How to prepare for upcoming AP tests

There are a variety of resources available for AP test practice, the youtube channel Advanced Placement, AP books, and practice assignments assigned by teachers.

Nadine Loureiro

There are a variety of resources available for AP test practice, the youtube channel Advanced Placement, AP books, and practice assignments assigned by teachers.

It is that time of the year again where students in AP classes experience what they have been working towards for the entirety of the two semesters: AP tests. The deciding factor of whether or not the student earns college credit. With the modified fourth quarter in which schooling is now online for most students across the country, AP tests have converted virtually, but the ways of preparation still work along the same lines. 

College Board sent out an email to all AP students “Your Next Steps to Prepare for the 2020 AP Tests” that offered two resources to assist students, an “AP Exam Day Checklist” and “Explainer Videos”. The “new videos are available to give you a quick, accessible information about the test day experience,” the email stated. With the overwhelming amount of information that has been gained over the past few weeks, these videos can help settle the nerves of how the test day will work. 

Preparing for the actual test questions, College Board has a YouTube channel entitled Advanced Placement that has a folder for each subject. This folder holds a large amount of videos that cover the different areas of the AP test, and is neatly organized with easy navigation.

AP teachers, using Google Classroom or AP Classroom, are creating assignments to prepare their students. After the assignment is complete, many teachers either post the solutions for students to compare or add comments straight on the page.

Every class is different, in Calc-land we have been assigning FRQ from the AP Classroom and I have graded and added comments for each student,” AP Calculus teacher Julie Chesley stated. “It is important to get yourself organized, it is open notes and open book but you have limited time, you have got to have your formulas together, a stack of paper with your AP ID  already written on top ready to go, your pencils sharpened or pens that work.”

Practice varies from class to class, with FRQ practice being the most common form of practice. AP English classes work with analysis and writing essays and APUSH classes practice with DBQ’s. With the shift to online, the writing portion of exams has shifted to be the main form for a majority of the tests. 

I would advise my students to relax and practice.  Invest their energy into the preparation prior to the test and their performance on the test should reflect that.  Practice doing the problems from previous exams that are posted in the videos and grade your answers according to the rubrics posted on College Board or on the videos,” AP Physics teacher David Flores noted. “Get your materials ready for test day so that you are in your comfort zone come test time.  This means; get your e-ticket, make sure your device works, get your equation sheet ready,  practice getting real problems correct, and finally practice submitting your answers.”  

Developing a routine is a way to get prepared, attempt to start getting at least eight hours of sleep, set aside time to practice and review what you have learned in the past year, keep checking College Board updates, and practice uploading your documents. When you do practice problems, make sure to work under a timer so it fits the authentic testing conditions, knowing how to properly manage your time will help you.

With the large amount of resources offered, students can work towards gaining a 5 on their online AP test.