It’s 9 days until the AP national exams, and students and teachers are doing everything they can to prepare for these difficult tasks.
At the high school, students will be taking a variety of tests such AP Psychology, AP U.S. History, AP Biology, AP Calculus, and AP English.
For some students, AP exam studying consists of changes in schedules and early morning study sessions.
“We have 6:30 a.m. study sessions that take place weeks before our exams. Typically we go unit by unit, and I present new information that I didn’t particularly get to in class and then afterwards ask them questions about the unit,” said AP Psychology teacher Tony Boerger.
Although these study sessions are helpful, many students are having a difficult time fitting it into their busy schedules.
“We have softball practices and sometimes games. Then I have to get up at 6 am to study? It’s helping me, no doubt, but sometimes I feel tired and drained the rest of the day. It’s really stressful to stay on top of it all,” said junior Ally Waughtal.
Other students are trying to juggle not one, but two AP exams, and finding time to prepare for both is no easy challenge.
“I have signed up to take both the Psychology and History AP exams, and I’ve been trying to keep study time for both consistently in my schedule, but it’s not easy. Lots of study sessions, flash cards, and online practice tests are helping me get all the information together,” said junior Megan Engebretson.
Studying is a process and not a last minute cram session. Spacing out your time will help you remember your material better and ease your time.
“Something that out APUSH teacher Mr. Rykken told us to do was to take out eight minutes of our day to study. That way you aren’t overloading yourself with knowledge, but the minutes eventually start to add up and you can remember things better,” said junior Tyler Leadholm.
The day of the national exams are almost just as important as the weeks before. Guidance Counselor Sue Leadholm gives students helpful tips for the day of the exam.
“In order to fully feel prepared for the exam, you should get a full night of sleep and wake up and eat a healthy breakfast. You should also bring along the materials such as pens, pencils, calculators, and a student ID. By having these materials, students will not be increasing their anxiety because they will feel prepared,” said Leadholm.
The physical approach of getting ready for the AP exams is not the only way to make yourself prepared. A positive mental attitude going into the test is key in order to be successful.
“The important thing is to feel prepared. You should be hammering down now on studying, and as you get closer to the exam, you should be feeling more relaxed and sleeping more instead of crunching. That way you are well rested and you’re going to do better,” said Boerger.
The important thing for the National Exams are to go in without nerves and do the best you can.
“To do as best as you can, students should not approach this test as a make or break, but as part of the experience of enrolling and completing a college course. Whether you receive a 2, 3, or 4, your confidence and knowledge gained by taking the course in high school will greatly help your future college experience,” said Leadholm.