Teachers Share Their Advice for Advanced Placement Students Heading Into Exams

Advanced Placement teachers share tips, tricks, and advice for students preparing to take AP exams.


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A multiple choice answer sheet, similar to the ones used in AP exams

by Sophia DeBon, Reporter

Advanced Placement season is upon us at Central Kitsap High School. Students at CKHS may find themselves overwhelmed trying to study for their AP exams; luckily, teachers have advice to help learn and memorize material, and prepare to take exams.

Kallie Szczepanski, an AP Human Geography and AP Psychology teacher at CKHS, shared a piece of advice for AP social studies students.

“Specifically for social studies exams, students need to really, really focus on the vocabulary,” said Szczepanski, “because if you are reading the question and you hit a word that you don’t know, and it’s the key word in the question, then you’re just kind of doomed and you have to guess.”

For any students preparing to take an AP exam, or any exam for that matter, Szczepanski recommends prioritizing mental health, and taking a break for a few days before testing . 

“People need to prepare early . . . you should be preparing the couple of months before the exam, not the couple of days before the exam, like a lot of people do,” said Szczepanski, “The last couple of days before the exam you should be going for long walks on the beach, or taking a bubble bath, or having a dance party; whatever helps you relax and not stress and think about the AP exams. Prep early and relax before the test.”

When asked for his best advice for AP students, Bill Wilson, who teaches AP Environmental Science, had two tips for students.

“I think the biggest thing you could do is take a practice exam . . . I think there’s so much benefit to that,” said Wilson. In regards to content review, he said “Most AP teachers try to pace the review so you’re not overwhelmed at the end. So my advice is to try and keep up with the pace of the review. Don’t put it off till later because then it’s just going to become this big mountain, and you’ll throw your hands up in the air and say ‘I’m done!’”

Mr. Schuchart, an AP US History teacher, had similar advice. 

“My biggest advice is to follow your instructor’s guidance,” Schuchart said, “We have really experienced teachers here at CK, who’ve done this for a while and know their subject matter. Trust their leadership. If they recommend you do certain things, whether it’s a study guide or a practice test or anything of that nature, go on their guidance.”

Szczepanski shared a tried and true study technique that helped her memorize information as a student.

“What worked for me was actual physical notecards, and flipping them over and having other people ask me the questions,” said Szczepanski, “Because you do that [hindsight bias] thing where you flip the card over and you’re like ‘oh yeah, I know that,’ but if there’s someone else there to keep you accountable, then you actually have a stack of cards that you need to study more.”

When prepping for exams, be sure to consult your advisors to ask for their study tips and recommendations for you. Teachers know their students well, and may not recommend the same things for all of them.