How to Ace Your AP Classes and Exams

Here are tips to help you succeed in your AP classes.


photo by Grace Uhrain

Roshni Krishnan ‘25 studies for AP Human Geography on her computer.

by Grace Uhrain, Editor in Chief

Approximately 2.8 million AP exams were taken in 2019, yet only 819,964 received a five, according to the College Board. Here is what you can do now to get an A in your AP class and a five on the exam this May.

  1. Split up the workload. “My favorite method for approaching AP classes is splitting the work evenly over several days before due dates or tests,” Amira Badruddin ‘22 said. “This allows me to pace myself and continuously touch the topics and not feel overwhelmed by the amount of classwork.”
  2. Make sure you understand the class content. “Pay attention to the content, especially at the beginning of the year and understand the subject,” Jerry Wang ‘23 said.
  3. If you have a textbook, keep up with your reading. “Staying on top of the readings is important for the things we do in class like working on the skills, so the students need to read,” AP World History teacher Andrew Mulberry said. “They have to be on top of the reading.”
  4. Practice problems that apply to your assignments and tests. “My favorite technique for being successful is to always practice application problems rather than recall questions,” Kaeli Nallathamby ‘24 said. 
  5. Use colors in your notes. “My favorite technique for being successful in AP classes is taking colorful notes,” Frankie Stroud ‘22 said. “Reading can be really boring sometimes, but it helps so much to understand lectures and class notes, so I like to use pens and markers to make sure I am staying focused and engaged with my notes.”
  6. Look at the material early. “Before taking the class, I like to familiarize myself with the content of the class and prepare for the AP test before I take the class,” Yash Salvi ‘23 said.
  7. Be engaged. “The best way to prepare for an AP Exam is to participate in your classes,” the College Board said.
  8. Make flashcards. “Flashcards help me understand the concepts and writing helps my memory of the content,” Ashritha Yedla ‘23 said. “Reviewing the flashcards makes it easier to bring up in my mind.” 
  9. Get your assignments done early. “Doing my homework early so the work doesn’t pile up [helps me to be successful],” Connor Brown ‘23 said.