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2021 AP Exams May Look Different This Year, but AP Study Habits Must Remain in Tact

With the end of the school year quickly approaching and AP exams coming up, stress is on the rise. Though AP testing looks different this year, studying and preparations remain similar.

Senior Emily Carter shares some of her experiences with studying for AP exams saying, “I usually used the materials that were provided by my teachers.” Throughout her high school career, she has been blessed with insightful AP teachers who have helped her develop skills needed for the exams. She would like to give a special thank you to Mr. Hart and Mrs. Hardgrove for their help in class, as well as giving her confidence in taking the exam.

With the help of her teachers, Carter didn’t feel the need to purchase any extra material, such as review books. She also utilized Quizlet for memorization of dates and terms.

In terms of actual studying, one general tip is to limit distractions. A good tool is the mobile app Flora, which allows students to set a timer for a designated assignment and restricts use of social media apps while the timer is running.

Another tip is to set a study schedule. Designate a certain day or chunk of time for each topic to review and stick to it, making sure studying is divided up instead of being crammed together in a day. Staying nourished and active is also crucial to a good study session; taking a walk or eating a snack are good ways to help improve blood flow and give your brain and body fuel.

Now that studying is well under way, what will the actual test look like this year? Depending on the class, the College Board is offering three models: an online test at home, an online test on campus, and the regular paper-and-pencil test taken on campus. Most history and language courses are doing the online version of the exams, and math-based exams are taken on campus.

As this year’s AP exams are approaching, students are also thinking about which AP’s to take next year. A piece of advice Carter would give for underclassmen who are looking to take their first AP classes in the near future is, “I would refrain from doing a lot of AP classes since the amount of work and studying you will need to do might interfere with your hobbies or extracurriculars.”

AP classes do have a much heavier workload, so the amount of courses, along with procrastination habits, are the two most important things to consider when choosing classes for the coming year.


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