In order for students to gain these college benefits, they must earn a score of 3 or higher on their AP exam. Mary Harmon, guidance counselor at Loveless Academic Magnet Program (LAMP) in Montgomery, Alabama, offered the following tips to
help students excel on these standardized exams.
Begin on day one: “Preparation for an Advanced Placement exam begins the first day of class,” Harmon said. “Students need to take every day seriously and look over all old notes. You cannot wait until the last minute on an AP test.”
“I would say the difference between a 2 and
3 is individual student motivation,” said Dr. Bryan Oliver, high school principal at Saint James School in Montgomery. “To score high enough to receive college credit, a student has to be motivated to work harder and go the extra mile in preparing for the exam.”
Be persistent: “Students must understand the larger concepts, and yet they need to be able to effortlessly work with the mechanics of writing and computations and memorized facts. If weekend or afterschool study sessions are available, students must take advantage of each and every one of these sessions.”
Branch out for help: “One of the tools with the greatest value is to take a mock exam that is scored according to an existing AP rubric.” Practice tests are usually offered in the classroom, but may also be obtained through the Princeton Review or CollegeBoard.com.
The A+ College Ready program allows public school students to participate in an AP test review for free during three Saturdays a year, so check with your school for information on how to attend.
Believe in yourself: “The night before an AP exam should be stress-free,” Harmon said. “The most essential element that a student can take with them on the day of a test is a positive attitude and confidence that they are prepared and that they own the knowledge.”
Students who take the AP exam have the potential to aid in their own savings for college by gaining exemption through these exams. Some colleges may not accept credit from certain AP exams, and some may only accept a 4 or higher, so be sure to check with your desired college to see if they accept AP credits.
“31 percent of colleges and universities consider a student’s AP experience when making decisions about which student will receive scholarships.” –CollegeBoard