The Wildcat Tribune

A Few Tips for Your AP Exams

Daniel Shen, Opinions Copy Editor

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Even though there’s only 19 days left in the DV school year, so much has yet to happen — prom, spring concerts, the end-of-the-year rally, Powderpuff, finals, my birthday, and, of course, AP exams.

Over the course of two weeks (May 7-11 and May 14-18), just under 3,000 individual AP tests of the 23 AP courses offered at Dougherty will be administered to around 1,400 students on campus. Having undertaken rigorous AP curricula throughout the school year and prepared to help SRVUSD win its ninth consecutive AP District Honor Roll award, many Wildcat scholars carry significant burdens upon their shoulders.

To help students acclimate to the next couple weeks of testing, the Tribune posed several questions to upperclassmen who have taken AP exams before. Read their responses below:

How much sleep should I get on the night before the exam? Should I sleep at all?

(Most respondents answered with six to eight hours of sleep.)

“A lot. More than you think as the test often drags longer than expected.” Katherine Arakkal, senior.

Which brands of prep books should I use? For history, science, math, English, world language?

“Crash Course is very helpful for history. For all other subjects, all prep books function in pretty much the same way; it’s more important to look at previous College Board exams and do a lot of practice on your own to get a good feel of the types of problems or prompts you’ll encounter.” Ivy Wang, senior.

(Barron’s and Princeton Review were prominent brands among other responses.)

What pre-exam routines do you have to help prepare the day before, and morning of, an exam?

“Eat lots, pack lots of food, sleep as much as you can without going too far from how much you normally do. Take a break the night before (studying should be the weeks and days leading up to, and if your class is before the exam, in that class).” Rafael Ricon, junior.

“I don’t talk to people who are stressing out as it rubs out on me.” Katherine Arakkal, senior.

What’s the worst mistake you’ve committed while taking or studying for an exam?

“Not studying & also taking a nap during the AP CS exam.” Anonymous senior.

“Not using the restroom before starting the longest section.” Ishaan Khemani, senior.

Was there anything unexpected that you wished you had known before taking your exams?

“The exam room is very cold on some days and very warm on others. Bring a jacket or some other clothing that you can layer easily.” Ivy Wang, senior.

“AP History & English exams make your hands hurt; also multiple exams back to back or continuously in a week are super exhausting and a SEVERE lack of sleep doesn’t positively contribute to that either.” Anonymous senior.

How have you studied for …

… AP history/social science exams?

“Cram session the night before the test :)” Anonymous senior.

“Reread notes in shuffled order (like mixing up notes from different chapters) to see if I could recall any information at any given time. Defined trends. KEY EVENTS, Ms. Lazar’s method of using big events as timestamps on history is really good.” Rafael Ricon, junior.

… AP science exams?

“Doing a lot of work on packets, going through review packets from a teacher and then searching up tips and review guides.” Ishaan Khemani, senior.

… AP math/computer science exams?

(Literally, all respondents answered with practice tests or problems.)

… AP English exams?

“At this point in the year you should be proficient at writing essays if you’ve been paying attention in class all year. Do multiple choice practice and figure how what types of questions you tend to get wrong, and why.” Ivy Wang, senior.

Any other advice or comments?

“Don’t panic.” Aakash Munnangi, junior.

And that’s all! The Tribune wishes you the best of luck on your exams.

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A Few Tips for Your AP Exams