Tag AP tests

Acing AP tests or final exams

Worried about your upcoming AP tests or final exams?  In a normal year these exams can be anxiety producing, but this year that may be particularly true.  AP exams will now be offered in an online, open-note/open book format.  And as schools continue to cancel in person classes for the rest of the year, you may find yourself taking more online or modified final exams.    

With all the information available to you, an online, open book exam should be easy right?  Surprisingly, that may not be the case.  Open book/open note exams usual push students to synthesize responses that demonstrate comprehension rather than just regurgitating facts.  You should expect questions which may ask you to apply concepts in new ways.  The CollegeBoard has put together a list of tips for preparing for online exams.  Ultimately, knowing the material and having organized notes/resources will be your best strategy.  This means you should continue to devote study time to your AP exams just as you would if you were taking them in person.      

Thinking about scrapping the AP exams all together?  You are not required by the CollegeBoard to take the AP exam (although your high school may have different policies around this).  The main incentive for taking the exam is the possibility of college credit.  While many colleges are adopting test optional policies for admission, most have said that they will still award AP credit the same way they have in the past.  CollegeBoard has said that the AP exams will test content covered through early March.  You’ve already done the work for the exam; you just need to refine your skills.        

Take Action 

Find more tips and resources for preparing for AP exams on the CollegeBoard website.  You can apply these study tips to high school finals as well as future college exams.      

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Testing Updates

As a senior, it’s unlikely that you were planning to take the SAT or the ACT but coronavirus cancelations may still impact your spring test schedule.  You may have AP or IB exams, or possibly SAT Subject tests on your calendar however, testing organizations are working swiftly to reschedule or revise most of these exams.  With updates coming in on a rolling basis from testing organizations and colleges, it’s important to stay informed.  Check your email regularly, create a system for organizing important information, and stay in touch with your counselor.    

SAT Updates  

  • The May 2, 2020 SAT and SAT Subject Test administration has been canceled.   
  • The June 6, 2020 SAT and SAT Subject Test administration is still scheduled.  However, CollegeBoard will continue to assess health and safety recommendations and provide updates to registered students as soon as possible in case of changes.   
  • Refunds will be issued to students who are registered for canceled test dates.  
  • College Board will provide future additional SAT testing opportunities for students as soon as possible in place of canceled administrations. 

AP Exam Updates 

  • Traditional face-to-face exam administrations will not take place. Students will take a 45-minute online free-response exam at home.  
  • Some students may want to take the exam sooner rather than later, while the content is still fresh. Other students may want more time to practice. For each AP subject, there will be 2 different testing dates. 
  • The full exam schedule, specific free-response question types that will be on each AP Exam, and additional testing details will be available by April 3. We’ll also unlock any relevant free-response questions in AP Classroom for digital use so students can access all practice questions of the type that will appear on the exam. 

IB Exam Updates 

  • The May 2020 examinations scheduled between April 30 and May 22 for Diploma Programme and Career-related Programme candidates have been canceled and will not be rescheduled. 
  • Depending on what they registered for, students will be awarded a Diploma or a Course Certificate which reflects their standard of work. This is based on student’s coursework and the established assessment expertise, rigor and quality control already built into the programmes. 

ACT Updates 

  • ACT has rescheduled its April 4 national test date to June 13 across the U.S.  All students registered for the April 4 test date will receive an email from ACT in the next few days informing them of the postponement and instructions for free rescheduling to June 13 or a future national test date. 

Special Note for Seniors 

The coronavirus pandemic has been hard on students everywhere but it can feel especially egregious for seniors.  This was your year!  Suddenly things like senior trips, senior prom, graduation, the “last time I get to…” are being snatched away.  We are heartbroken with you that your high school experience is ending this way.  

But this is still your year and there’s a lot of it left!  Communities around the world have come together in the midst of unprecedented circumstances.  You – Generation Z, more than any generation – have the tools, ability, and creativity to make something extraordinary out of these strange circumstances.  We hear you and we feel your hurt – but we are also excited to see you soar!  You were made for this!     

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Testing Updates

Coronavirus cancelations seem to be coming in from all directions – schools, weddings, concerts, even the Olympics have either been canceled or rescheduled.  The SAT and ACT are no exception.  It’s likely that your spring test schedule (along with your other schedules) looks very different now than it did a week ago.  With updates coming in on a rolling basis from testing organizations and colleges, it’s important to stay informed.  Check your email regularly, create a system for organizing important information, and stay in touch with your counselor.     

SAT Updates  

  • The May 2, 2020 SAT and SAT Subject Test administration has been canceled.  
  • The June 6, 2020 SAT and SAT Subject Test administration is still scheduled.  However, CollegeBoard will continue to assess health and safety recommendations and provide updates to registered students as soon as possible in case of changes.   
  • Refunds will be issued to students who are registered for canceled test dates. 
  • College Board will provide future additional SAT testing opportunities for students as soon as possible in place of canceled administrations.

