Preparing for AP Exams

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“Simple question: what’s the best way to prepare for an AP test?” -RandomDesignation#23

There are three especially effective ways to prepare for AP exams: AP review books, class review sessions, and one-on-one with teachers.

AP review books are the most accessible of the three methods, and provide almost all the information in your textbook in a much more concise manner that some people find easier to work with. There are many different options to choose from when it comes to brand names: the three that I’ve seen the most students use are the Princeton Review, Barron’s, and McGraw Hill. The Princeton Review is probably the easiest of the three to process, and is very straightforward. The information it includes is crucial, but it may tend to leave out minute details. Barron’s, on the other hand, is very information specific and is the most difficult of the three to work with. However, some people claim that if you can master a topic through Barron’s, you can pass any test on said topic (it’s just a saying though, so read through all three before making a choice).  McGraw Hill offers a sort of compromise between the two, giving essentially all the important information you would find in your textbook with a considerable amount of detail in a more concise manner than Barron’s.

Class review sessions are a must in your AP preparation, though you may not be able to attend every session your teacher offers due to sports or other conflicts. Class review sessions are very helpful largely due to their collaborative nature: hearing others speak and ask questions that you may not have even thought of can really help you retain knowledge. The fact that they are lead by teachers is also a plus, as teachers have years of experience and can answer virtually any question you may have during the review.

Finally, on-on-one with a teacher is a good idea if you would like to clarify specific points that were not made clear to you in class. Not all people feel that this is a necessary measure, but if the need ever arises it is a VERY helpful one. Even if your teacher is unable to answer all your questions at the time, they will be able to guide you to the source that will give you the best results.

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