the time you have left and be smart with it. And remember, Scholars, it will all be over soon!