Advanced placement classes are much harder than ordinary classes, and one reason is because of the AP tests. Advanced Placement tests are harder than any tests you’ve ever taken in most cases. They’re lengthy, and usually will cover content that you have never even heard of, even while paying attention in class, taking notes, and doing well on all tests covered while in class. The awesome thing about the advanced placement tests is that they can give you college credit in many popular schools if you score high enough.
I know a ton of information about the Advanced Placement psychology test here in Michigan, but I’m sure many of these characteristics may also apply to other AP tests.
For one, you’re going to need to be very speedy and accurate at answering multiple choice questions. You’ll be given enough time to spend about 40 seconds per question, and you’ll have somewhere in the ball park of 100 multiple choice questions. Be aware that 2/3 of your test grade also comes from this section of the test.
How do you study for the multiple choice section? Take as many multiple choice tests on the subjects covered as you can. If you need even further tests that your teacher hasn’t already provided you with, try visiting Quia.com and check out some of the quizzes on that subject that others have already created. Sometimes this is useful, and sometimes not. Otherwise, you can resort to making yourself a huge bank of multiple choice questions, or try sharing them and swapping with a friend. Any method of studying will help.
The free response questions are definitely a big concern when it comes to taking the advanced placement tests. On the psychology test, there are 2 different free response questions, both of which are going to contain on average 8-12 different questions within it.
I would say that the most important thing to remember while working through these questions is to forget everything about essay writing that your english teachers have taught you. Don’t write a lengthy introduction or conclusion, and definitely do not repeat the question. The AP test graders already know what the question is, and all you need to do is answer it, do not ramble or repeat the question.
Use any terms that you can fit in that make sense, and underline them. The more terms that you use that relate to the issue, the much more likely you are to get a decent score on the paper.
Make sure when answering all of the different segments of the prompt to make it clear where one starts and the next ends, if you can just start new paragraphs for each individual part of the question.
Use as much research as you can to back up your statements, and do NOT use personal experiences whether they apply or not.
Pay attention to the directions. Sometimes you will be asked to summarize a list of things, other times you may be asked to compare a few different things. Outlines are going to greatly help you here, don’t just start writing, I strongly recommend creating a rough outline first, to keep from rambling and pouring random thoughts out onto the paper.
Good luck, and one more resource you can use to study from – check out sparknotes.com and take a practice AP test, you can take any one you want at least once before having to create a new account!