AP tips and tricks to get an A

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AP tips and tricks to get an A

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AP classes are more difficult than general education courses, but that is to be expected when you take a college-level course.

Mr. Rob Markwardt, who teaches AP World History, said students have to study to succeed.

“You need to be able to study a little bit every night,” Markwardt said. “Spread it out, don’t try to cram it in.”

These tips can help you succeed in your AP course.

Take Active Notes

Good note-taking is essential to get a good grade in an AP course.

Just taking notes is not enough, though.

You have to react to and analyze your notes, something unfamiliar to many first-time AP students.

Some AP teachers recommend taking Cornell notes, which require you to comment on and summarize your notes.

You should also take notes on anything you may have missed.

Keeping notes together will help you get to them quicker.

Junior Mary Wheeler uses notes to help review for tests.

“I feel like taking notes is important,” Wheeler said. “It is easy to look over notes you’ve taken before a test, or even to refresh.”

Use Review Tools

Review tools, from online review games to chapter summaries, can help you tremendously before a test or exam.

Quizlet is an online flashcard review app that is used in many classes for reviewing key ideas and vocabulary.

It is an effective, quick way to study. They’re already made, so I don’t have to make them myself.”

— Autumn Sears, sophomore

Quizlet is also available as an app for smartphones and tablets.

Sophomore Autumn Sears uses Quizlet to review in her classes.

“It is an effective, quick way to study,” Sears said. “They’re already made, so I don’t have to make them myself.”

Another review tool that is utilized by students across the country is flashcards.

They can be used for any topic, and they can be especially helpful in classes like AP World History and AP English Language and Composition.

Chapter reviews are also available in many AP textbooks, and many have practice tests and writing prompts in them.

If you enjoy studying with a group, Kahoot reviews may be a helpful asset.

Kahoot.it is an interactive review website where you pick one of four choices based on the options on the screen.

Points are earned in the game by giving correct answers as fast as you can, and the person with the most points wins.

The app is often used with mobile devices, although it is available on computers.

Don’t Procrastinate

Sophomore Jolie Timm procrastinates occasionally.

“I am tired when I get home, so I don’t always do work when I get there,” Timm said.

Time management is important in any class, but it practically takes on a new meaning in AP courses.

You can overcome procrastination by setting reminders, blocking distractions, and making personal deadlines.

You have to be willing to sacrifice your time to get a good grade in the class and on the AP exams later in the year.

This may mean doing work for a few hours after school or chunking out assignments over a few days.

The workload can be a culture shock to some students, but you can overcome the difficulty.

The easiest way to do the work is to plan any reading or assignments for weekends or for a few hours after school.

Doing work sooner can open up free time to study and do other work, as well as have time to relax and spend time with friends.

Take Advantage of Extra Credit Opportunities

Many teachers offer chances for students to receive extra credit.

Some AP teachers give extra credit for things as complex as an essay to as simple as bringing in tissue boxes for the classroom.

Extra credit can help boost a sub-par grade, as well as ease any stress you may have regarding your grade.

If I don’t, I might get bad grades. If you have extra credit, why would you not do it?”

— Nick Hatchew, freshman

Extra credit can also help you review and study the topics you are working on in class, as well as broaden your vocabulary.

Freshman Nick Hatchew uses extra credit in his AP classes.

“If I don’t, I might get bad grades,” Hatchew said. “If you have extra credit, why would you not do it?”

Stop Complaining and Do Your Work

If you complain about the work, you are only wasting your time.

The College Board will not change the AP exams because students think the courses are too hard.

They are supposed to be more challenging so students actually earn the college credits they receive.

Teachers aren’t giving you homework for the sake of homework, they are giving you homework so you are prepared for the exams.

If you don’t do the work, you may fall behind, and AP courses are some of the most challenging courses to catch up to.

Freshman Matthew Ehrmantraut does his work no matter how much he dislikes an assignment.

“I need to get the grade, even if I don’t want to do it,” Ehrmantraut said. “It’s how I’ve gotten this far, so I’ll stick with it to the end.”