ACT Updates 

  • ACT has rescheduled its April 4 national test date to June 13 across the U.S.  All students registered for the April 4 test date will receive an email from ACT in the next few days informing them of the postponement and instructions for free rescheduling to June 13 or a future national test date. 

AP Exam Updates 

  • Traditional face-to-face exam administrations will not take place. Students will take a 45-minute online free-response exam at home.  
  • Some students may want to take the exam sooner rather than later, while the content is still fresh. Other students may want more time to practice. For each AP subject, there will be 2 different testing dates. 
  • The full exam schedule, specific free-response question types that will be on each AP Exam, and additional testing details will be available by April 3. We’ll also unlock any relevant free-response questions in AP Classroom for digital use so students can access all practice questions of the type that will appear on the exam. 

IB Exam Updates 

  • The May 2020 examinations scheduled between April 30 and May 22 for Diploma Programme and Career-related Programme candidates have been canceled and will not be rescheduled. 
  • Depending on what they registered for, students will be awarded a Diploma or a Course Certificate which reflects their standard of work. This is based on student’s coursework and the established assessment expertise, rigor and quality control already built into the programmes. 

Take Action 

The good news is you will have time to take the SAT or ACT before college deadlines.  We may also see more colleges becoming test optional as a result of this spring.  The full impact of these cancelations and other changes on college admission won’t be known for some time.  Meanwhile, stay healthy and stay safe and stay connected (virtually) with your school and friends.  You – Generation Z, more than any generation – have the tools, ability, and creativity to make something extraordinary out of these strange circumstances. 

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Study Tips – Acing finals or AP tests

Worried about your upcoming finals or AP tests?  Reduce stress and ace your tests by using these study tips from a graduate student. 

  1. Find a study space that suits you.
    For students who need a bit of chaos while they work, coffee houses usually have the perfect amount of chatter and noise while also having private study nooks.  For students who want freedom from distraction, a room with the door closed and a white noise playing (like simplynoise.com) is ideal.  Study rooms in your school or public library also make great quiet spaces.  Be sure your surroundings are comfortable to you before settling in for studying.

  1. Enjoy your favorite snacks or drinks while you study.
    Cheese and crackers, granola bars, vegetables with dip, or peanut M&M’s are a great treat to keep you awake and focused through long study sessions.  Coffee, tea, or soda may sound like a good idea but too much caffeine can impact sleep or make you dehydrated so don’t overdo it. 

  1. Never study where you sleep.
    Sitting upright in a chair will keep you in study mode much longer than lounging on pillows in your bed.  Being in your bedroom may be fine, but save your bed for sleeping.
     
  1. Don’t try to learn anything new the night before.
    Especially if you are part of a study group or study with friends, don’t force yourself to learn their approach right before the test If one of your peers use a different method to get their answers and it helps you – good.  However, youre not confident with a new approach too close to test day you could ruin your chances.  Stick to what you know.

  1. Don’t put all of your time into one area.
    It’s tempting to spend 3 hours on science and 1 hour on everything else if you feel science needs your attention most, but this is a gamble.  You risk not preparing well enough for an entire cluster of subjects because you were in a panic over one.  Attack the chapters and the problems where you struggle most so that you use your time well.  Spending some extra time here or there is not an issue but give every subject the attention it is due.

  1. Avoid thinking “I should have” and “I would have.”
    It is useless to breakdown about how you should have asked that question or met with that study group.  Your notes and the knowledge will have to do, and if you study well, they’ll be enough.
     
  1. Beware the allure of “study buddies.”
    Friends can help when you are feeling stuck but committing to a study partner is not always best Everyone studies differently.  Your friend may enjoy going over Brown v. the Board of Education with his Pandora station all the way up and a case of sugar-free Red Bull.  But if youre the type of student who needs calm and quietyou will be completely lost.  Be certain that your study mate works the same way you do before agreeing to share your focus time.

  1. Take breaks while you study to stay sharp.
    Study in blocks of 60 minutes with 10-minute breaks in between.  If 60 min feels like a challenge, start with study blocks of 30 minutes with 5-minute breaks.  Set alarms on your phone to let you know when to start and stop and stick to them.  During the study block you should only be studying – don’t pet the dog, don’t check your email, don’t text, just hit the books.  Find apps to help you stay focused and on task.

  1. Do something fun before you go to sleep.
    Don’t study up until you go to sleep, it can make sleep a challenge.  You may lie there questioning whether or not you will remember things tomorrow, or if you learned everything correctly.  Instead, give yourself at least 30 minutes before bed to do something completely unrelated, fun, and relaxing.  Snapchat, TV, a video game – whatever helps your brain decompress.  

  1. Get 7-8 hours of sleep.
    This tip will give you a serious advantage.  The student next to you may have studied their notes 6 times over, but with only 2 hours of sleep they aren’t likely to remember as much.  Get some real sleep and your nerves will thank you. 

Take Action 

Use assignments and appointments in GuidedPath to help you with pacing as you prepare for finals.  Set appointments for study groups.  Use assignments to record project or class deadlines and pace your studying of subjects. 

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