AP blogs are tough to find on Tumblr, so I’ve made a collection of all the AP blogs I could find, sorted by subject. Some haven’t updated for a while, but all the same the resources provided by the blogs are still usable and I highly recommend finding a way to use Tumblr to get some productive AP studying done! The list is quite small, so if you know of any more, feel free to send me a message! A part of my “get studying” series!
It’s never too early to start studying for AP’s! Here’s a list of all the classes we have taken or will be taking this year. These are credible resources and we hope they help you as much as they helped us. Good luck! (an asterisk* is used to indicate purchase is necessary)
Take a ton of practice tests to see what you remember and see what you got wrong
Study what you got wrong (look at your notes, crash course videos, online study guides, etc.) (I’m too tired right now to link study materials for you all, sorry, but you can find them, they’re not that hard)
Take more practice tests to see if you finally absorbed that information
****take different practice tests just so you don’t get the right answer because the question looked familiar, that helps no one and it just tests how well you remember that specific question, NOT the information
If you still got things wrong, study them
Take more practice tests
Once you’re thinking “oh yeah, I have a good grasp of this,” then go back at some of the questions that you did get right and see if you got them right by chance (like you just randomly picked the right answer and hoped that it was the right one, because chances are, you might not get lucky again on the actual exam)
Ways to test to see if you have a good grasp on information:
****try and explain the information to someone (a friend who’s willing (for some reason), a pet, a stuffed animal, etc.) ****weird method I use is a connection map: write down 2 terms, events, etc., then from one of those terms, write down things you can connect to it, explain the connections, and eventually tie it to the second term you put down. This works for exams like history and psych especially. An example (from AP Psych because that’s what I have to study) in which I connect groupthink to PTSD:
Groupthink is when we have a tendency to seek concurrence among group members, or form similar attitudes and beliefs based on the whole group. This often leads to people wanting to conform more to the group’s expectations (or what they think those expectations are) so that they are a part of the “in-group.” People often recognize social distance when they are part of an in-group and can distinguish themselves from an out-group, which leads to a whole lotta prejudice, or negative attitude(s) toward and individual based solely on one’s membership in a particular group. Prejudice often leads to violence against another group. Such violence is a major stressor on individuals who are being attacked. If the even is traumatic enough, a person may never really get over the event. A person could develop PTSD, a delayed stress reaction in which an individual involuntarily re-experiences emotional, cognitive, and behavioral aspects of past trauma in the form of flashbacks (common traumas that lead to this include: death, injury, natural disaster, rape, etc.).
Practice FRQs because those are more recall than recognition and will help your memory get used to recalling things (just bullet ideas, though, don’t waste your time with paragraphs because:
a) some scorers really don’t care if your paragraphs are the epitome of good writing (e.g. AP Psych),
b) some of them don’t even involve writing (e.g. AP Calculus),
c) content is more important than fluff, and you can worry about your writing style later )
Study things you still don’t get
Take more practice tests
Repeat until you make practice tests your master (and eventually FRQs)
If you have to speak during your exam, practice speaking. Just get used to it and fine-tune your pronunciation (mainly advice for foreign languages)
If you are overextending yourself, stop studying and take a break, you don’t deserve to be so stressed.
Remember to eat, drink, etc.
Go to bed at a good time
****use this here thing to calculate when to go to bed based on when you’re supposed to wake up
ON THE MORNING OF/DURING THE EXAM:
On the morning of the test do whatever you can to make you feel better, even if it means:
****wearing a lucky shirt or any other superstition that might help you
****reminding yourself that this is just a test and that college board is evil
****just saying good things about yourself like “damn I am the best-looking test-taker in this entire room!” or about the situation “hey I get to get out of class to do this!”
Because if you feel like you’re gonna do well, you’ll do better than if you think that you’re going to fail.
Read every question because ap tests like to mess with you and give you confusingly worded questions. Do not be fooled, you are better than that.
AND AFTER THE TEST (if you can):
Celebrate with a milkshake or whatever (I did that for my AP Euro exam two years ago and it was probably the best decision ever, but you do whatever makes you happy)
Take a nap, naps are great (especially if you’re the type of person that gets REALLY tense during the actual exam and gets really tired afterwards no matter how challenging the test was)
Just do at least one nice thing for yourself if you can, even if it’s something small like looking at a cat video on youtube
BUT IF YOU HAVE TO TAKE OTHER EXAMS AND STUDY FOR THEM:
Study, try not to overextend yourself as usual, and head to bed earlier
****or calculate when you should go to bed again
Use the same or similar methods depending on the importance and/or ease of the exam (like if one subject is really kicking your ass, study for that one over the one you’re pretty okay with)
i use a variety of post-its and sticky notes while taking notes from my ap euro textbook so i thought i’d share my methods with you guys :) feel free to modify them to fit your own needs!
