Prep books

Got AP/IB testing? No problem.

With the final weeks of AP/IB testing fast approaching, seniors reflect on their past experiences with testing and share pointers on how to survive the coming onslaught of exams.

Get enough sleep (and not just the day before)
“Most important thing? Don’t study TOO much the day before. Let yourself relax. Or else, on test day, you’ll find yourself half asleep and staring at the proctor half of the time. I was like, ‘What’s going on? My eyes are too heavy to look at anything else.’ And sleep early. Like, not the day before the test, but three days before so that your body gets adjusted.”
-Kimber Lee, 12

Set a consistent study schedule
“I think it is essential to establish consistency in a study schedule.. studying a little bit every day is a lot better than cramming last minute. I learned this through my IB IOC, in where I had to memorize 15 poems. Because of the importance of the assessment, I knew that procrastinating would be too risky, so I decided to try something new for a change. Studying every night for 15 minutes proved to be more helpful and convenient than studying the day before for four hours.”
-Arjun Singh, 12

Be confident
“I’d say to keep calm. Treat it like a regular test and walk into the testing room confident and think, “I’m a god” and just win that test. So basically, stay confident; don’t be nervous. Let it happen naturally. Find interest in what you read, think of it as a coherent story. If you feel stressed out, you’re doing it wrong. Don’t worry too much about time constraints, but don’t disregard them either. Take practice tests beforehand to get a good feel.”
-Jeffrey Zhang, 12

Stay organized and be comfortable on test day
“Keep every single page of notes that you have and organize it neatly in a binder right from the beginning because once you fall behind and start mixing up your papers there is no going back. During AP cramming, everything is important. Also, Crash Course has everything you need to review broadly, but if you want to get into specifics and do more practice tests, get a Barron’s book. Before you go out to buy the books always ask an upperclassman if they have it though because most people will so you can get it for cheaper and they can also give advice on how to do well.
On the morning of the AP test, wake up early enough to do everything you need to do in the morning like eating breakfast, making (or buying) your coffee, taking a dump (if that’s what you need to do). Just make sure you’re comfortable and prepare everything you need for the test by the night before. Don’t change your regular routine drastically, but rather try to make it go more smoothly so that you don’t have to rush. At this point, hopefully you’ve done enough practice tests so that you can easily ease into the tests, and you don’t want to be frazzled from running in late or forgetting stuff at home. Cramming will just make you more nervous and it usually won’t stick, so just relax and know that you’ve studied all you could so all that’s left is to take the test.”
-Katharine Jantarach, 12

Eat a healthy breakfast
“Nowadays I start mentally preparing myself for tests way before they start. I know that if I even procrastinate thinking about taking it, it would be harder for me the day of. I usually eat breakfast before I go to school everyday, but for long tests I make sure that I have more food to eat so that I don’t get hungry. [I usually eat] the same type of meal I have every morning, rice and side dishes that are usually leftover from the dinner the previous day. I guess I’d have to say soup is something I’d prefer, since it’s easy to eat. Sugary and oily foods are always a no, they make me feel really sluggish after eating them.”
-Christine Yuan, 12

Compiled by Alison Chang and Bryan Wong, Feature editors


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