It’s grind time. With AP testing coming up in less than 2 weeks, now’s the time to make that AP schedule, study for those tests and be prepared to get your ideal score come the weeks of May 11 and 18. However, with COVID-19 concerns, other required schoolwork and outside-of-school activities that are continuing virtually, one major issue for a lot of AP students is finding the time to study. Here’s how I do it.
First, identify what you need to succeed in AP classes. For me, having lost a month of school due to COVID-19, one of the major tasks I had to do was make study guides for all of my classes in order to retain the knowledge. Take advantage of the new open-note and open-book format for the 2020-21 exams by taking succinct, clear notes that you can look over during the test (if necessary). Find some sources of practice problems; a great place to start would be your teacher’s Schoology pages. Look for other resources specific to your AP test such as albert.io, which provides a limited amount of free, multiple choice questions.
Once you have a list of things you need to do, divide them equally within the weeks before your AP exam. Then, taking your daily planner (or creating a daily planner if you don’t have one already), insert the weekly requirements into different days based on where you have space. If you don’t have time, don’t push yourself too hard–it can only cause burn out and the number one most important thing right now is your health. Instead, take some things out of the “requirements” by either reducing the number of practice problems, finding online study guides instead of making your own, or finding other ways to cut down.
Most importantly, stick to your schedule but don’t force yourself to lose sleep or other valuable time to cram in AP knowledge. You’ve been preparing this whole year for the tests, you can trust yourself a little bit. If you don’t get through every single thing you hoped on your daily schedule, don’t worry. Put it in another day where you have time, or delete it if it’s not important. Always prioritize your mental health and sleep before your studying. A 4 on an AP test isn’t going to make or break your high school experience, but losing sleep is not only going to make you cranky, it’s also going to reduce your mental function when it comes to the exam. Treat yourself right, and you’ll get through this and do amazing on AP exams.
Good luck! Remember that you know what you need and what you can handle, and everything will turn out good in the end. You’ve got this!