1. here are the supplies that i use
- black ultra fine tip sharpie
- muji 0.38 gel ink pens (more information about them in this post)
- generic light yellow pad of sticky notes
- bright yellow post-it brand sticky notes (i will explain why i use different brands and colors later on)
- translucent fluorescent page markers (i got mine from daiso, here are some similar onesbut do not buy them online. you can only buy bulk packages from daiso online.)
2. taking direct notes from the textbook
i use chapter reading guides that contain key questions, so most of the time i answer the key questions instead of taking actual notes. however, sometimes i will read a section of the book that i feel is important, but is not on the reading guide. when this happens, i write a short summary of the section on a light sticky note with my muji pens and place it beside said section. when i study for a test, i will take these out of my textbook and study them along with my reading guide so that i will not miss any crucial information.
3. keeping track of vocabulary words
there are words in my ap euro textbook that i don’t know the meanings of, and while it is true that i could easily figure out their meanings through the context of the section, i would much rather look up and write down their meanings so that i don’t accidentally misinterpret the text. i write these words on my bright yellow post-its with my ultra fine sharpie. this makes the words pop out more to me because they are bolder, and it helps me remember them better.
i specifically use post-it brand notes for this because their paper is thicker than that of most generic brands, and my sharpie does not bleed through onto the next post-it at all. i also use a significantly different color for my vocabulary words because i want these to be easily distinguishable from my notes. older students have told me that these words are sometimes found on the sat, so i plan to keep all of these sticky notes.
in case the picture doesn’t load or is blurry, here is the format that i use for writing down vocabulary words:
line 1; word : (part of speech)
line 2+; definition
4. “highlighting” with page markers
because my textbook is borrowed from school, i can’t make any permanent markings in it. so, instead of using highlighters, i use fluorescent page markers to “highlight” important areas of the text. i mainly use the yellow and green markers because they are the easiest to read through.
i really hope this post helped you in one way or another! please give me some constructive feedback (what you liked / disliked about this post), and send me suggestions for other topics that you want me to cover! also tell me if you would rather have me continue making posts like this or if i should try making videos! :)
when you find an event/treaty/war/etc., automatically write down the causes, effects, and links/connections to other events to help you better understand it, ap euro as a whole, and better your writing.
include who, what, where, when, why, and how
again, for an important event, answer these 6 questions. they’re all you need to get the vital, basic rundown of the event.
include the significance
why is it important? make sure you know so you can link/connect it to other things in the course, as well as add to your ap euro big picture. it’s huge if a piece is missing, the picture’s incomplete.
include people + their role/works, and dates and/or time periods
after a while, you can kind of tell who had a and who’s merely mentioned to make a foundation. know the people who are a big deal, their role in the time, and any works they did + what they’re about.
general time periods are usually much more vital to understand and remember than exact dates, so focus first. (some years are very important, though, so only memorize HUGE monumental dates you find the class coming back to over and over.)
if the textbook or your teacher says it more than once in a different way, make a star or something to signal that it’s important, but don’t write it more than once and waste your time.
exclude minor details
remember, we’re painting a big picture here, and we only have but so much room. we need to include things like martin luther started the reformation, not how many slings he had.
There is a bit more than a month until AP testing, and as someone who took AP Euro (and passed the test) last year, I am here to tell you some tips and hand out some resources to help you study for the test in this last month! Study hard guys you can do this!
Try and break up your studying and reviewing to a bit a day, or every other day if you are studying for multiple AP’s.
Take practice tests, multiple choice one day, essays and DBQ the next, and grade yourself. Be the hardest, most critical grader you can be on yourself, because it WILL help you
I honestly cannot emphasize enough how important it is to do this, ESPECIALLY for the DBQ.
Euro is all about concepts!! Make mind maps, or lists of major themes, this will be so valuable for the essays and DBQ.
In the DBQ and the essay make sure to draw in the cultural, religious, intellectual, political, economic, and social aspects of whatever it is you are writing on. (My class last year referred to this as CRIPES, there are many other acronyms out there too)
Though concepts and big ideas are huge, make sure you know veryimportant dates and big events/battle’s in detail, but don’t stress those little details like Robespierre’s satirical obsession with tarts.
At least for two days before the test date, chill out and don’t cram. This is so important becuase you need to take this time to calm down and clear your mind. Watch a movie, take nice baths, really just chill out these days before the test so you can go into the test relaxed and confident in yourself.
Eat a good breakfast, lunch, and dinner, the DAY BEFORE the test. On test day eat a good breakfast (I recommend an egg sandwich (eggs, toast and cheese only), a banana, and a bottle of water), and a small lunch (like a lil snack).
Don’t over eat the day before, or of the test, because you will feel super uncomfortable during the test. Also! Drink at least a bottle of water before going into the test, and remember to go to the bathroom before and/or during the break!
