As the school year approaches its end, students are far from finished with their studies and hard work. Throughout the months of April, May and June, students have prepared for their AP (Advanced Placement) and AICE (Advanced International Certificate of Education) exams. For many, passing these exams can benefit them through a diploma or college credit, so it is imperative that students are prepared for testing.
“When studying for AP exams, I watch College Board review videos and go through my notes,” sophomore Kiley McKernan said.
For many, procrastination leads to their downfall during exam season. Frequent skimming over notes and practicing memorization is most common when breaking this comfortability.
“Students should start studying for finals about two weeks in advance and study 20-30 minutes each night per academic subject,” biology and AP Environmental Science teacher Amy Lawson said. “Regardless of the subject, all studying starts with memorizing the content by repeating the important ideas multiple times.”
Of course, these tactics can be applied outside of AP and AICE exams and are not limited to these students. This form of studying can also be used for quizzes, tests and upcoming finals this year.
“Procrastination until the test date is a study habit that should be broken,” McKernan said. “Make sure you study and use your teachers’ resources because they allow you to perform to the best of your potential on your test.”
Habits are not easily broken, especially being so far in the school year, but there is always room for improvement by recognizing mistakes and working towards fixing them to ensure smooth and worry-free studying.
“The most common mistake is not studying a little every night, but trying to cram a whole year’s worth of knowledge into your head the night before a final exam,” Lawson said. “Postponing studying when you know you should makes you feel anxious.”
For those who are looking for visual review sessions that cover a wide range of subjects, Advanced Placement, Heimler’s History, PsychExamReview and other AICE, ACT and SAT preparatory YouTube channels are best for studying and may be a refresher for a certain unit or topic.
As for specific subjects, it is important to abide by the rubric for each exam. Following these guidelines allows students to focus on higher weighted topics or learn what to remember and focus on during the test.
“The study approach is different because each AP exam requires different information to be memorized,” Mckernan said. “AP World [History] was probably one of the hardest exams to study for because I had to remember what events are incorporated in each time period.”
Aside from maintaining study habits and persistence, it is important for students to make review as easy and beneficial as possible. If not, the hard work may not pay off. This can be done by studying in a peaceful environment where students’ best work can be done.
“Students should study under the same conditions as the testing room: quiet, cell phone off, no distractions,” Lawson said. “It’s easier to study.”