A Guide to Success in Your AP Classes

By Elena

AP classes can be very difficult to manage, especially when you’re taking a lot of them. There’s special tricks you can use, though, to make these classes easier for you to manage. As someone who took 3 AP classes last year; AP World History, AP Macroeconomics, and AP Microeconomics, I have a fairly decent idea of what I’m talking about. For some more context, I got A’s in all of them, and 4’s on the Covid AP Exams.

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Commit

These classes are meant to be difficult, and you’ve gotta commit to them. Commit to doing your homework, doing the readings, doing all of the work. It’s going to make the information so much easier for you if you do.

It’s important to commit yourself to the class in order to be able to achieve the level that you want. Put in the hours and use some of these other tips to help you out.

Prioritize

If you’re taking an AP class, it’s an absolute must to prioritize. Prioritize these classes over the other ones, especially if you’re taking an AP exam for the class. You’re paying to take the class if you’re taking the exam. 

Furthermore, these classes are harder. They’re meant to be harder, so you have to prioritize these classes over your other ones.

You also have to prioritize within the AP classes. Spend more time with your harder AP classes. Study more for your harder APs. Make sure you actually know the information and understand.

What others find difficult might not be what you find difficult, so prioritize the classes that YOU find difficult, not the ones your friends do.

Do the readings!

So many times, it can be easy to put off the readings and say you know the information because the teacher covered it in class. This isn’t always the case. Your teachers only have a set amount of time, and covering all of the information in class can be impossible. 

Even if your teacher does cover everything, you should still do the readings. You should stil do them because it’s good for you to learn something multiple times. The information will stick in your mind better if you force yourself to learn something more than once.

Take notes

You absolutely have to take good notes in class and outside of your classes. What I would recommend is coming up with a system. It doesn’t have to be the same for all of your classes, it just needs to work for you.

For example, in my AP economics classes last year, I liked to have a first page as an “intro” to every chapter. I would have a box for the vocab, wrote down dates for quizzes and tests, and drew all of the graphics. I would also like to use different color pens, which is something I normally don’t do.

For all of my classes, I have a distinct notetaking system. They do overlap a little bit, but different strategies work best for different classe.

If you’d rather have just one system, come up with the system you want to use best.

I also like to use paper and pen with my initial notes, and then organize, reorder, and rewrite everything online.

Make study guides

Before every test you take, make a study guide. Write down key concepts, write down everything that has been outlined as an important concept. Making a study guide will help you review everything you’ve learned. 

You’ll also be able to use these study guides for when you study for the AP test. You’ll already have the most important concepts and the most important pieces of information organized and ready to study. If you’d like, you can also make a study guide organizing the separate study guides. 

We are also working on making study guides and study tools for a number of AP classes. To find out if your class is one we will be making, feel free to contact us and ask.

Be organized

You have to be organized if you’re going to take AP classes. Create a system for yourself that works. 

I’ve already discussed a few of the ways to stay organized in my article on time management.

If you need help staying organized or finding a system for yourself that works, reach out to us and we’ll give you a couple suggestions.

Online sources

You have absolutely no idea how many resources there are out there. Check Khan Academy if your AP class is on there because they have some really amazing videos on there and practice problems that have really helped me.

I actually learned a lot about about economics from YouTube videos, so don’t be afraid to search up your subjects on there as well.

I’ve found so many resources which have helped me tremendously.

Ask questions

If you have a question, ask. Your teacher is there to teach you, and is there to answer your questions. It’s literally their job!

Don’t be afraid to ask your friends questions too. It’s mutually beneficial because your friend might be able to explain it to you in a way that makes sense more than your teacher, and you’re also helping them because teaching someone else the material is going to make them know the material better.

Group chats

I guarantee you, there’s a group chat for all of your AP classes. Sometimes, it might be one that’s designed to be inclusive to everyone in the class, or it might just be between a group of friends in a class. Either get onto one of those group chats, or organize one yourself.

These are beneficial to be on because you can ask each other questions, share notes, among a number of other things. Ultimately, these group chats were created to help each other.

Group chats are amazing for tons more reasons, but I’m not going to get into all of them. Just know you should either get onto a group chat, or organize one yourself.

Ask friends

If you have friends who have already taken that AP class, ASK THEM. They might be able to give you tips on teachers, tips on how to formulate study guides and notes, and so much more.

Your friends are going to be able to help you. You cannot be afraid to ask for help.

Thank you so much for reading today’s article! Success in AP classes can be difficult sometimes, but there’s a certain art to it which can make the entire process so much easier. If you enjoyed this article or learned anything, leave a like and a comment letting us to let us know. If you enjoy our content, subscribe t o our rss feed and follow our blog, and if you want more content from us, follow us on social media and join our patreon, all of which will be linked down below.

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