5 Tips to Ace 2022 AP Testing

According to the College Board, almost 1.2 million U.S. public high school students took at least 1 AP exam in May of 2021. 

There are plenty of beneficial reasons to take an AP exam, as a strong score can help students stand out in college applications, earn college credit, and save on tuition. However, this doesn’t take away from the fact that AP coursework can be extremely time consuming and contain challenging content.

“In general, all AP classes are challenging and the exams are difficult, since they’re meant to be at the same level of an introductory college class,” AP writer Halle Edwards said. “Some are harder than others, though your experience will depend on your personal strengths.”

Fortunately, there are some useful tips to keep in mind when preparing for an AP test that can help you do well on the exam.

1. Establish a study schedule

When studying for an AP test, consistency is key and it is essential to plan small, regular review sessions instead of trying to cram it all into one last-minute session. “Studying is very similar to practicing any skill, just like playing an instrument or a sport,” academic performance coach Nikki Bruno said. “You need to practice it on a regular basis for your memory to fully stick to it.” To improve your long-term memory skills, try spending a few minutes after each class or study session reviewing the topics you covered during that time.

2. Avoid distractions

Be sure that when studying, you try to eliminate all possible distractions, such as TV, music, or your cell phone and are exclusively focused on the material at hand. In addition, be sure to effectively prioritize the content you are studying. “Only study what you don’t know,” Bruno said. “Don’t waste time reviewing ideas you can already explain well. Focus all your attention on filling in your gaps in knowledge.”

3. Take practice tests

Taking specialized AP practice tests is a crucial part of studying for any AP exam as it provides students with a chance to simulate taking an actual exam and familiarize themselves with its format. Make sure to use practice tests as a way to gauge how well you understand a concept and how the AP test questions will reflect that knowledge, whether in class or during your own study sessions.

4. Study with others

Forming study groups is another great way to prepare for AP exams, especially when dealing with difficult material you may not fully understand on your own. Studying together is a beneficial way to get questions answered and to get help from students who know the material well. It’s also helpful to study with a friend or classmate when using flash cards or other study tools that may require having someone else check your answers.

5. Ask for help

If study materials, practice tests, and study groups aren’t helping you improve, don’t be afraid to seek help from your teacher.  Oftentimes, teachers can help students deepen their knowledge in subject areas they may find confusing by explaining the concept in a way that transcends the confined realm of the textbook. AP exams are an important part of a student’s coursework, so it’s essential that students taking them receive the help they need to master the test. 

AP exams will take place the first two weeks of May (5/2-5/13) with a late testing window of 5/18-5/20. The morning exams begin at 8:00am and the afternoon exams begin at 12:00pm. You can find a schedule of all exams being given here. Make sure to check your inbox for an important email from Marija Markovic for more information on this year’s AP testing.