Rock your AP Exams

Today marks the beginning of AP examinations, which run from May 11-22, 2020. Our students are totally on top of it (…right?), but because the exams are in a different, new format this year, we’ve compiled a short list of study tips, reminders, and links to help ease any lingering test anxiety.

Create a study schedule.

Although AP exams are open book this year, don’t let this lull you into a false sense of security. Studying and reviewing the material remains crucial to achieving a good mark! The exam will be timed (50 minutes), so you won’t have time to hunt through all your notes, textbooks, course materials, etc. to find the information you need. Think of your notes as a last resort rather than a necessity.

Organize your resources.

Create a one-page cheat sheet of key facts and ideas that you’re worried you might forget. Categorize and label your notes and worksheets by topic so that you know exactly where to look for the year the Roman Empire fell, or the enzymes present in saliva. Placing a few sticky-notes in your textbook might be a good idea as well. What you don’t want to do is go into the exam surrounded by a haphazard mess of papers.


Because the exams will be free response, it’s important that you have practiced writing out full responses to a variety of potential questions. The College Board has put together tons of resources (free-response practice questions through your AP login, videos for review), so take advantage of them! Refreshing your grammar might not be a bad idea either; you want your answer to be easy to read.

Do a trial-run of the new AP test-taking system.

There is a demo that allows you to practice and become familiar with the format of the exams. Make sure you have carefully read over the instructions BEFORE exam day so that you know what to expect. The more prepared you are, the calmer and more confident you will feel on exam day.


…then triple-check—your exam date and time. Make sure you are looking at the correct time-zone!

On test day

Log in 30 minutes before your test is scheduled to begin. Make sure you have all the Required Materials. Follow the Exam Day Checklist so that you are completely ready when your exam begins.  

Take a deep breath…

…think only positive thoughts (YOU CAN DO THIS), and start writing!

Good luck!