By: Kaelin Hughes/Junior Writer
Compared to last year, a portion of Blue Ridge’s honors students are faced with a plethora of problems: more AP classes. Sophomores are facing their first exam ever in AP United States History, juniors facing two to three exams (AP English Language and Composition, AP United States Government and Politics, and AP Statistics or AP Physics 1), and Seniors up to five (AP Macroeconomics, AP English Literature and Composition, AP Biology, AP Statistics, and AP Calculus AB). These exams allow students to earn college credits in different subjects, but depending on their score from one to five. Most colleges award credits for scores of three, but vary depending on the subject.
With that being said, and my perfectionist mindset, I thought to create an in depth guide to studying hoping to achieve a three, four, or five on the exams and managing the work given in these classes.
- Crash Course Books. The prices of these books vary by classes (on average, around ten dollars), but you can find a book for any AP class on Amazon. You may not have enough time in a day to just sit and read the entire book, but brushing up on concepts from time to time really helps your class performance, and will make you feel better when it comes time for the exam.
- Time Management. If you’re an extremely involved student (sports, theater, band and chorus festivals), it might seem like actual chaos trying to balance that with your AP homework. Your best bet is to do as much as you can. You have flex to do whatever you didn’t finish the night before, and if you have an AP Study, you have that time too. One thing to not forget is DO NOT OVERWORK YOURSELF. It honestly sucks coming into school not fully rested because you’ve been up all night doing homework.
- Studying In General. When studying, make use of all the resources your teachers give you. If you’re given an organizer on everything in a certain chapter/unit, use it like crazy. I also believe Quizlet is a really efficient way to lock down concepts and information. There’s many ways to study using Quizlet, using virtual flashcards, mini-games, or just taking a test on the set of terms/ideas. I also recommend using review videos on YouTube, the internet has endless information for these courses and it’s so beneficial. For more information on studying and getting ready for the exams, see our own recent graduate, Jessica Marvin’s AP article here.
Personally, I found myself falling asleep multiple nights in a row while listening to review videos on United States History, but it really did pay off. The crash course book also helped me learn and understand the content that I had missed from the prior year; it was like a godsend.
Overall, putting your best effort into these challenging classes does nothing but pay off and guide you to getting a college credit, which will benefit you during your future years following high school.