Monday, May 6, 2013

May the National Average be Ever in Your Favor

 The final stretch is here and the pressure is on. AP tests started this week, marked by the increase in sweatpants, lack of makeup, and zombie-like expressions of those unfortunate, overworked souls. Those souls that will be me in T-4 days. It's hard to imagine, but with every day, I am becoming more confident, more prepared, and more excited to be relieved from the stress that has been suffocating me for the past few months. Below I have provided a list of [from my past experiences] help and do not help with preparing for AP exams. May the national average be ever in your favor!

what helps:

  • Study sessions with teachers. They know format of the test, they have the answers to your questions. They have practice tests and more resources than you probably know about. USE THEM. 
  • Barron's or 5 Steps to a 5 books. They literally have word-for-word test answers in the practice tests and review sections. I swear to you, make them your Bible. Or Quran. Or Torah. Whatever works. 
  • Study groups! Cramming is always better with fattening Starbucks lattes and a few friends. It helps to bounce ideas and have others quiz you. Flashcards will never be as effective fun. 
  • Eat breakfast before the test! The hunger pangs will distract you. I promise. It happened to me. I wasted three minutes of an FRQ on the APUSH exam drooling over my proctor's granola bar.
  • Be confident. You have been in class, learning the material all year. You. Will. Be. Fine. 
  • Relax a little bit. Watch a TV show about something horrifying that will remind you that getting a 1 or 2 on the exam is not half as bad as being locked up abroad or being eating alive by a Great White
  • Look forward to what will come after the test! I traditionally tip the scale at my favorite frozen yogurt place, but the options are endless. 
what doesn't:
  • Trying to read over as much material as possible. Limit yourself to what you [or your teacher] finds important. Otherwise, you will be overwhelmed and way more stressed than need be. 
  • Pulling an all nighter. You will have a massive brain fart and it will embarrass you. If you don't know the information the night before, let it go. You won't learn it in a few hours. 
  • Panicking. Worst case scenario? You take an extra class in college. It isn't the end of the world. Remember, you are smarter, better looking, and harder working than those who are not taking the test. This test does not determine your intelligence. You are smarter because of your hard work, not because of the score you get on a test that is not made for kids to pass. 
You is smart. You is important. You is going to be okay. 

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