5 steps to a 5

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With AP exams right around the corner, it’s crunch time. Here are some last-minute tips to hopefully earn you a five on your exam(s).

  1. Take practice tests: Whether you’ve just started reviewing or you’re almost done, taking a past AP exam under the same timing constraints helps by emphasizing what you need to work on most. Simulating testing conditions helps you learn how to organize your time efficiently for the real test. Formulate a study plan to review certain areas where you scored below your target.
  2. Study efficiently: Tackle difficult tasks first, so you can do them when your brain is fresh and so the rest of your day seems more manageable. Work in the scientifically approved Pomodoro technique, breaking up your time into 25-minute slots with five-minute breaks in between. Take breaks, stay hydrated and try to avoid technology during breaks.
  3. Form study groups: For some students, studying in groups can help them stay focused and deepen understanding. For convenience, you could try meeting over Zoom or Google Meet instead of in person.
  4. Don’t cram: The night before or morning of the exam, focus on relaxing. Listen to music, read a book and get at least eight hours of sleep. Instead of studying, prepare everything for exam day beforehand. Here is a list of things you may need to bring:
    1. #2 pencils (with erasers) 
    1. Blue or black pen
    2. Calculator 
    3. Water bottle
    4. Heritage-approved jacket or sweatshirt
    5. Lunch (especially if you have two consecutive exams)

Remember to be in your school uniform with your I.D. and carry only a clear bag.

  1. Channel your stress: It’s normal to be stressed before an exam, and studies show that this may not be a bad thing. Stress becomes productive when one chooses to view it as an opportunity for self-growth rather than a threat to success. You are stressed because you care; instead of invalidating that emotion, use it to fuel your exam preparation. To prevent unhealthy stress, reframe the meaning of the exam. Remember, neither you nor your college application will ever be defined by one score.

Different people deal with exam stress differently. “I like to spend a day at the library by myself and just do some light review while listening to music. Each teacher prepares the students so well throughout the year, so it’s important to trust yourself because you know the content,” junior Rosa Wu said.

Most AP exams feature a multiple choice portion along with some open response questions or essays. (Photo/Wikimedia Commons)

Anya Pinto, a sophomore at American Heritage School, is entering her first year as a writer for the Patriot Post. Music has always been closest to Anya’s heart. She loves to sing and play the piano, the ukulele and the guitar. Besides Newspaper and academics, Anya created the Current Events Club at Heritage and is involved in several other activities such as Speech & Debate, Mock Trial, Model UN, Student Government and swimming. She enjoys volunteering with organizations such as Best Buddies and Big Brothers Big Sisters. Two years ago, Anya moved to Florida from India. She is passionate about feminism, anti-racism, climate change and battling cultural stigmas. Anya looks forward to being part of iPatriotPost.

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