A First-Timer’s Guide to the AP Exam: How to gain college credit without overstressing

ap 2With the first of the Advanced Placement exams less than a week away, many students have been preparing to ensure they achieve a score that will earn them college credit.

By following these tips and tricks, students taking the AP exams for the first time might be able to lessen their anxiety.

Do prepare ahead of time

AP exams require the ability to retain what the student has learned from the AP course. Teachers, a valuable resource when preparing for the exam, can help you budget your time and explain the question setup. For parents and students, the College Board website provides a guide to the AP program. This guide gives students a checklist of things to do before and during the exam along with the exam schedule and what to do to prepare for the day of the exam.


Don’t waste time. . The testing room will always have a clock, but it’s a better idea to bring a watch without an alarm or any chiming noise to keep time. This can be a valuable resource when taking any writing portion of the AP exam. During the exam, you may feel sleepy and run out of time, but paying attention to the clock/watch and working efficiently will allow you a greater chance of finishing before the test is called.


Do remember wooden #2 pencils and black or blue ink pens

As for every standardized test, #2 pencils are vital (wooden, not mechanical). Black or blue pens are needed for any writing portion of the test itself. Students should bring more than one fully sharpened pencil and at least two pens. Proctors will provide extra pencils, pens, and scratch paper if necessary. However, you should not depend on this. Bring your own materials on test day.


Don’t bring a cell phone or any other electronic device

Electronic devices are prohibited. Using one in any capacity during a test is considered cheating. If you’re caught with one, your information will be collected and your scores will be canceled.


Do take the exams seriously

“A student who expects to do well needs to take the course seriously through the entire year,” AP Biology teacher Mrs. Regina Goines said. These courses cover advanced, college level material, and the exams require your undivided attention.

The AP Schedule


Week 1:

Tuesday, May 5

8 a.m. AP Calculus


Wednesday, May 6

8 a.m. AP Literature and Composition

12 p.m. AP Physics 1


Thursday, May 7

8 a.m. AP Spanish Language and Culture

Friday, May 8

8 a.m. AP United States History

12 p.m. AP European History



Week 2:

Monday, May 11

8 a.m. AP Biology, AP Music Theory


Tuesday, May 12

8 a.m. AP United States Government and Politics


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