Junior Jenna Long prepares for her upcoming AP tests.
Junior Jenna Long prepares for her upcoming AP tests.
Alayna Caligari

Study tips abound before AP testing season

Fossil Ridge High School students and teachers have some last-minute pieces of advice for students preparing to take Advanced Placement tests, which begin May 6.

Junior Melody Li says a plan and routine are key for any of the 25 AP tests offered at Fossil this year. 

“They don’t want you to remember all of the details, just the big ideas, so make a schedule for yourself and make sure you get through all of the units before the test,” Li said.

Taking three AP tests this year, senior Niyati Kuntumalla suggests that others do not wait and start studying with plenty of time prior to testing week.

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“Definitely start early,” Kuntumalla said. “The sooner it gets to the test day, all of the information can blend together and you don’t remember anything.”

Kuntumalla also recommends refreshing your memory with older content to find knowledge gaps.

“I think watching videos on YouTube helps you realize what you don’t know, so then you can study that more in depth,” Kuntumalla said.

Junior Hannah Blonski said videos are her most effective review habit.

“The College Board has a bunch of review videos, so I’d watch those and then if I was confused, I’d set aside like 15 or 30 minutes a night to study,” Blonski said.

While studying can be both challenging and boring, junior Jacob Schonlau says that the potential of college credit keeps him motivated.

“I took the class for the test, to get that credit, and I don’t want to see all of that go to waste,” Schonlau said. “Then of course the college credit is the payoff of that.”

Teachers are also helping students with AP test preparations. Todd Pfeifer, an AP Mathematics teacher, shares how he leads students to average a 4.7-4.8 on the AP Calculus AB/BC exams.

“I get most of my curriculum done by early to mid April, so that we can then use that time to review for the AP test in class rather than outside of class,” Pfeifer said.

During class, Pfeifer gives quizzes in groups to help promote discussion and learning.

“All of my quizzes are collaborative, so they talk through those and help each other out,” Pfeifer said. “I think getting too codependent on your peers can be bad, so you have that responsibility to be independent.” 

Steven Walder, the AP Environmental Science teacher, encourages his students, especially those who took the class in the first semester, to attend the review sessions he provides leading up to the test date.

“I start offering review sessions that start after spring break,” Walder said. “I think it’s super important for those students that are signed up for the AP exam, to go back to their teachers and talk to them about the exam.”

AP U.S. History teacher Chris Lake gives students a practice test to prepare students. 

“We’re going to be doing an abbreviated practice test to get used to the format and time because the test is fast,” Lake said.

“They have an opportunity to open up what are called progress checks, and they’ve got some practice multiple choice questions and some practice testing,” Lake said.

Kim Salz, an AP Language and Composition teacher, provides students advice and resources throughout the year.

“I give them a Google Slides presentation that is full of all kinds of practice tests, reviews, games and strategies,” Salz said. “I encourage them to space that out through the second semester and go through it.”

Salz recommends students to practice writing often for the duration of the school year, stating that it is a skill learned through time not by studying questions.

“AP Lang is more of a skills based test. It’s not one you can cram for the night before. It’s one of those you just have to practice the skills. As far as preparing them for the test, it’s a lot of practice, in class, and application of skills that are learned,” Salz said.

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