How to Prepare for AP Classes? The Only Thing You Need to Know

how to prepare for ap classes

As you transfer from middle school to high school, you hear everyone around you buzzing about Advanced Placement. Your parents, teachers, and friends are asking you about your plans to enroll in an AP class.

In this blog, I will answer the questions swimming in your mind:

  • How to prepare for AP classes?
  • How should I select an AP subject?
  • How much time should I invest in AP preparation?

Allow me to picture a map of what AP preparation looks like. This will give you a head start on your preparation today!

Before AP Classes Preparation

Tons of conditions must be considered before starting your AP classes. Let’s look at them one at a time.

1. AP Subject

I know you want to opt for AP classes. But pause for a moment and ask yourself: “Which AP course should I enroll in?”

When I was your age and ready to take AP classes, this question kept me up all night. Therefore, I will tell you precisely what you need to know before enrolling in AP classes.

Your Career Goals

AP Classes that you select for yourself should align with your career objectives.

What do you want to pursue in the future? Do you want to be a medical professional? Or, do you want to indulge yourself with the cultures of the world?

what are your career goals?

If you see yourself working in a science-related profession, consider enrolling in AP Chemistry, AP Physics, or AP Biology. These college-level subjects will not only help you simplify the problematic scientific theories but will keep you one step ahead of your peers when you go to college.

Your Interests

Your passions in life dictate your career plans. So, let’s talk about your academic interests.

Do you have an artistic bend? Then, why don’t you opt for AP Art and Design or AP Music Theory?

what are your interests

If languages and cultures interest you, then enroll in AP Spanish Language and Culture, AP Chinese Language and Culture, AP Japanese Language and Culture, or AP French Language or Culture.

If you select a subject in terms of its popularity rather than your interest, then sooner or later, you will get tired of studying and will want to give up.

Therefore, focus on your intellectual interests. Be curious, and you will select the perfect AP course.

College Credits

Do you know that your AP scores directly affect your college credits?

Apart from your career goals and academic interests, make sure you have a fair idea of college credit policies.

If you don’t, then talk to your guidance counselor about your concerns. This will also help you to acquaint yourself with how your AP courses will boost your GPA.

2. Know Your Schedule

Yes, you have decided to opt for AP classes. But how many can you afford to enroll in?

Your availability should be considered before taking up a single or several AP courses. What do I mean when I talk about “availability”? Let me clarify that.

Your School’s Timetable

Know that your high school timetable is disparate from your middle school. You have more subjects to take. Therefore, you have to attend more classes.

knowing school's timetable helps in how to prepare for ap classes

Apart from regular classes, you can expect tons of course work and assignments to fulfill as part of your degree.

The number of AP classes you enroll in will depend on the time left at your disposal after fulfilling your institutional commitments.

Extracurriculars

It is excellent news if you are an active participant in extracurricular activities. Nowadays, reputed institutes and colleges look for versatile candidates. So, ensure you have many activities to show in your college applications.

Extracurricular also take up a chunk of your time, apart from your academics, be it sports, debating teams, part-time jobs, or volunteering for a noble cause.

extracurricular activities help prepare for ap classes

Keeping these factors in mind, make sure that you don’t overburden yourself with too much of a workload than you can handle. On the other hand, don’t give up on your extra-curricular to make room for your AP classes.

At the same time, try to make your school year as memorable as possible.

Check out EnthuZiastic AP Courses to learn with the best teachers.

3. Syllabus

After a lot of self-reflection and qualitative research, you have decided the number of AP classes you want to enroll in a particular year and subjects that will interest and benefit you.

Now, it is time to scroll through the syllabus of the selected subjects.

Make a note of the units, future assignments, and tests. This will not only help you to organize but also give you a fair idea of how much time you spend each day studying.

4. AP Prep Book

Last but not least!

Remember to invest in an excellent AP Prep book. A good AP Prep book will be your best friend throughout your AP preparation journey!

Things that you can find in a good AP Prep book:

  • Course Material
  • Test format
  • Mock tests
  • Practice papers
  • Quizzes

Therefore, take some time, talk to your teachers and peers, and select an AP Prep book that will add quality to your intellectual journey!

During Your AP Preparation

The main struggle of Advanced Placement starts during the preparation.

Don’t fret. I have your back. Let me tell you the exact things that will make your AP preparation less stressful.

1. Notes

Taking notes is not only a practice. It is a ritual!

I cannot emphasize enough the importance of taking notes.

It has several benefits:

  • Organized notes help declutter unnecessary information.
  • Your brain is already memorizing while you are jotting down.
  • It helps with your writing speed.

Therefore, take out your notebooks, pens, and highlighters. Active listening will not be more effective than actively jotting down.

make notes when preparing for ap classes

This is also a great way to identify the learner you are. If you are a visual learner, many methods can help you retain important information, such as mind maps, pie charts, etc.

2. Extra Resources

Looking beyond your AP Prep book for extra materials during your AP preparation doesn’t harm. In this era of the internet, any content is just a type away. Therefore, use it for your benefit.

extra resources are helpful

Look for extra information online through a legitimate academic website. YouTube videos and podcasts are also great ways to pool your resources. You can also opt for online coaching classes, such as EnthuZiastic, which will give you a personalized learning experience and expert AP teachers with one-on-one teaching.

3. Practice Questions and Tests

I am sure your AP Prep book contains several practice tests and questions. But more than solving them will be required.

practice

Look for practice tests framed by the College Board. This is the organization responsible for the Advanced Placement exams. Their questions are akin to the AP exam you will sit for.

After Your AP Preparation

Do you feel exhausted already? I understand if you do because preparing for the AP test is undoubtedly tiring.

At the same time, I congratulate you on the effort you have put into completing the courses.

However, your journey does not end here.

1. Revision

Cramming the night before the exams is not a good idea. Therefore, start revising as soon as your AP classes are over.

revision

You still have some time left; hence you should use it wisely. Time management is most crucial during this period of your preparation. Remember, each minute is valuable!

Hence, waste no time and revise your notes thoroughly.

2. Test Date

Amongst such hustle-bustle, remember to register for your AP exams.

Once again, review your exam format wisely to save yourself from any unwanted surprises.

FAQs

How long should I prepare for AP?

It is best to start preparing 3 to 4 months before your AP test. The idea is to give yourself enough time to study and revise the materials.

How many hours should I study for AP?

Study 4 hours each day for 5 days a week. Though the answer varies, 20 hours a week works for most students. The hours required to prepare for AP exams depend on your chosen subject.

Which is the most accessible AP class?

Physics C: Mechanics has a pass rate of 84.3%, making it the most accessible AP course.

Which AP course is easiest for self-study?

AP Environmental Science is the most accessible AP course for self-study since the subject does not have any complex concept for an expert to explain.

learn ap

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Score 4 or above in your AP tests. Learn with the best teachers.

Conclusion: How to Prepare for AP Classes

During this overwhelming situation, remember to exercise regularly and meditate. Keeping your mind cool will help you navigate through such a stressful situation.

If you do not get the scores you expected you would, don’t let this demotivate you. The end goal of AP students is not to get good grades only. It is to accumulate as much knowledge as you can. Trust me when I say: knowledge gained is never lost.

Best of luck! We are rooting for you.

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