Key Tips on How to Destress and Study for AP Exams

Dan Gomez, Writer

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As the school year begins to come to a close everyone starts getting excited about the summer, prom, going to the beach, and getting out of school. Yet one month before school ends are the AP exams. One of the most stressful exams of the year. It’s the final exam for your AP class on every little thing you’ve learned throughout the long and hard school year. Including the fact that if you do very well you can transfer the exam and AP class as class credits to colleges which is a huge benefit. Once April hits everyone starts talking about how stressed they are studying 24/7, trying to learn the subjects from the fall again, and killing themselves over if they are going to do well or not on the exam. The streets of Cranford begin to be quieter both during the day and night time since everyone is finding ways to study and get the knowledge stuck in their head for hours on end. Once the first week of May comes AP exams start and everyone is drowning in stress. Here are some tips on getting rid of that terrible stress and finding what method of studying is best for you.

A lot of high school students once they reach sophomore or junior year already know what form of studying works best for them. For those students that are still trying to find the best way to study to really engrave the knowledge into their minds there many different ways to study and destress during AP exams.

  1. A popular way to study is sitting in a comfortable room such as a bedroom or living room and just reading and reviewing the information from either a study guide or a textbook. One method is by making flashcards of the information you need to know; on one side you have the keyword or a question and on the other side is the corresponding answer. Going through the flashcards constantly, reading the questions or keywords, and trying to memorize its answer. Another form is to simply keep reviewing and re-reading the textbook or notes. If you have a textbook or pages of notes you can re-read them and try to think of ways to remember certain key topics or words.

  2. There are also AP exam review books that include both the information and sample questions similar to the AP exam. These books have been very helpful for hundreds of students. A useful tip in studying with this book is use time wisely. Do not try and go through the entire book quickly in a very short amount of time. The best way when studying to learn the most is to spread out the amount of time you spend studying; such as 3-4 hours a day. If you find yourself needing to study for 9 hours in one day then you can have small breaks for food or just to relax for a small amount of time so you can let your mind rest. Trying to study and learn so much for a long amount of time is not as efficient as spreading out the time either through days or at least with small breaks to relax your mind.

  3. There are many different things you can do in order to relax your mind either while studying or in the middle of the week of AP exams. Exercising and yoga are really good techniques to relax your body and mind. Exercising and yoga have scientifically proven to help ease a busy mind. Another technique you can do in the middle or right after studying is to take a warm shower or bath. Warm and showers and baths can put your mind at peace.  If you have the time in the middle of studying or right when you finish studying another technique is to watch a movie in a comfortable atmosphere. Movies such as comedy and family movies are good genres to get your exhausted mind to relax and just be calm and happy. Examples of comfortable atmospheres are laying down on a couch or bed with a warm blanket or outside on the grass or porch in the calming atmosphere of nature. Another method to idle your mind is to have a calm conversation with a friend or family member on a topic that is not what you were just previously studying. This way you can distract your mind from all the hard knowledge you’ve spent hours trying to engrave in your mind.

  4. A different method of studying is to study with classmates. This method is similar to all the previously discussed methods. Yet the difference is that you are reviewing and studying with classmates through thorough discussions. This method is for the students who have trouble focusing when working alone. There are many students who learn and study more efficiently when going over with classmates. Something to seriously focus on with this method is to not get distracted or off topic with the classmates you are studying with. As a group you can go over content, discuss ways to remember certain topics or words, quiz each other. When students discuss certain topics thoroughly they tend to remember what they were talking about more than simply reading it constantly.