AP Test Prep

Anushka Agashe, Co-Editor

When I first started writing this article, my biggest worries were studying for a physics test or writing an essay for English. Since then, it seems as if everything around me has changed faster than I can keep up with, and I know AP tests are the last thing on my mind. I’m sure most of you feel the same way, but regardless of the current pandemic, AP tests aren’t going anywhere. Even though they look different from anything we’ve seen before, here are some of my tips for not just adapting to the new situation, but acing it.

Image courtesy of College Board
  1. Stay motivated

My first piece of advice might seem obvious, but I know it’s a struggle regardless. After being stuck at home for weeks, school might seem like a distant memory, but continuously working towards earning a five is key. Even though AP testing might seem like a lifetime away, motivating yourself to do even a little studying each day will make the process easier. While the structure you get from school might be missing, deciding on a set time to work on classwork and AP review can hold you accountable for your work. I also find that working through my classes in the order of my schedule helps me do my work as though it’s a normal school day.

  1. Keep updated with the College Board

If you haven’t heard yet, AP tests are going to look a little different this year. For one, they’ll be online. Also, rather than a three to four hour test, it’ll be a 45 minute free response question. While these are the most fundamental changes the College Board has made to AP tests for this year, they’ve also cut content, changed testing dates, altered rubrics, and more. While the influx of information can be overwhelming, it’s also important to know as much information as possible about the test you’ll be taking. Make sure you inform yourself on the changes that have already been made, as well as new updates the College Board puts out. If checking the website all the time seems like a waste of time, they also have several social media accounts that post important updates as they come in, including Instagram and Twitter.

  1. Practice both FRQs and multiple choice questions

Most years, practicing for an AP test would mean getting used to both free response and multiple choice questions. This year, most of your time will probably be spent on FRQs, since that will make up the entirety of the test. I’m not disagreeing with that, but I also suggest that you practice some old multiple choice sections as well. While you won’t need to apply those specific test-taking skills to your AP test, it still provides a broader review of content than you could get from a single FRQ section. From there, you can see what content you might need to work on. Also, it can also provide you with evidence that you could use in an FRQ for a class like AP World History or APUSH.

  1. Use strategies you might have used before

While AP tests might look different, there are still strategies from previous years that you can apply to studying for this year’s modified tests. Even if you can’t get to a library or order a physical copy of a review book online, there are still countless reputable websites that you can turn to for review materials. Whether it’s a teacher’s website that’s dedicated to a certain course, or simply the content on MyAP, there’s seemingly infinite resources that are only a quick Google search away. I’ve already mentioned it, but old or practice AP tests are your best friend when it comes to familiarizing yourself with how the College Board sets up questions or even what topics they tend to favor. However, make sure that when you’re grading yourself on any practice FRQs that you grade according to the updated rubrics on the College Board website.

  1. Turn to your teachers

Considering the fact that this is the first time anything like this has ever happened, your teachers have had to adjust just as much as you to all the changes to AP testing. However, they’ve been working hard to change their curriculum and prepare you as best as they can for testing. While they might not have all the answers, they’re still there for any questions you have and to help you do your best on your AP tests.


With everything that’s going on right now, AP tests simply might not seem important anymore. However, they’re still a way to show colleges everything that you’ve learned, as well as make good on all the time and money you’ve put into doing well on them. Hopefully, these tips will help you achieve your best, pandemic or not.