LACES Untied

LACES Untied

LACES Untied

Five Ways to Ace Your AP Exams

Leilani Krantz
LACES AP teachers smile. From left to right: Mr. Constantinos Tzaferis, Ms. Rachel Klimke, Ms. Cecilia Portillo, Mr. Brian Noguchi, Ms. Jessica Mockler. Art by Lucas Lee.

Before reading, it’s important to remember that what works for someone else may not work for you. The ideas presented in this article are not guaranteed to raise your AP Scores — make sure to prepare for exams in the way you’d like to.

Whether you’re taking your first AP course or your last, AP Exams in May are a looming deadline: the date by which the College Board wants you to achieve mastery of college-level subjects. The stress can become overwhelming, but preparation helps to partially alleviate this. Here are five ways to steady yourself for the standardized testing season.


  • Build a calendar

“I think you need to make sure you’re allotting enough time per subject you need to study, and within each subject, you need to prioritize what you need to work on because you know what you need to improve on. You have to be self-reflective about what you know and don’t know — you need to have a time frame in mind.” – Ms. Jessica Mockler (AP Statistics)

Structuring your time can help in creating an effective study schedule. Planning out what you aim to accomplish each week can make the content a little less daunting. Using each AP subject’s Course and Exam Description to assign topics to days is one way to divide up your review time. Or you can go by units, depending on how much time you have and what works best for you!


  • AP Classroom is your friend

“AP Classroom is a super useful tool which allows students to study material directly from the College Board. Great resource!” – Ms. Cecilia Portillo (AP World History)

AP Classroom may feel like a chore, but it’s a great way to get exposed to material from the College Board — meaning it’s very similar to what will appear on your exam in May. Multiple choice and free response question practices on AP Classroom typically ask about topics that will likely show up on your exams, and AP Daily videos can be quick and accessible review tools for content you could be tested on. AP Classroom’s full-length practice exams are incredibly helpful. Ask your teacher to unlock them for you when you’re ready to take them on. 


  • Study for free!

“I feel that the internet can be a great resource — especially for math — as it relates to practice which can be an invaluable source for prepping for any AP test.” – Mr. Constantinos Tzaferis (AP Calculus AB, AP Calculus BC)

There’s no need to purchase an expensive practice book (unless you want to). Free content online, including but not limited to Khan Academy, released exam FRQs and MCQs, and Youtube videos by veteran teachers like Heimler’s History for AP World History, APUSH, and AP U.S. Government and Politics, Jeremy Krug for AP Chemistry, The Algebros for both AP Calculus courses, and Bozeman Science for AP Biology. AP Readiness hosted by UCLA is another way to review course content — and some teachers even offer extra credit for showing up to these sessions. Visit each exam’s course page by searching for the AP subject name you’re studying for and then “AP central,” which will give you access to past exam questions, scoring guides, and sample student responses (and the points they earned).


  • Start early

“You want to start early because there are so many good resources out there. If you start early, you’ll be able to review more of these resources.” – Mr. Brian Noguchi (AP Chemistry, AP Environmental Science)

It’s advice you’ve definitely heard before, but don’t discount it. Start early! There’s a lot of content to cover for each exam, and students in multiple AP classes especially need enough time to study each subject. The exam won’t get any easier if you put off preparation: the earlier you start, the less crunched for time you’ll be in May. Starting to study in the week leading up to the exam typically isn’t enough to adequately practice. Save yourself pain.


  • Put yourself first

“Do your best, and remember: Your AP scores do not define you.” – Ms. Rachel Klimke (AP Psychology, AP United States History)

Your scores don’t define you: Don’t tie your self-worth to a single test you take. Your mindset is the most important part of standardized testing: Believe in your capability and be confident. No matter what score you earn, you should be proud you challenged yourself. Take breaks from studying to do something that brings you joy, and don’t let testing take over your life — your mental well-being comes first.

Happy preparing, and good luck! You got this.

The 2024 AP Exams taking place at LACES. (Leilani Krantz)
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About the Contributor
Leilani Krantz
Leilani Krantz, Feature Editor, Copy Editor
Leilani Krantz is a LACES senior. This is her third year on LACES Untied staff. In her free time, you’ll find Leilani training with SRLA or enjoying frozen yogurt.
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