Staff offer advice for prepping for upcoming AP tests

The AP tests are less than a month away and many teachers are recommending to start studying for them now.  

Each AP test has different schedules and times. “For AP Human Geography the test will be in two parts: the first part is 60 minutes for 60 multiple choice questions, and the second part is 75 minutes for three free response questions (FRQs),” AP Human Geography teacher Traci Walsh said.  “Everything will be on paper, not computerized, so get ready to write a lot for the FRQs.” 

“For AP Environmental Science, the test will be in two parts, 80 multiple choice questions in 90 minutes and three FRQs in 70 minutes,” AP Environmental Science teacher Jason Lang said.  “From my experience students don’t really have any problems with the time, but they do sometimes read the questions too fast.”

The AP tests will cover every topic since the beginning of the year and will not always cover each unit equally. Depending on the AP class, the tests will be standardized with the level of difficulty of the test. Some years the tests are more difficult than others, so the grading will be more lenient.  

“The rubric changes every year,” Lang said. “Sixty percent of the score is based on multiple choice and 40 percent is based on the FRQ. Typically, students that score at a 4 or 5 level get 70 percent or more of the FRQ questions right and get  an average score of 4 or higher on the multiple choice questions.  I think the FRQ questions are usually harder. The typical average FRQ score is just over a 4.  The multiple choice questions if you don’t read them properly can also be really difficult,” Lang said.  

Walsh said there are many ways to review for the tests. “I recommend students to study now and in small parts, which would be easier to study for and more efficient,” Walsh said. “I recommend students to look at any AP classroom review sessions especially focusing on how to write FRQ answers. The best way to prepare for the AP tests would be to be engaged the entire year,” Lang said. “Just make sure the night before your test to relax and get a good night’s sleep, and I think you will be in a better state of mind for your exam. I would not recommend cramming the night before the test,” Lang said.  

“It’s just a test, and it’s not the end of the world if it doesn’t go well,” Walsh said.  

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