AP Exams Fast Approaching

Annika Dean, News Writer

The 2017 AP exams are just around the corner. They will be administered over a two-week period, beginning Monday, May 1st and running until Friday, May 12th. Whether you’re taking one AP test or many, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. However, there are ways to turn your test-taking anxiety into confidence.

First, focus on the exam’s process instead of its specifics. You can’t possibly know every question or piece of information that will show up on the exam, so don’t worry about it. Mr. Copeland, who teaches AP U.S. history, explains, “I think the biggest thing is […] to not worry about the questions so much, but worry about the process, something that everybody’s done for the whole year.” Although AP tests are intimidating, simply do what you’ve been trained to do. It’s not anything you haven’t done before.

A three-hour test is certainly lengthy, but using strategies to manage your time can make it seem shorter. Long tests can be frightening, but breaking it up into smaller segments boosts efficiency. Copeland compares this strategy to a puzzle. He elaborates, “You take a puzzle, and you take one piece down and then look at the 500 pieces that are left […] and find a piece that fits next to this one.” Focusing on one simple task at a time will make the test seem more doable.

Just trust your first instinct of ‘this is what I’m going to say.’

— Mr. Brook

During the test, don’t linger on questions and lose valuable time either. “Just trust your first instinct of ‘this is what I’m going to say,’” explains Mr. Brook, who teaches AP language. It’s important to remember that no one’s test will be perfect. Most essays probably won’t be masterpieces, but they can still earn a good score. Brook says, “They’re looking to see [if you can] think clearly and make your own point.”

Finally, if you haven’t already started, begin reviewing. Follow teachers’ suggestions, and explore other review resources online and elsewhere. It’s better to spread out shorter review sessions over a long period of time, but don’t become entrenched in anticipation and anxiety. Brook reminds, “The worst that can happen is you don’t get some college credit.” To be confident on your AP exams, lower your mental stakes a little, study hard, and stay positive.