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Preparing for AP Exams

Authored By: 
Maren Holmen, Director of The Tutoring School

Even though the AP exams aren’t until May, now is the time to start your AP test prep, particularly if you aren’t taking an AP course.  (Yes, that’s correct—it is possible to take an AP exam even if you aren’t taking an AP course in that subject area!)  Because AP exams are what colleges use to judge whether or not you are granted college credit for your knowledge in a certain subject, they are more comprehensive and require a greater knowledge than an SAT Subject test.  Understandably, they will require more preparation than you would devote to most other standardized tests.

If you are taking an AP course, the material taught in that course should prepare you for the AP exam.  However, as with school exams, you will need to study outside of the class for the AP exam and, for some people, they will also look to get some AP tutoring in order to help them with focused preparation for the exam.

What are the hallmarks of a good AP tutor?  Clearly, you should find someone who is familiar with the subject material.  Additionally (and to the dismay of my “education not only for the sake of testing” teacher’s heart), there are certain skills and techniques that apply to performing well on standardized tests in general and on AP exams in particular—to that end, you will want to find someone who has experience taking and teaching the AP exam material in question.

The time to start learning or reviewing all of this material is now, not two weeks before the AP exam.  (And while we’re on the subject, now is also the time to find your AP test site if your school doesn’t offer that AP exam.  Don’t put it off or it may be too late!)

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