How To Score a Five on Your AP Exams

As many of us frantically realize, AP exams are quickly around the corner. During two school/business weeks in May, AP exams are proctored and students either sheepishly or boisterously complete their exams, hoping for the best score they can get (whether it be a three, four, or five that they feel capable of acquiring.) Although each class has tailored requirements in receiving a passing score, in general, here are the things you need to do if you wish to get a five on the AP test day.


In preparations of the AP US History exam (photo by Leanna Lostoski)

In preparations of the AP US History exam (photo by Leanna Lostoski)

Of course some of these tips are things you should have been doing or preparing yourself for prior to the class. Yahoo! Voices reveals that class participation greatly increases likelihood of passing. When your brain is stimulated in several ways, rather than just one, you are more likely to remember and recall information. Another is to avoid procrastination – which we all have, at one time or another, dealt with, in some way, shape, or form.

Remember that AP tests are administered by College Board – so they will most likely have the same type of questions that the SAT offers. If you have not taken the SAT yet, please view this post, which will explain the difference between tests such as the SAT and the ACT. In any case, it will be a good idea to notice the trends that occur in both the SAT and the AP tests. For example, numbered questions – ie. ones that give several answers by use of roman numerals – are never simply I, II, or III. You can immediately eliminate those answers, saving time – which helps, because these types of questions are some of the longest in any AP multiple choice section.

Another tip is to refrain from cramming for the test. Frankly, it doesn’t matter how bad you think you will do – if you cram, you will do poorly. The night before is one of the worst times to study for the test. Not only does it reveal that you are an avid procrastinator, but your memory will most likely forget about it before sleep. The best thing to do? Instead of studying the night before, study about an hour and a half to an hour before the test. These things are fresh in your memory, and your brain can recall them a lot easier. Plus, the extra sleep you receive, not worrying about the test, will aide in your memory.

It doesn’t matter how naturally good you are. To make a five, you need discipline. You need to do all of these things, through out the whole year. Now, I’m not saying that with enough hard work and dedication, it is impossible – but it is unlikely for the average person. After the test, be sure to look back upon yourself in retrospect. Do you think you made a five? If so, you probably did. Your initial gut instinct will usually tell you how well you did. At the end of the day, you either knew it or you didn’t.

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