Every year, the month of May is infamously known for all of the cramming and craziness of AP exams, which start on May 6 and end on May 17. This usually entails students cramming in the library, studying while teachers are teaching unrelated lessons and even skipping school to study at home. However, teachers claim that the trick to studying for APs is to start studying way before the week of APs and plan accordingly.
Whether it’s going into hysterics or clearly planning out the next couple of weeks, students all have their methods on how to tackle AP week. “I plan on staying home and studying the entire week before,” commented Amanda Pomorico, a junior taking her first AP class this year. However, more experienced AP students are often more collected during the weeks prior to the AP tests. Rohan Savargaonkar, who is currently enrolled in 4 AP classes in his junior year, stated that he will start studying about three weeks in advance, which is usually the time when about AP teachers will advise their students to start cracking down on the information. “I have taken one AP Exam so far which was AP Environmental Science. This year I am taking AP United States History. I recommend to prepare students to read their textbook chapters because the information is so dense and abundant. Just trying to straight up memorize facts will drive you crazy”. “Using a tutor or studying with a partner can be effective compared to sitting down and trying to study everything alone,” said Gene Chen.
However, AP teachers will always tell students that they need to start studying weeks, or even months before the AP; also they all do their part and plan AP practice lessons scattered throughout the school year. “My class is based on more writing and skill based, rather then absorbing facts; so I get my students working on practice tests as early as February” stated Mrs. De Stefano, who teaches the AP English and Language Composition. “Every month since the beginning of the school year, Mrs. DeStefano has taken away 5 minutes from our essay writing time in order for us to get used to the AP test. It has been very effective towards my speed writing skills,” says Junior Cody Cao. For other classes that are more fact based, AP US History teacher Mrs. Madden says, “I drill my students with actual AP questions so they really get the feel for the test and what it will be like on testing day.”
AP teachers don’t only have to worry about getting their students good grades on their AP tests. Some AP teachers, specifically the ones who teach senior level AP classes have to worry about their students succumbing to senioritis. Senioritis is a natural occurrence for just about any senior, and even though it may be quite threatening, there are ways to possibly reduce senioritis. AP Economics teacher Ms. Lislevatn has a few tips for reducing senioritis: “I let my students set their own goals and schedules because they are old enough to decide what they want to do. I believe that if a student were to dedicate at least 15 minutes to their work for any subject, then accomplishing higher grades will be more successful and still takes only a little time.”
No matter what the class, AP teachers will all say almost the same things: to not wait until the last minute, pace yourselves, stay focused, and good luck.