It’s March! AP exams are now 2 months away. If you haven’t already started, now is the time to start preparing! The best way to prepare is continual review and assessment of your skills. I’ve highlighted the key steps in this outline to plan out the next 8-10 weeks. Check out the TL;DR summary at the end for a quick organization chart.
WEEK 1 (March 3rd - March 9th)
Purchase a review book from one or more of the major test prep publishers (Barron’s , Kaplan, McGraw Hill or Princeton Review). Some publishers have produced better textbooks than others in certain subjects, although having more than one book can’t hurt. Additionally, there are other smaller publishers which have great books dedicated to providing sets of practice questions which are essential to review. Feel free to email me at email@example.com if you have questions on purchasing a specific review book.
Once you’ve received your book, go ahead and take the first diagnostic test in the book ASAP and determine your score.
EXPERT PREP TIP: Create a spreadsheet in which you document all your scores from each practice test you take from here on out. Additionally, record any content areas you scored the lowest to give you an idea of what areas to focus your attention on in the upcoming weeks.
WEEK 2 (March 10th - March 16th)
Focus on your greatest weaknesses first, as determined by your diagnostic assessment. Work through that section of your review book and go through extra practice problems. Once you score your practice problems, take time away from the assignment so you don’t remember the answers, and try to solve the problem a second time around. At that point, score the assignment again and relearn any remaining material. Additional free practice can be found at sites like khanacademy.org for SAT or AP content.
WEEK 3 (March 17th - March 23rd)
Continue your review by going back to the beginning and working through the book sequentially. Read and work through at least 2 chapters/topics by the end of the week. Your goal will be to take your second practice test by the end of this week to track your progress.
WEEK 4 (March 24th - March 30th)
Use the results from last week’s practice assessment to go back and focus on your weakest areas. Similar to how you approached your review after the last assessment, read over the content and answer practice questions. Check your answers and go back and answer any incorrect questions a second time around. Once you’ve completed your review of the assessment, work through another 2 chapters of your review book by the end of the week.
WEEK 5 (March 31st - April 6th)
This week is another practice exam. Start off the week by continuing through the next 2 chapters of your review book. By the end of the week take, you will take your 3rd practice exam.
WEEK 6/7 (april 7th - April 20th)
Continue to repeat the process of reviewing the last practice exam, working through weakness areas, then continuing to work through at least 2 chapters/lessons per week and taking your 4th practice exam by the end of the week 7.
WEEK 8/9 (april 21st - may 4th)
Continue to finish off any remaining lessons you have in your review book. By this time of your studies, the goal will be to take full length practice tests, and to really focus on the Free Response Questions (FRQ) of the exam. Work through additional practice exams in your review book, or purchase an additional review book for more practice. Go through the review process that you have been using for past practice exams. The goal for this two weeks will be 2 practice exams per week. Additional FRQ practice can be found at the collegeboard homepage for each particular subject.
AP WEEKS (may 6th - may 17th)
All that hard work and dedicated preparation will be worth it. This is the week to execute and perform at your highest level. Make sure to sleep plenty the night before your exam, stress and anxiety is normal, do what works best for you to keep calm.
In summary, the best way to prepare for anything is to have a dedicated plan. Start preparing early and you’ll be amazed at how much information you will retain in your review and studies. Here’s a quick outline of the schedule:
Ready to take action?
Go out and get your review book and study materials! Any questions on which books to purchase, don’t hesitate to ask. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For a free diagnostic assessment, check out the diagnostic exams I am currently offering at the website below: