How to Survive AP Testing

By Rozy Kanjee

If you’re in an AP class then you know that this week and next week are two of the most stressful weeks of your high school career: AP testing. Rita Chiu is a senior who, like many other upperclassmen, is taking multiple AP tests. The NWN interviewed her about the tests and asked her advice for future AP test takers.

NWN: How many AP tests are you taking and what are they?

Rita: 5; Chemistry, Spanish, Calculus, Literature and European History.

NWN: Why these classes?

Rita: I’m taking these classes because I’m interested in learning it. I really learned a lot from these classes and I think that they will prepare me for college because I may have to retake these classes for my major. I’m taking all these AP tests whether I think I’ll do good or bad because many of my teachers told me it’s better to just try it. If I do well on these tests, I may earn college credits and save lots of money.

NWN: How long have you been preparing for the exams?

Rita: I wish I started studying earlier, but I only started studying about month ago when teachers started to scare me. I regret it now!

NWN: What have you been doing to prepare?

A: I’ve been looking at all my notes and handouts. My teachers recommended me to get review books like The Princeton Review, and I think that it helps sum up what we’ve learned through the school year. Many of my teachers also gave us practice multiple choice questions or free response questions, so I’ve been doing those as well to see what I know and what I should review. So basically, I’ve been reviewing everything then practicing what I’ve been reviewing.

NWN: How do you manage your time? (AP exams and school work and extracurricular activities)

A: It’s important for our teachers to know what we’re doing and all. A few of my teachers gave us calenders to mark what days we’d be missing so they could make reviews more efficient. For my non AP classes, I talked to my teachers to talk about making up work. They were understanding and either gave me makeup work or allowed me to worry about it until testing is over with.

NWN: What advice would you give to a future AP test taker?

A: Study earlier! I feel like I’m trying to cram in review sessions in such a short time, so I’m getting distracted really easily. I think it’d be good to find out whether your teacher wants you to get a review book or not and buy it at the beginning of the year. That way, during the school year, you can study the review book and your school stuff at the same time and you will have a better understanding. The best thing is to learn it the first time and remember it. Sometimes, after I take a test, I forget about that chapter and only focus on the next. It’d be easier if you memorize everything and keep on studying them.

If you are a senior next year, and planning to take AP tests, watch out for senioritis. Take as many classes/tests as you can handle. I can assure you that you will feel really lazy at one point. Like right now, my senior friends and I are having trouble studying because we have short attention spans and can’t wait until how school will be like after all AP testing is done with!

Other than that, good luck with studying!