5 Things To Know Before Taking The AP Test

Hi all you AP class takers. If you’re anything like us at The Wrangler, then you’re probably not one hundred percent confident that you’re going to take home a 4 or 5 on the AP test. In fact, you may even be stressing about getting a 3. That’s all completely normal. Here are a few things to think about that may ease your mind when it comes to the dreaded test day.


1.       It’s possible to “fail” and get a 5.

Each AP test is scored according to a total number of points that you accumulate between the multiple choice and essay questions. Depending on the subject that you’re taking, you may be able to technically “fail” and receive a 5. This is possible because each subject is scored differently. Getting 60 points on the AP test for Human Geography is different than getting 60 points on the AP test for Psychology. According to the College Board website, depending on the subject, it is possible to receive only 2/3 of the possible score (about a 67), and make a 5. However, don’t aim to fail. Not every test follows those standards. But it’s true that most tests don’t actually require you earning 90% of the total score to get a 5. And certainly not for a 4 or 3. So, it is possible to pass.


2.       The process of elimination is your friend.

When answering the multiple choice section of the test, use the process of elimination. If you don’t know the answer to the question, you can most likely use context clues to at least eliminate one or two answer choices. Look for dates or key words to narrow down your choices. Use all the information you know, whether it be about a certain time period or vocabulary term to choose your answer.


3.       Eat and drink the right stuff.

According to Psychology Today, the substance in green tea called polyphenols can protect thebrain and also affect your mood in a positive way, allowing for better test taking and a positive outlook. Eggs are also a good thing to eat, since they contain Choline, a vitamin that improves memory.  And don’t forget about caffeine, the ultimate brain-stimulator.  Eating a chocolate bar in the morning before the test can improve your ability to think and use logic. But don’t over-do it. If you have too much caffeine, it can cause the shakes and make your heart beat faster.


4.       For all of those who worry…

The night before the test is a tough one. Wondering whether or not you have accurately prepared for the test, contemplating college acceptance, trying to cram last minute, all while attempting to maintain normality is not fun. Instead of reading the entire textbook, look over your notes. If you are in a situation where you don’t have any notes, you can find lots of them online! Listening to your favorite music can also help calm nerves, as can exercising. Or even a combination of the two. Lastly, have a glass of warm milk, and wear your favorite fuzzy socks. It will be okay.


5.       Think positive!

This will most likely not be the last test you take. Think about the big picture. In five years, you probably won’t even remember this test, or possibly the class at all. And know that standardized testing is so flawed, even if you fail, it’s probably only about 75% your fault. Your life isn’t over is you fail; some colleges don’t even look at AP scores! There have been plenty of successful people who didn’t even go to college. Hey, at least you have the guts to take the AP test. Hopefully all of this will make you feel better about taking your AP test. Good luck and congratulations for pursuing higher education.