How to Take Timed Test Productivly

By Lily

For many, the hardest part of AP testing is the time limits. Similar to any standardised test each course has different set time limits in which you are expected to take the test. These time limits take what could be an easy test and make it extremely difficult. Even if you know every ounce of information for the course the time limit could still ruin you. However, this doesn’t have to be the case. By studying correctly and learning how to take the tests you can turn this monster into your friend, and pass with flying colors. 

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Practice Tests

Practice tests are the number one way to get you feeling confident under the time limits. Figure out where you sit finishing the test in the time limits currently and then you can work to improve your time. 

Not only are taking these practice tests going to be extremely helpful in studying the material, they are going to give you a feel for the amount of time you’re going to be spending on different problems, and eventually, you may find yourself confident in the time restraints as you begin to finish these practice tests on time. 

Knowing how long different types of material will take for you on tests can be vital to your test taking strategies. Knowing what problems to skip and start with are ultimately a good way to maximize your short amount of time. 

I recommend setting aside time to do this for all your standardized testing needs, it’s a good way to prepare you for the material and for you to learn how to take the test. Their are many different sites online that post practice tests and old examples of AP tests for free, making this an easy resource to get a hold of. 

Skip Questions

Not enough students skip questions. If you have a minute and half to spend on each question, skip the ones you don’t know. A few difficult questions that drag your time down are going to really add up quickly, making you run out of time for questions you could have gotten right. 

The AP scores can’t talk off for what you get wrong, they can only give you points for what you get right, and this goes for almost all standardized tests, including the ACT. Don’t be afraid to skip a question to get the other ones done. You can always come back and solve it if you have extra time, or just throw in a guess. 

Don’t let one hard problem stop you from getting three easy ones correct. If you don’t know it, just move on, it’s that simple. 

This tip is especially helpful for the multiple choice section. You need to be doing this throughout your entire test and free response sections too. But, the multiple choice offers the most leeway in skipping problems. You can always go back and completely guess with still having a decent chance of getting them correct. So, if you’re spending too long on the multiple choice questions, you can always guess and move on. 

Just make sure to remind yourself to get every single question answered, even the slightest chances of a correct answer is better than leaving one blank. 

Wear a Watch

This is a short but valuable tip multiple of my teachers have given me. While you will never be allowed to wear a smart watch while testing, an old fashioned simple watch will really help you in tracking your time.

It can alert you to how much time you’ve used up and allow you to relax more or remind you to pick up the pace if you are falling behind. 

Instead of randomly awaiting the last 5 minutes hoping you’ll be finished by then, you can track your own time and have an idea of where you are throughout the whole testing period. 

This can be a good tip for calming you down if you’re stressed over the time, or it could also solve as a helpful reminder if you find you’re spending too much time on certain questions. 

There’s really no downside to this valuable tip and if you have access to a watch, I recommend wearing one. 

Overall, learning how to take the test is the game we’re playing. A big part of understanding the way you need to test is learning how to manage the time. Hopefully these tips can help better prepare you for the coming AP testing season. And leave you feeling more prepared and less stressed. 

Thank you so much for reading another post of our 2021 AP Test Prep series! We will be posting this series all through April and May, so let us know what you want us to write about. If you have any tips, please leave them down in the comments. If you found this post useful, make sure to leave a like. Don’t forget to follow our blog if you like our content, and subscribe to our rss feed to get notified every time we post. For more content from us, check out our social media linked down below! 

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