What is a good way to manage my time studying for AP tests while keeping up with my schoolwork?

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Brendan Mernin, Noodle Pros Tutor and Advisor

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To prepare for AP tests while keeping up your grades, be resourceful, organized, and fearless. Follow these tips and you will do your best on the tests while maintaining your GPA.

  • Start early: Don't leave all your AP prep for the final week or two. Slow and steady wins the race in this instance.

  • Do a little every day: 30 minutes a day will move you toward a 4 or 5 without pulling down your grades.

  • Break up your resources: Don't carry around all your flash cards or books all the time. Break the flash cards into smaller groups you can study, or cut the book up into chapters.

  • Use technology: You can learn a lot on your phone or tablet. Use it to squeeze studying into little moments each day, such as commutes or time spent waiting for something else. Take photos of diagrams, charts, and maps you need to learn.

  • Part of a test is a lot: Don't feel like you have to take full tests in order to get anything done. Do one part of a test if that's all you have time for.

  • Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good: Let go of the ideal study plan in your head. Do whatever you can every day and don't quit.

  • Do your schoolwork quickly: Don't waste homework time on unproductive activities. Get through your homework fast, and you will have time for your APs.

  • Think positively: Optimism itself will keep you moving efficiently.

  • Bounce back quickly: Don't let a missed day or some difficult material discourage you. Keep going!

Best of luck!

Alexis Avila, Licensed Guidance Counselor, Private Tutor, Prepped & Polished

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The best way to manage your time studying for AP tests while juggling your schoolwork is looking at AP exams as a marathon, not a sprint. So allocate, 45 minutes to an hour each weekday to AP test preparation. A little bit of prep each day amounts to a ton of overall AP knowledge retained! Plus the 45 minutes per day routine won’t eat up too much of your school work time. Then on Saturday or Sunday mornings leading up to your exams, allocate 1.75 hrs to 2.5 hours of AP exam prep. Use your weekends to take timed practice tests so you can get your pacing just right. Remember, the more practice tests you take, the more comfortable you’ll feel on the day, making you less likely to rush. Good luck!

Robyn Scott, Educational Consultant, TutorNerds LLC

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I recommend keeping AP test prep somewhat separate from other homework. Preparing for an exam is a different thought process than general knowledge study. Try sitting down for 30 minutes to work on AP prep and then take a 10 min break to have a snack or take a quick walk and get some fresh air. Then sit back down and start other homework. Also, since the AP exams are given earlier in the day, try taking a practice test (or a portion of one) on a Saturday.

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