Beating the stress of AP exams

by Meghan Augsburger
Ramstein High School intern

After a full school year of preparing, advanced placement course exams will finally be distributed between Monday and May 17. Test taking can be stressful, so it’s important to be fully prepared and ready to tackle the exams.

The following tips might be useful for those anxious or new to the Advanced Placement exam process:
• Take practice material seriously. It can help you prepare for time constraints and challenging questions on the real exam.
• Believe in the knowledge you have gained throughout the course. Don’t stress about cramming the night before.
• Get plenty of rest the days before the exam.
• Eat breakfast so you stay energized throughout the exam.
• Read all of the instructions and listen carefully to the test proctor.
• Try to keep a good pace and don’t rush.
• Annotate keywords in questions to help you find the correct answer choice.
• Eliminate answers you know are wrong. Your chances of choosing the right answer increase when you narrow down your choices.
• Skip questions you don’t understand and come back to them later. Don’t waste time by deliberating.
• If you simply do not know an answer on the multiple-choice portion, take a guess. Wrong answers no longer result in ¼ point deductions.
• For essays, be sure to organize your thoughts before writing. It will help you stay on topic and keep your pacing constant.
• Always review your answers at the end of the section if you have time.
On exam day, students are required to have:
• No. 2 pencil (bring more than one pencil as a backup)
• Blue or black ink pen
• Identification card
• Calculator (for math or science exams only)

Do not bring any of the following to the exam room:
• Cell phones
• Smart phones
• Tablets
• iPads/iPods
• Cameras
• Watches with alarms
• Books

Exam results will be posted in July on the student’s Collegeboard account at Those who have taken an AP exam or Scholastic Aptitude Test AT before already have a Collegeboard account.
Students must know their AP number in order to retrieve their scores.