How to Study for an AP Test in Two Weeks

Two Parts:Week 1Week 2

Breathe. Even though the big test (or tests, if you're being ambitious) is just two short weeks away, all is not lost. Approach your final study sessions calmly and methodically, and you will be able to absorb enough to feel confident and do well on the AP exam!

Part 1
Week 1

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    Relax, but don't get complacent. Most of the time, it's easier to study if you feel pressured without feeling panicked.
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    Know what the test is like. This will help you to know what to expect and stop yourself from being caught off-guard. Find out what time it begins, where you have to go, what to bring, how it is scored, etc. Remember that there is no longer a penalty for wrong answers. Keep in mind that you do not need a 100%, or even an 85% to get a five.
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    Know what you know. Go through old tests, notes, and the textbook briefly to pinpoint areas of both strength and weakness.
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    Set aside a couple of hours a day to study. During that time, turn off distractions such as your TV, social networks and cell phone.
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    Take a full practice test as soon as possible. This will help you to further pinpoint places you need to work on and the places you can spend only a little time on. While you take the test, place tick marks next to the questions on the answer sheet that you are unsure of, but don't skip any. Take your best guess.
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    The day after, score the test and go over the questions you answered incorrectly and the ones you weren't sure about. Learn why you got the question wrong.
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    As you go over the test, make a list of the major topics. Put a tally mark underneath each topic every time you get a question from that topic wrong. This will help you to see more clearly which areas need work.
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    Start reviewing. Start off with some of the easier topics (the ones where you got the least questions wrong) to get your brain going, but don't spend too long on those. Once your brain gets focused on the topic at hand, start working on the more difficult subjects.
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    Do drills continuously. With the test only two weeks away, doing short drills multiple times a day can be one of the most helpful things you can do. See below for suggested drills.

Part 2
Week 2

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    Take another practice test. Like before, try to simulate the test conditions. Work at a desk with bright lights, don't take breaks in the middle of a section, time yourself, and tell the people around not to disturb you. If possible, do both the multiple choice section and the essay section in the same day, taking a 5-10 minute break in between.
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    Score the test the day after. Use the same methods as before - keep track of which topics you are frequently having trouble with, and understand why you got each question wrong.
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    Keep doing drills frequently.
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    Don't waste time rereading the entire textbook, or even all your notes. Stick to the things you need to know.
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    The night before the test, stop studying around six and pack your bag. Make sure you have all the materials you will need for test. Remember to have non-mechanical, number 2 pencils, an eraser, pens for the essay section, and a calculator if you are allowed one. Also bring a snack, bottle of water, and your ID.
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    Relax and get a good amount of sleep. Don't stay up too late, but don't try to throw off your sleep cycle by getting 12 hours of sleep, either.
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    The morning of the test, wake up early to give yourself enough time to get to the test center with a comfortable amount of time.

Drills

Drill #1

  1. Collect several practice tests. These can be found at the back of several test prep books. Go to your local library and check a few out. You may also be able to find practice tests online.
  2. Find out how many questions are on the multiple-choice section of the test, and how much time is available. Divide both numbers by ten, if that works out, to create a "mini-test". For example, for the AP Biology exam, there are 100 questions to be answered in 80 minutes. Therefore, for each drill, answer 10 questions in 8 minutes.
  3. Take these drills frequently.
  4. Pay attention to how much time, if any, you have left after answering the questions. Is this enough time to check over your answers?
  5. Score them immediately so you can get an idea of where you are improving.
  6. As you take more of them, double and triple the length of the drills to build up your endurance.

Drill #2

  1. Make flash cards on quizlet, or search for a pre-existing, relevant set.
  2. Quiz yourself continuously for about half an hour.
  3. Play games such as Scatter or Space Race.

Tips

  • Make or buy flashcards. Sometimes it is more helpful to make them yourself, but if you simply do not have the time, you can buy some great sets from test prep companies.

Things You'll Need

  • Textbook
  • Index cards
  • Paper
  • Notes
  • Practice tests

Article Info

Categories: Advanced Placement Courses and Exams