How to Survive AP Exams

How to Survive AP Exams

Ben Wiche, Staff Writer

Quick. You’ve decided to take AP classes, you struggled a bit, found the material more difficult than you thought, maybe made a few C’s and D’s on the tests, but still passed. But now it’s the middle of May and exams are in a week. What do you do?

Well, you definitely shouldn’t fall into a deep depression due to the feeling that you’ve gotten in over your head and are sinking while everyone else in your class is swimming. You should instead realize that AP exams aren’t the end of the world, and surviving them is as easy as following a few simple steps.

Step 1. Realize that good grades are overrated.

Okay, so you made some low grades, maybe failed a few quizzes. Don’t worry. AP courses are really just college courses, courses that cover a larger amount of information at a faster pace than you are used to. What you (and your parents) need to realize is that getting an A doesn’t matter. Don’t like having a big ugly C on your transcript? Well, good news, just by taking an AP Course you’re showing colleges that you value hard work and actively seek out challenges. You know what else will help you stand out to colleges?

Step 2. Actually take the AP exam.

So look. Ninety-four dollars is a butt load of money. And no you don’t have to take the exam. But if you’re going to college and are looking at spending well over a hundred dollars per credit hour, that $94 for a chance to score multiple credit hours doesn’t seem like such a rip off, especially when the College Board is offering fee reductions of $32 for students showing financial need.

Step 3. Manage your Time/Resources.

Okay, this is for all you cool kids taking upwards of three exams. So $282, $376, or $470 puts a strain on anyone, especially the more needy in our community. And due to scheduling you may be taking take three AP exams in a week. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take at least a few of them. Plan out the dates that work best, choose the exams in the courses you’re best at, and seek out that $32 fee reduction we talk about above.

Step 4. Study only what you need to.

For classes like AP Lit/Lang where you don’t have to memorize formulas and concrete data, you don’t need to study for those. The class was all the preparation you need, but if you really want to prepare there are practice questions for every AP exam, all on the College Board’s websites.