Video by Bayley Zarrehparvar
It begins with a cold sweat trickling down the spine, continues with a jolt of adrenaline running rampant throughout the body and eventually ends with a frenzied panic as the last few moments of freedom abruptly come to a halt with the commencement of AP testing.
Taking place the first two weeks of May, the countdown to AP tests for students has officially begun. Offered to each grade level through courses such as Human Geography, World History, Spanish Language and Literature and Macroeconomics, AP tests serve as an opportunity for students to earn college credit.
Despite the positive outcome which may result in passing the AP tests with a score of three or higher, the stress and anxiety associated with AP testing may prove to be overwhelming for high school students.
Junior Shannon Spaans feels an early onset of test anxiety.
“Even though I took one AP test last year I still can’t help but feeling nervous,” Spaans said. “It’s a lot of pressure to put on one day and one test.”
With such a high amount of stress placed on students, constructive outlets like test taking strategies may be utilized to improve a student’s test taking abilities and alleviate the mounting anxiety associated with upcoming AP tests. Such strategies include eating a good breakfast, arriving early on the day of the exam, having extra sharpened pencils and bringing a calculator.
By mentally and physically preparing for the test, worries are sure to lessen and stress levels to decrease.
AP English teacher Kim Pearce thinks students who remain calm prior to testing have a better chance for success.
“Students shouldn’t get too worked up before an exam,” Pearce said. “You’ve been going over the material all year so the best approach is to calmly review and stay collected.”
Although certain test taking strategies, such as those listed above, could prove beneficial to a student’s testing experience, there are several habits and practices which could prove detrimental to a student’s scores. Staying up late, taking your cell phone into the testing area and cramming course material the night before can negatively affect a student’s performance and overall attitude towards the test. It is important each student differentiates healthy test taking habits from those that could possibly cause more harm than good.
Senior Tyler Bagley feels as though students should make an effort to approach AP testing in a better, healthier way.
“Students shouldn’t stay up the night before the test trying to cram and get more information,” Bagley said. “It’s better to prepare weeks in advance at a calm pace than to stress yourself out right before.”
While nothing will delay the rapidly approaching AP test dates, by remaining calm, thoroughly preparing and reviewing course material and following constructive test taking strategies, students can be sure to do their personal best and give it their all.
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