AP Updates and Study Tips

Micaela Eberly

As everyone can likely agree on, a lot has been happening in regards to the unknowns surrounding school over the next few months, and while we are doing online assignments in the comforts of our own homes, it can be easy to be distracted as we sit in our PJs, eating snacks and trying to concentrate for one minute longer until we can pick up our phones.
Making it all worse is the certainty of everything, and for AP test takers, the changes that are currently underway may be fortifying procrastination. It can be easy to ignore the looming deadline of AP test day when we don’t know when that actually is; however, no matter what, as long as we are taking those tests, we will have to know the information.
Because of this, it is important to put in the work to study. Our future selves will thank us for studying now instead of cramming before test day (as long as it is not viewed as a one and done deal). By continually reviewing the information we have learned, we are ensuring that come test day, information will be able to easily be recalled.
One of the best things all you AP testers can do right now is to keep on top of what you are currently learning. Ignore the temptation to scoot on by as easily as possible, seeking only to pass each test as you come to it instead of making sure you have a firm grasp on the material. It might give you passing grades now, but come test day, you might not be able to remember what you need to know.
Mr. Clendenning, AP Coordinator, gives another piece of advice. “Your best resource for studying is obviously your AP teacher. They know the content and material of the course far better than probably anyone else you would talk to.”
He also encourages looking at practice tests on AP Classroom through College Board as those will give the most realistic look at what the test may look like. Apart from AP Classroom, googling your practice tests for your AP classes will provide online tests for you to directly take.
Of course, it is important to remember the changes to this year’s AP test. They will be online, 45 minute, free response tests. While many online practice tests can be multiple choice questions, it is your judgement to decide if that would be of use for you.
Psychology free responses, for example, often include vocabulary words that might show up during multiple choice practice; however, there may be other tests for which it would be more beneficial to look at exclusively free responses.
Mr. Clendenning commented that the tests over the past few years have become more skills and analysis based as opposed to content based, so when doing your practice, keep this in mind. It may not be enough to memorize information.
Another change is that the information on the test only goes up through what students could have gotten through in early March to account for the delay in schooling. This takes the pressure off of both teachers and students to cram through the last couple months of information in a shorter time.
Additional test information will be released by April 3rd, including information on the two options for when to take the test. In the meantime, College Board is offering free, live AP review classes starting March 25th that will be able to be accessed at any time.
Also, if seniors have recently changed their decision or just decided, the opportunity to send all your AP scores to your college for free goes through June 20. This includes any scores from previous years. To do this, you can go to AP Classroom through College Board.
As we face the unknown in front of us, let’s try not to be distracted. We can stay strong in the midst of these challenges. And despite the uncertainty of the next few months, the Hamptonian will be here to report on what is going on and make sure you are informed.

The full update from College Board can be viewed at https://apcentral.collegeboard.org/about-ap/news-changes/coronavirus-update