Score a Five in Five Days

It’s officially time to cram all the content from your AP classes into five days. If you are a part of the unlucky majority, your AP textbook has probably been under your bed since September, but do not be alarmed. You are not alone, and the comeback has happened before. Here’s the Tattler’s five-step guide to a five on your AP tests in five days. 

Step One: Invest in the AP review book

Whether you get one from Amazon or the media center, an AP review book will concisely break down the class’s content with practice tests to test your knowledge. “I usually order the Princeton Edition review books, but I think all the brands are pretty similar. All the books are good,” said junior Emily Grollman, adding, “Doing practice tests is the most helpful for me because it imitates the actual exam.” If you don’t have a review book yet, ORDER ONE!

Step Two: Know What to Expect

The very minimum of preparation is to know what to expect on the test: how long each section is, how many sections there are, and what order the sections are administered in. “The best way to get an actual feel for the test is to sit for at least one practice test,” said senior Eva Hauf, an AP test veteran. Long term, sitting for a full-length practice test will inevitably pay off more than anything else, and one Saturday morning devoted to this will not kill you.

Step Three: Focus on Vocabulary

The key to any multiple-choice test is knowing your vocab words. If you can define the words in the questions, odds are you can match them with the correct answer. There are only four options, so having an idea of what the question is asking is crucial. “Last year, I lived on Quizlet for AP U.S. History. Knowing the names of people and events helped a lot,” said junior Vittoria Bianchini. Not only will vocab’ carry you through the multiple choice section, but it never hurts to throw a buzzword or two into an FRQ. 

Step Four: Study Habits

Unfortunately for you, now is the time to lock in harder than you have all year. You now need to dig deep and find those pre-COVID study habits. For starters, you need to put your phone away and put in at least one hour of studying per night. “When I started studying for AP exams, I tried to do uninterrupted studying every night of the week,” said junior Annie Isaacson. Consistency is key. 

Step Five: Meet, at least, the bare minimum on test day

Do not be the person who shows up on the day of the exam with a dead calculator or a pencil-less bag. There are five essential items to bring on test day: snacks, #2 pencils, water, a clock, and a charged calculator (if the test allows it). If you do not have a pre-exam ritual, this year may be the year to start one. A pre-exam ritual can be anything to help you de-stress, including, but is not limited to, listening to your favorite song, getting Starbucks, or taking a morning stroll around your neighborhood. 

However, above all, bring a good luck charm with you, but I cannot promise that that will make up for your lack of studying. If you got this far through this article, you likely need all the help you can get. Although I hope these strategies work their magic, I make no promises. Next year, just pay attention in class, the outcome will probably work out better for you. Better luck next year, Barons!