Dear Current AP Student,
Being in an AP class is an honor and a wonderful privilege to have in high school. An AP class is a wonderful privilege to have because not only does it look good on your college applications but it challenges your brain. It is an average class but it does come with more challenges, but as long as you keep up with the work and studying you’ll do just fine in class and on the AP Government test. Ont of the most important thing the AP class or classes will be preparing you for is your AP test. The AP Government test is very important because it challenges you to everything you’ve learned and know and if you pass the test, you can earn a college credit which can help you save money while attending classes.
The main goal on passing the AP test is studying. The best way to study is by going over your notes everyday when you get them or not. Reviewing your notes everyday can help you remember the information better instead of trying to study everything a day before the test. Even if you review your notes for 15 minutes a day it can make a big difference. Looking and reviewing the information you learn everyday help you remember it easier.
But in order to study, you will need to know what to study. You should study everything you were thought in the class, most likely it will be on the test. Federalism, Supreme Court cases, Articles to the constitution, separation of power, the amendments etc. As long as you study your notes you took, you should do fine on the test because the class was thought to help you pass the AP test.
My advice to you in the AP Government class for the AP test is to just do your best. As long as you study and pay attention in class you’ll do just fine. I didn’t think I was going to understand anything that was going to be on the test because I’ve always struggled in government because it was something that didn’t interesting me at times, but after taking the test I think I did an okay job. But I know I would have done better if I studied and went thru my notes every day I would have done a much better job. So, my advice to you is to pay attention in class and try to not daze out or start day dreaming. And as long as you study, you’ll do just fine!
As we have come across being in a challenging ap class we know there is a great deal we must do in order to prepare for the ap exam. But I have found a few study techniques that could come in handy for the test.
1.) How to study: First before taking any exam we must have a good night's rest. No one wants to take an exam because they were too tired or cranky because we didn't get enough sleep. Next you would like to eat a hearty breakfast. As you and I both know we are suckers for the fatty and sugary snacks but they don't help to give us enough energy for the test! The biggest mistakes that I believe that many students have is we prepare ourselves for failure before we have even seen the test. DON’T PSYCH YOURSELF OUT!! You become nervous and frustrated and in the ending that will result to poor test scores. Yes, I know this test sounds scary but it is still just a test.
2.) What to study: Since we have reviewed a lot of material in class you don’t want to overwhelm yourself by trying to cram everything into your head so study only for the necessary items that you feel may help you prepare for the test. Such as important key terms, court cases, the three branches of government, the presidency, etc. Study items that you feel are necessary and that may help benefit you to prepare for the test.
3.) So after you have done, as this there are just some words of advice I would like to give to you. It is just simply one would, BREATH!! No need to feel overwhelmed about any ap exam because you become to stress out and you will so you must keep reminding yourself to simply BREATH!! By doing this you help yourself to remain calm and stress free. Yes, all of this can come from simply just BREAHTING!!
Thanks to Tatiana and Felicia for starting the blog posts. You both have given good advice. We will be making short videos during the next two weeks which will include your advice! Thanks for starting the conversation!
Dear AP students and teachers,
Many students were intimidated by their teachers from the very beginning of the year and many of the students ended up feeling intimidated and have a very low self confidence. This letter that I write is not only directed for AP students but also for the teachers.
This is my second year being in AP classes and it is truly an honor to be chosen and trusted as someone who can handle higher level of education. Though in my opinion, AP classes is not that different than a regular class. The only difference is that we prepare for the AP exam, but think of that AP exam as your finals that you have to take the end of the year in order to pass that class. I know AP classes are supposedly "more challenging," however, I believe that it it all depends on our mind set. If we keep on thinking that AP classes are only for "geniuses" then we won't have that confidence that we will pass the test. I am also speaking through experience, having a background of attending a great private school, I had teachers who teaches at higher level though it was only a regular class. My point is that, it all depends on the teachers and the students. If teachers only have the expectation that we understand the topic just by listening to them lecture once, then you are wrong! It does not matter if we are AP students or not, we still need the guidance that a regular students need! We would like a teacher that cares whether we pass the test or not, but not teachers who have the mind set that says, "I went over those topics with them before so they should have it stores up in their brain and if they pass or not it's up to them." Sometimes when we see teachers who went beyond what their lesson plan or curriculum tells them to do to get us to take the test and pass it, makes us even more want to do it because that same confidence and care for the test is infectious. Teachers, please, I beg you, practice the test with your students months, weeks before the test! Do NOT practice it with them when it's two days away from the test. It is not affective at all if you do that!
My advice on how to study, for students, there is nothing wrong to go over your notes every day even if it is in the beginning of the year. On average, people can't even remember what they eat two days ago, do you think you can remember what you learned three months ago? Do NOT ever try to do "crash study," which is studying all of your notes and material one or two night before the test, sacrificing your resting time. Trust me on this, I've done this before and the result was that my brain went on overload and I was so exhausted and I can't focus or remember anything at all. For teachers, repetition is the best way to make your students learn and remember something. There is nothing wrong to repeat the things that you went over with your students months ago. This really helps! My teacher from AP U.S. History repeated everything that he lectured months or weeks ago every single day. Many of his students complained that he talks too much but the truth is, I remembered everything he ever taught me because of it.
What to study? Now there is a lot of things that your teacher needs to cover in about 8-9 months is a lot and you have to consider that there will be interruption in the year like vacations, your own attendance, PSSA, early dismissals, snow days, etc. Also, the most common one, interruption from your own classmate! Now don't blame your teacher (I will say this only for kids that have the same classes as me, our inside joke, you know there is an exception for this one rule, if you know what I mean...) if he/she cannot cover everything. You have to take initiative to do your own research, read your textbooks, etc. Practice on how to answer FRQ questions, meaning practice on trying to pull out other necessary information that is not said on the prompt.
Another advice, compromise with your teacher for food after the test! The reason is that because you will miss your lunch while take this test. Don't forget to eat breakfast (because you can't focus when your stomach is growling), get a good night sleep (many people who did not get enough sleep fell asleep while reading a prompt, story or questions including myself).
I think this is it, I don't think I have anything else to add but for those who plan to take AP classes next year, please, please, don't feel intimidated. It just feels like a regular class but with more homework and projects. Get help from your teachers if you need it. Some students don't feel connected with their AP teachers and that is why they don't understand the teachers' lectures, but there are other teacher that teacher the same subject in the school, there is nothing wrong to ask other teachers for help. Okay then, I wish you all the best!
Class of 2011
1) How to study: When your placed in to AP class that mean your advance. Studying is the most important thing. Don't study 5 minutes before a test. Study every night for a hour to two hours a day. Ms. Sharer is going to teach the lesson. But since this is a AP class you're expected to study on your own. Take breaks between studying & use flash cards/ note cards.
(2) What to study: Study everything you understand. Study everything you don't understand. For me i had trouble understanding federalism. Make sure you study court cases & vocabulary.
(3) Any other advice: Make sure your present. Catching up is the hardest thing to do and at the end you never catch up on time. Secondly complete all assignments. You won't understand the test if you don't do your assignments. Study together but do your own work. The AP test & course is challenging and must be completed on your own so please don't cheat.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.