AP Testing: What to Expect on Your Test Date/Tips and Tricks!


May is beginning to creep up, meaning that it’s time for our AP students to start thinking about their exams. For some, the AP tests bring along rough memories, and for others, these kinds of tests are completely foreign—but if you prepare efficiently, you’ll be able to ace any test. This article will outline all of the things that you can do to bring your A-game on your AP Tests.

The first step to preparing for your test—after studying, obviously—takes place days before. During your AP test week, watching videos of people who have taken these tests already may help to give you valuable tips. Some of them may include getting good sleep leading up to test day, carb-ing up the night before, and answering questions in a way that saves time. As someone who has taken a few College Board exams myself, these videos were a tremendous help. Other general tips for testing are to make sure your calculator is allowed within College Board rules, to charge your calculator beforehand, and to stock up on No. 2 Pencils. The night before your test, you MUST go to bed early; bad sleep can be a score killer, so you need to avoid it at all costs.

The day of, there’s much to do. You’ll need to wake up early enough to have time for breakfast because your brain can’t perform with no energy. Some recommend coming to school late so you can get as much rest as possible. Others prefer to go to school as normal to keep their routine and keep their brains clear of stress.

Once you sit down to take the exam, there are many strategies to keep you pushing through your exam. On long passages, skim the questions before reading–it trains your brain to look for certain topics. One of my personal favorite strategies while taking tests like these is to UNDERLINE. When you are given a question that has any degree of information, whether you think it is necessary or not, underline it. You can even rewrite the information on your scrap paper–this helps your brain recognize what information it is dealing with and it can help lead you to your solution. Another thing that most people recommend is to bubble in your answers in increments; whether you bubble your answers in after every page or on every few questions, avoiding that bubble sheet keeps your brain engaged in the content of the test. Some test-takers who are more confident in their time-management skills prefer to leave all of their bubbling for the end, but that is a risk you should only make if you are sure that you have time.

All in all, the AP exams are not something that you should fear. Each and every student at this school has taken tests before–so just go with what you know, use some tips from those with more experience, and do your best. You’ve got this!