How to begin preparation for the AP testing going on throughout May


Payton Wright, Reporter

Advanced Placement testing.  $91+ of death.  Is there any way to prepare for it?  Don’t lose hope, of course there is.

There are endless sources to help with studying.  Sites like and are helpful, free, and have most subjects with the matching vocabulary.  Be wary though, these websites are student run and the quality of the content isn’t always the best.   

Sources that have a more guaranteed result are going to cost money.  AP study books like the Barron’s Study series and the Kaplan that can be purchased at Barnes and Noble and range from $18-$40.  The Barron’s series also has a subseries of vocabulary flashcards that go along with the books and those are around $18-$20.

The College Board website, which determines the AP curriculum, has various sources.  It only takes one quick Google search to find numerous practice tests and practice essays.  Another great thing to do is to continuously review the class notes and the textbook chapters.  

The best tip? Do not procrastinate.  Mr. McLeran, who mainly teaches AP social studies classes, said that the best way to fail is not be on top of the class from the get go.  Cramming for a test, trying to memorize the information the night before, is the least effective way of studying for the exams.  

Cramming can affect a student’s health and wellbeing quite a bit.  A recent article in The New York Daily News stated that excessive cramming and sleep deprivation by use of caffeine and studying can cause anxiety and bipolar disorder.  

If taking an AP test is more stress than it’s worth or money is an issue, just taking the class and doing well gives students a “bump-up” in the college application process.  A “bump-up” is when a student’s application is moved a few spots above someone else’s.  Seeing that a student has taken a test and failed or even taken just the class and passed gives them an edge over someone who has perhaps not taken an AP class.  

Sophomore Bailey Donaldson, who has decided not to take the test this year, said, “I don’t feel confident this year about taking the test […], so I decided it would be better if I didn’t take the test and took this year a learning experience.”

Of course taking the test and passing is an even better way to get accepted to colleges, it is no easy feat.  

A passing score on the AP test is a three, which is judged based on an overall score taken from both the 75 multiple choice questions and the essays.  Most colleges however, only accept fours and fives.

Ivy League schools such as Yale, Harvard, and Princeton, accept nothing less than a perfect score of a five on any of your tests.

Schools in Utah like the University of Utah, Brigham Young University, Westminster, Weber State, and Utah Valley University all accept mixed score of fours, fives, with a majority of accepted scores being threes.  

Remember the night before the tests: relax.  Go to bed early, eat two good meals, and take a break.