AP Panic: How to Study


With Advanced Placement national exams coming up May 2 – 13, many Kennedy students, and students across the nation, may be feeling increasing exam anxiety. We asked Kennedy AP teachers for their advice on how to be prepared for the AP tests.


Melissa Osborn- AP Human Geography teacher

“Attend review sessions, take lots of practice tests, and always ask your teacher for clarification.”


Brad Horton- AP Biology teacher

“I think that it’s gotta be sustained effort all year long, it’s not about trying to study for the AP exams in the last two weeks. It’s an approach that you take all year long. For (my class), read the book, do any optional work, make sure you’re doing the work in class, make sure you study with other people- that’s something that’s really beneficial- teach someone else, get an AP review book, and ask questions.”


Robert Young- AP Environmental Science teacher

“Hopefully throughout the year you’ve figured out what works best for you, and you just do more of that. For some people it’s look through notes, others it’s re-read textbooks, some people rely heavily upon doing the released (AP) exams; but the skills that you’ve developed throughout the year- it’s now time to put them to work.”


Dana Melone, AP Psychology teacher

“First: studying over long periods of time- rehearsal. Looking for mnemonics and hints to remember things, studying application over content and just rote memorization of vocabulary- actually looking how to apply it to yourself. I would say study in the way that you’re going to be tested will help you feel comfortable with the content. When you study over time, figure out what you know and what you don’t know, and don’t waste your time studying everything. All of the College Board courses show you what percentage of the exam the topics are, and if you are struggling with something that is one percent of the exam, maybe that’s not what you spend your time on, whereas if you’re struggling with something that is 12 percent of the exam, you definitely want to have your focus there. For essays, the College Board releases every essay every single year and the rubric, so you can go in, you can practice write. Group study is good if your group stays on task. Quizlet is really good.”


Alexander Neff, AP Statistics teacher

“Start studying now, don’t put it off to the last minute. You are better off sleeping the night before the exam; get a good night’s sleep. Work your butt off up till there and then on that day before the test, you don’t need to think about it. Honestly, clear your head.”


Dr. Debora Aldrich, AP Literature and Composition teacher- advice for the AP Literature exam

“I think that we have two or three really good review things that we are doing… I think not to be too overconfident, to have a bit of an edge, so that when you look at the question you’re thinking ‘okay, I need to make this a complicated answer, as opposed to a kind of easy way it might be answered’. Just relax and rely on your strengths. We tend to have a game plan for every kid who goes off to take the AP Lit test, so I will sit down with each person and tell them what they are really good at.”