With AP test season coming up, I am sure many Mesa students are feeling the heat. As the following month slowly ticks down, every passing day is just a reminder of how close the big test(s) is/are. That said, I have taken the time to put together a general guide (that is completely serious in every sense of the word) to studying for, and hopefully scoring high on, the AP exam. I’ve designed it in such a way that, followed correctly, should be a near-foolproof plan for passing the exam. Having taken a grand total of two AP exams myself, I can confidently say that I am very well informed in the area. Trust me. I’m an expert.
First things first: assess how you have been performing for the first two-thirds of the year in your Advanced Placement classes. You may find it helpful to create a checklist of things to look for. In general, the less work you have put into the class over the year, the better. Any AP expert (such as myself) can tell you that the best way to earn a high score on the exam is to do as little actual work as possible during the school year. On the checklist, you should put things such as “did fewer than 4 homework assignments during the year” and “currently managing a D- in the class.” Maybe you could even include “spends at least 60% of non-school time on Facebook,” although I’m sure not many people could have that on their checklist (it’s a pretty tough standard to meet). If you have at least five check marks in categories like these, you’re probably in good shape. Congratulations on a successful year of slacking!
Now, on to actually preparing for the test. Since you’ve probably dedicated so much time to things other than APs, you should capitalize on this by waiting until the last possible moment to start learning the material. My general rule of thumb for success is “6 to 60.” That is, learn the 6 months worth of information within 60 minutes, if possible. Being the dedicated student you likely are if you’re currently reading this guide, I am sure it will not be much trouble. It’s best if you can execute the “6 to 60” plan while giving yourself room for a maximum of 3 hours of sleep the morning of the test. While sleep is (unfortunately) a necessity, the general consensus is that sleep has a negative effect on test performance. The less you have, the better. On a side note, if you’ve been diligent all year and have been actually learning the material over six months, shame on you! It’s people like you who drag down the rest of the population with your over-achievement! Your ample (some could even say healthy) amount of sleep is utterly disgusting. I sincerely hope you fail the test, as your lack of mental fortitude has no place in the revered AP testing room whatsoever.
And finally: the test itself. This is when the real fruits of your (lack of) labor make themselves apparent. This is the moment of truth. The knowledge you gained about four hours ago (if you’ve been following this guide faithfully) should still be fresh in your mind. The fact that you barely skimmed the material should be of great benefit to you on the test, because as we all know, the less you know, the more you actually know, you know? Indeed, you should have no trouble with the multiple choice section (I mean, you automatically get 20% right!). However, if you’re somehow unable to use your absolute lack of knowledge to your advantage, here are a select few answers that may be on the exam: Eugene V. Debs, 42, F = ma, the Nazca Lines, super-ego, social stratification. Hopefully these will be helpful to you. As for the essay portion, you probably have no idea how the essays are meant to be written. This is a good thing. It means you have room for creativity! So, you would probably be best off trying to convince the AP test grader that you deserve a score of 5 on the exam. Use every excuse you can think of. Tell them about your pet ferret. Offer them a hot beverage. Go crazy, because the sky is the limit!
This concludes my foolproof guide to passing the AP examination. Hopefully it leads you to great things in both your immediate and long-term futures. If, by some great stretch of the imagination, you manage to score a 1 on the test, don’t fret. I’ve heard that most parents don’t react to something like that by disowning their kids. Well, at least, not for longer than 3 years. So don’t worry; in a few years you’ll (probably) be able to enjoy a home-cooked meal again! Enjoy!