AP testing? More like AP stressing

Henry Crockett encourages studying for AP tests months before.
Photo By: Zak Sleeth

As the 2018 school year comes to an end, the AP testing due date slowly approaches, building stress for juniors and seniors. As for students who plan on taking the AP test next year, learning from those with experience is essential.

Junior Kenny Pham believes that there is a lot there is to do to prepare, like reviewing all of the years work.

“There’s definitely a lot of time that needs to be put in in order to prepare for an AP test,” said Pham. “For my AP U.S. History test, I’ve been re-reading every individual section of one of our major study guides.”

Reviewing isn’t the only strategy available to prepare for testing. Pham also did practice tests.

“I’ve also been going through practice tests at home in order to test my knowledge while also getting a feel for the time limit that comes with these tests,” said Pham.

With 3 AP classes and 3 AP tests under his belt, Senior Henry Crockett understands why cramming is the biggest mistake students make.

“The biggest thing is avoiding cramming,” said Crockett. “if you are forcing yourself [to] stay up and pulling all nighters studying for the test, when it comes test day you will not do well because you will be tired and exhausted.”

Although some students believe they’re able to cram it all last minute, Crockett understands that the entire year’s worth of material cannot be covered in a few days.

“If you say ‘it’s in the next 3 days and I’m going to start studying’, you will not be able to cover the entire years material on time,” said Crockett.

Although Crockett experienced problems near the end of the school year, he believes that they could have been prevented.

“Overall I think that if I had stayed more on top of my class work in that specific class and did a lot of self studying, I would have improved my score,” said Crockett.

AP chemistry teacher, Brandyn Mannion, believes that being clear about the expectations of the test from the start will allow them to be the most prepared.

“Sugar coating things isn’t helpful for the AP Test,” said Mannion. “The test is what it is. I find it much more helpful to be upfront with students about what they’ll need to know instead of surprising them right before the test.”

Even if Mr. Mannion does try his best to prepare his students, students should always be practicing and getting better.

“Practice, practice, practice,” said Mannion, “do a bunch of multiple choice practice problems, and as many free response questions as you can get your hands on!”

As someone who understands how it feels to go through AP testing, Crockett realized that the feelings of stress were short-lived.

“Honestly it wasn’t that stressful once I got in it,” said Crockett. “Leading up to it, it was definitely stressful. I was worried about it; it was a brand new thing. It wasn’t any harder than the SAT, it was a little easier in my opinion. So once you get into the test, you don’t worry about it that much.”

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