Getting Ready for the AP Test: What You Need to Know

AP Tests may still be a few months away, but it’s good to be ready early.  Whether you’re taking just one AP Test or seven, here are a few things you can do to prepare:

First of all, make sure you get yourself registered for the exam.  Taking an AP class doesn’t mean that you will automatically take the test, so you have to register with your school so they know how many of each test to order from College Board, and who’s taking each one.  You can register online from the Centennial High School website.  The AP Test costs $98 to take, so be prepared to pay once you register.  If you plan to pay online, make sure you have a debit or credit card ready when you register.   The deadline to register this year is February 20.  Make sure you register on time, any registration after the deadline adds a $10 late fee.  The deadline for all registration is February 28.  More information on registration can be found on the Centennial website.

The next step is to find out the date and time of your test.  AP tests are staggered over the course of two weeks so that people who are taking multiple tests are able to take as many as they want.  Make sure you know when your test is so you know how long you have to study, and so you can make it to the test on time.  You can find the schedule for this year’s tests at the end of this article.

Once you’ve got registration out of the way, and you know when you’ll be taking the test, it’s time to start actually preparing for it.  It’s best to start studying as early as possible.  There is so much material packed into an AP course, it’s nearly impossible to cram it all in the week before the test.  Even if you do manage to do that, you probably won’t be able to recall it well enough to get a good score on the test.

There are a few different ways you can study. The most basic way is to simply go over what you’ve done in class over the past year.  Review all of your old notes, go over old study guides and tests, and read through worksheets that you might still have.  Try to focus on things that you scored well on.  There’s no point in studying something that’s wrong. 

Another way to prepare would be to use AP prep books.  These are books that provide review material, study strategies, test taking strategies, practice tests, and a variety of other useful information about the test.  There are several different companies that make AP prep books, and each has their pros and cons.  Choose one that your teacher recommends, or that you think will work best for you.  You can purchase these books online and in many stores.  If you don’t want to spend money on a book, you can borrow one for free from the Corona Public Library. 

If that is not enough preparation for you, you can use the resources provided by College Board.  College Board releases a few questions from the exam each year and puts them on their website, so you can practice.  This is a good resource because it allows you to get used to the format and difficulty level of questions that you’ll see on the actual test.  College Board also has full-length released exams that you can purchase online.  Both of these resources can be found on the College Board website.

Finally, the day before the test, make sure you have everything you need.  You’ll need several No. 2 pencils for the multiple choice, blue or black pens for the free-response questions, and a watch without an alarm to keep track of the time.  For some exams, you’re also allowed to bring a calculator and a ruler.  However you’re not allowed to bring any electronic devices, recording or photographing devices, books, notes, compasses, protractors, white out, highlighters, scratch paper, ear plugs, food, or drinks.  Once you’re sure you have the right supplies, make sure you get a good night’s sleep, eat a healthy breakfast, and get to the test on time.  If you take the time to prepare, you’ll have no trouble getting a 5 on the AP test.


AP Test Schedule 2018

Monday, May 7

8 a.m.- Chemistry, Spanish Language and Culture

12 p.m.- Psychology

Tuesday, May 8

8 a.m.- Seminar, Spanish Language and Culture

12 p.m.- Art History, Physics 1: Algebra-Based

Wednesday, May 9

8 a.m.- English Literature and Composition

12 a.m.- Japanese Language and Culture, Physics 2: Algebra-Based 

Thursday, May 10

8 a. m.- United states Government and Politics

12 p.m.- Chinese Language and Culture, Environmental Science

Friday, May 11

8 a.m.- German Language and Culture, United States History

12 p.m.- Computer Science Principles

Monday, May 14

8 a.m.- Biology, Music Theory

12 p.m.- Physics C: Mechanics

2 p.m.- Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism

Tuesday, May 15

8 a.m.- Calculus AB, Calculus BC

12 p.m.- French Language and Culture, Computer Science A

Wednesday, May 16

8 a.m.- English Language and Composition

12 p.m.- Italian Language and Culture, Macroeconomics

Thursday, May 17

8 a.m.- Comparative Government and Politics, World History

12 p.m.- Statistics

Friday, May 18

8 a.m.- Human Geography, Microeconomics

12 p.m.- European History, Latin