The ultimate high school survival guide: Prepping for AP tests

Vrinda Chauhan, Business Editor

As May quickly approaches, many Diamond Bar students are dreading  the much-feared AP tests. While no amount of advice can truly transform the testing experience into a smooth one, here are some study tips that will surely make you more confident going into it.

Get in touch with your learning style.  In order to study in the most effective way, it is important that you distinguish your most effective method of learning. There are multiple self-assessments available online for one to determine this, but typically, it is not too difficult to figure it out on your own. For example, if you learn best by watching others, you are likely a visual learner, whereas if you learn effectively by taking notes, you may be a kinetic learner.

Distribute a certain amount of time every day to study. Even 30 minutes to an hour every day from today onwards can make a world of difference. Statistically, one learns better in the morning than later at night, so it may be a better idea to wake up and study an hour before school starts. Avoid pushing off AP studying until after homework, as this can result in a lack of sleep, which can very negatively affect studying.

Allocate a certain number of days for every chapter of the course. About two to three days per chapter is usually enough, but be sure to check the amount of time you have and coordinate it with the number of chapters.

Maximize your time on the weekend. At least three hours of your weekend should be spent studying, per number of AP tests you are taking. The weekend offers, for most, a lot of free time, so be sure to use that wisely.

Invest in a good-quality AP book. The best brand usually depends on each subject, but in general, Cliffs and Crash Course are the two that I have personally used most often. Study these with the notes that you took over the school year, and be sure to study one topic at a time.

Take many practice tests. This is especially important if you are studying for a STEM- related test, as practice is one of the most effective ways to prepare.

Take advantage of your resources. Khan Academy, Quizlet, and teachers who are willing to help are useful, so be sure to turn to them if you do not understand a concept or just need to better your understanding.

Relax. Even if you do badly, you will have all summer to forget about it. Make an effort, but don’t stress too much.