How to Study for the AP Exams

Guide to setting up your study plan.

How to Study for AP Exams and how not to…

The past year has brought a lot of change in regard to college admissions. Many schools went test optional and the SATs have phased out their Subject exams, to name a few. Students welcomed the change, but College admissions has changed as well. The number of students applying to high ranked colleges and universities have gone up considerably. See Kyo Standard’s analysis of early number of applicants vs admittance rates.

With more students and the same number of seats, admissions officers are looking for more data points when it comes to assessing an applicant. Here’s where the AP exam comes in.

Generally, students shift to AP prep mode about 2 months before test day. The goal is to give yourself enough time to get used to AP styles questions, take several practice tests, review content, and work on a test taking strategy.

The AP exams in 2020 gave students one question to answer. The 2021 AP exams will be back to normal, a combination of MC questions followed by Free Response questions.

So how to prepare?

After 20 years of preparing students for the AP exams, here how Kyo Standard prepare our students:

AP Exam Preparation Plan:

1. Use previously administered exams and take a practice test. It’s hard to kno where to start without having a starting score. Take the exam, timed, and score it. Please try to stick to official exams. This will give weakness in your content.
2. Make a list of the weaknesses. Is it cellular respiration for AP Biology Preparation? Is it the Civil War era in AP US History? Make a list and start reviewing a few of the topics each week.
3. Use good AP test prep books. These books should not only provide content but also provide practice questions.
4. Study and practice the weak content areas. Take another test. The weak areas should be fixed. If so, move on to the next content weakness.

Some things to avoid:

1. Do not wait until the end of the AP course to start studying. Take a test now and see how well you know the things you’ve learned in school.
2. Don’t take a ton of practice tests. Taking a lot of practice tests is a waste if nothing changes between the test. Take a test, analyze your weakness, fix the weakness, and take another test.
3. Don’t go alone. Study with friends. Get a tutor.

These 5 things will help conquer the content portion of the exam. Don’t forget about strategy. Please click here to sign up for a practice test with Kyo Standard.

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