Finally, you got this! Be confident in yourself and your abilities! You have worked hard all year and now is your chance to show the AP graders what you know!
***ALSO I have tons of links and resources on the topics of The Cold War, Balkan Nationalism, Rene Descartes (and his philosophy/works), as well as women in the industrial revolution. As all these links are very specific, and not too helpful in reviewing for the test I did not include them here, BUT if you want them I’d be happy to send them over.
Finally, you are going to rock this test! I believe in you! You believe in you! Everyone believes in you, and when it’s all over I swear it will feel so surreal and just downright amazing! All this suffering and Euro pain is worth it I promise!!
History is one of my favorite subjects, from my Ancient World History class to APUSH to my AP European History class, I’ve found the material fascinating. However, it is a course that can be difficult, particularly if you don’t enjoy reading assignments. Here are some tips!
Keep up with textbook readings. They can be tedious, but keeping up with readings also allows you to participate more effectively in class discussions, especially if your teacher reviews the content from the previous night’s reading in class.
Decide on one platform for note taking. This allows you to keep them organized and easily accessible. I prefer to take mine on Google Drive, with a new document for each chapter and a separate folder for essays, in-class activities, etc.
Time yourself for a set amount of pages (say, 10 pages) and see how long it takes you. It takes me approximately 50 minutes to read and take notes on 10 pages, and I can use that information to plan out my studying.
Divide and conquer. You don’t have to do 15 pages in one sitting. I like to take pictures of a few pages of the textbook on my iPad so when I have some downtime, I can do a few pages of reading.
Take notes on your readings. Simply reading and/or highlighting is ineffective - notes will help you retain information, and give you something to refer back to.
Hand-writing your notes helps you remember better, but it’s more time consuming. Ultimately, I type my notes because it’s easier for me to organize and access.
Try your hardest not to copy what the textbook says. Instead, summarize ideas in your own words so you know what they mean.
Bold/italicize/underline important people, dates, and legislation, so you can find them quickly. [For example, 1900: Sigmund Freud publishes The Interpretation of Dreams about the importance of dreams and subconscious thought to an individual’s psychological makeup, might be a bullet point]
Participate in class, and communicate with classmates/teachers.
Sit close to the board, or in what my teacher calls the “T-zone” - the column of seats in the middle and the last row or two - which is where the teacher’s eyes tend to look at, so there’s a greater chance of you being called on
Take notes on what’s being lectured. They don’t have to be neat or pretty, but sometimes teachers will comment on ideas that will appear on the test, etc, and it’s important to write those down.
Get the phone number of a classmate or two (ideally a responsible one!) in case you miss class so they can send you the notes and some updates.
Start studying early, and study effectively.
It is very difficult to cram successfully for a history exam. Whenever possible, I schedule 3-4 days to study for an exam, more if it’s a particularly long one.
Find yourself a good review book. Two recommendations I have are the AMSCO for APUSH or the McGraw-Hill AP Achiever for AP Euro. These will boil down the chapter to main events, ideas, and trends.
Don’t get bogged down in details. Especially for AP courses, general political, artistic, and cultural trends will be the most important. Make connections between earlier units.
I like to make graphic organizers for important ideas for each country in the unit, and then to fill them out by memory to see if I remember everything.
For me, the most important thing is that I know the textbook content, especially since my teacher bases most of her questions off of it, which is something many teachers do.
Pay attention to important clues when taking tests.
Circle dates, names, and locations in the prompt - anything that can give you more context about the question. Look at the clothing and setting to get a better idea of context in visual prompts (paintings, etc).
When analyzing primary source, keep in mind the time and author. What were their biases? Who was the audience?
Try to find trends in questions. Sometimes teachers prefer a certain type of question, or like to trick you up by changing one thing (they might not even realize this). Finding these patterns will make your test taking easier.
Be careful when reading the question. Sometimes they ask for which one was not true, or to select the true statement from a list of false ones. Don’t get confused!
Do not change your answers on a whim. Really, if you’ve studied, you’re more likely to be right the first time around.
If you’re allowed to see your test after you receive your grade, go and identify the questions you got wrong. This lets you see areas of weakness (are you bad at primary source analysis? Is there something you’re consistently getting wrong?). See if you can retrace your thought process when answering it and explain it to your teacher so he/she can explain where you went wrong. Who knows, you might even get partial credit back!
Guys, here’s a fun tip, if you really want to get ahead in your AP classes over the summer (even though I know most of you procrastinate in ridiculous amounts, like me) if you just google the name of your AP class, for example, AP Biology and click the APCentral/Collegeboard link it will take you to the “Professionals” or teachers page and there are course reviews and course guide PDFs on there that basically tell you everything in the course and it’s pretty great.