How Do I Get Motivated for APs?


How do I study for exams? Image from Pexels.

D. Khan, Student Life Section Editor

As Spring break came to its end, students turned their attention away from relaxation and instead towards what may be the most dreaded time of the year: AP Exam season. When it’s so soon after spring and close to summer, nobody wants to sit down and study for multiple giant tests, especially with teacher-made finals nearly a month away. And so begins the constant dread, anxiety, and procrastination.

How can we possibly get motivated enough to study right now? AP exams are notorious for their stress and size, but many students can’t bring themselves to take the testing seriously when their scores don’t factor into their GPA and can be withheld from college admissions. When you take one look at that testing schedule, your motivation tanks. But there are ways to get through the season (and maybe even get a five while you’re at it!) Here are five tips for getting through the exam season.

1. Reward Yourself

Trying to study without incentive is impossible, and if you aren’t motivated, you need to find something else to inspire yourself. After you finish a challenging subject, tell yourself that you’ll go out to your favorite place for lunch. Take a break after 20 minutes of straight studying and go on a walk with your friends. Even small rewards, like chocolate or candy, go a long way in getting through painful review sessions. 

2. Create a (Realistic) Schedule

Let’s be honest. Chances are, you won’t get to study for three hours every single day. That’s okay! Make a schedule for the week, and make it realistic. Maybe you won’t review on the days you have work, and then you’ll cram on the weekend. You can do twenty minutes a day, or possibly you’ll do an hour, or less, or more. Skip Mondays, if you want, because who wants to study on Monday? Just make sure you stick to your plan. It’ll be your lifeline–not only will you get to learn the material, but you’ll also get a feeling of control. 

3. Get a Study Group

No, this does not mean going to lunch with your friends and getting nothing done. Study with friends who will actually study with you–but enjoy yourself, too! Go to a cafe, park, library, or someplace similar, sit down, and review together. It’s always better to bounce ideas and share your knowledge, and it’s way more fun than sitting alone on your bed mindlessly watching AP Daily videos.

4. Make the Boring Parts Interesting

This tip is a little harder to explain; you just have to do it. Hate APUSH with a burning passion? Psych yourself as much as possible. Now, you love APUSH. The Revolutionary War? That’s the most exciting thing you’ve ever heard of. APES? There is nothing more fascinating than the Carbon Cycle. You need to hype yourself up and fake it till you make it. 

5. Don’t Doubt Your Skills

I know I just said to fake it till you make it, but you don’t have to. You took this class. You know how you did–if you aced it, take a deep breath and relax! If you didn’t, then you can recognize where you are and where to go from here. You know what you’re capable of, and you know what you’re doing. Stay level-headed and have some faith in yourself!