5 Ways to Help Students Prepare for AP Exams

March 07, 2019

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AP exams are just around the corner, which means it’s time for students to buckle down and get ready to put their learning to the test. Encouraging students to train their brains will prepare them to take on any question they might face on the exam, but you’ll probably need to help them know where to start and have a plan to guide them until test time.

Practice makes perfect, and studying is the best way to practice learning and retain material. No matter what subject or subjects your student is going to be tested on, here are some study tips you can use to start getting them prepared today.

Promote Practice Tests

In order to officially kick-off exam prep, students should take a practice exam. Taking a comprehensive practice exam will allow them to see exactly which areas they are comfortable with and which ones they need extra work in. Having this knowledge early on will make study maximization easier.

They can also continue taking practice tests to gauge progress and decide which areas to prioritize as exam dates approach.  

Organize Study Time

Is your student having trouble finding the time to study or getting himself or herself to hit the books during free time? Have them make a schedule. These can be made a week or even a month ahead, and they can work wonders for time management. A study plan can be completely personalized to your student and his or her study style. Whether your student wants to schedule short study slots or have endless hours of prep time is entirely up to them.

In order to make this schedule work, your student will need to work study time into the days and times that are most effective. If they like to hang out with friends on Friday evenings, make sure that time is blocked out of the schedule and encourage them to focus on studying when uninterrupted moments are a guarantee. It also helps to think about when your student is most productive. This schedule shouldn’t have to be a burden on your student’s schedule; it should fit in with their sleep patterns, after school activities and hobbies. Ask your child to try and think about how to make better use of time and to find time in which they’ll be most alert and able to retain information.

Encourage Study Groups

There’s strength in numbers, and this holds true when it comes to tackling AP exams. Encourage your student to consider partnering up with some of their AP peers and conquer exam prep together. No student is the same; so the areas that one student may struggle with could be the exact topics that another student excels in, which means that he or she could have access to a crash course in a lesson that needs some refreshing.

Similarly, if your child is above average on a part of the course that another student can’t quite grasp, it can be great to test his or her own knowledge by teaching someone else. Of course, they won’t be there to guide each other when it's test time, but having some friends to be there along the way can make the entire prep process  less stressful.

Invest in AP Prep

Depending on their learning style and budget, you can choose from a lot of AP prep resources that can maximize your student’s studying. If they like the textbook style of learning and practicing with AP style problems, you might want to purchase a prep book.

Or, if you feel like your child really needs some one-on-one guidance on a topic, test-taking tips or the exam as a whole, AP tutors are a strong option. You can create a custom private tutoring plan and design it with both your student and their exams in mind. 

AP prep investment doesn’t always have to come from your wallet. There are many free resources that students use to can get the college credit they deserve, but you’ll need to make sure that they invest something of their own – their time. Students can find plenty of YouTube videos or podcasts with exam prep questions and guides, and even download free AP prep questions from The College Board.

Allow Them to Take a Break

There’s no denying that AP exams can be stressful, but working to remain calm can not only help with studying beforehand, but also to relax and think clearly during test time. In order to ensure that your student’s body and mind are nourished and prepared to get through the exam, make sure that they eat a healthy and full breakfast before the test. They might be tempted to try and cram the night before an exam, but getting plenty of sleep will provide energy and the ability to fully read every question and work through the trickier ones.

If your child has been studying hard and following the tips mentioned above, there’s no shame in motivating them to take a break. It’s a lot easier to effectively study when they aren’t feeling rushed or overwhelmed by an upcoming exam, so encourage them to start studying as early as possible and make sure to take some time to themself as well.

Now that you’ve got tips and tools to help your student take on AP exams, you can help them start mapping out the path to passing.


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