Tools to assist AP students with their upcoming exams

With the end of the second semester looming, sweet freedom from assignments and essays and testing may feel just out of reach. But there is one aspect associated with the end of the year that always seems to sneak up on students: Advanced Placement testing.

Whitney Grummon, one of the AP Language and Composition teachers at Carmel High, says it really depends on the subject of the AP test at hand.

“The APLAC exam is a test that does not need any cramming or intensive study, as we have been doing preparation work throughout the year,” Grummon says. “My advice is to get plenty of rest and eat well in the week leading up to the exam.”

This may be the solution for the APLAC exam, but for social sciences, instructor Brent Silva says studying for the AP World History exam is a bit different.

“AP prep books and flashcards helps for the multiple choice,” Silva notes. “[It’s also about] the amount of time you put into [the subject].”

Time is precious when it comes to studying and to some teachers, prepping earlier rather than a few weeks before the test can make a huge difference in a student’s preparedness.

“You need to review early and often because it really pays off,” AP Chemistry teacher Mike Guardino says. “We have a 95 percent pass rate in this class, compared to the average 54 percent of the rest of good old America.”

Clearly, taking the initiative to study early and review well before AP testing is crucial and can greatly benefit students as they fight through balancing chemistry equations and remembering who conquered whom in 10,000 B.C.

“It’s quite the process, but if you focus and get prepared early, the tests will not seem so intimidating,” junior Kaitlyn Kelly suggests.

Another approach to test prep can also include taking plenty of practice tests and pop quizzes, and getting familiar with the testing format.

“We take lots of pop quizzes and online practice tests,” AP Psychology teacher Nora Ward says. “Studies have shown that the best way to [prepare] is to test.”

Junior counselor Jeff Schatz says, “Practice tests, study groups, and prep books seem to work for everyone, especially when someone new to AP testing doesn’t know where to begin.

But nothing rivals the importance of focus and taking the test seriously, which can seem difficult with summer less than a month away.

“It’s tough at the end of the year to not check out,” senior Jordan Miller admits. “But to pass those tests, you have to be completely engaged and confident in the subject you’re testing in.”

-MADI SALVATI