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AP Tests: “Need to Know” Information for Parents

Posted on 05/01/2019, by Dr. Ellen Fithian to Parents of 9th Graders, Parents of 10th Graders, Parents of 11th Graders, Parents of 12th Graders (0 comments)

Advanced Placement exams will be administered at your teen's high school between May 6th and 17th. This is a hectic and stressful time for students, especially those who are taking multiple tests. How can you help your child do her best?

Find Out Your Teen's Testing Schedule

To help your daughter plan her preparation schedule, the first thing you need to find out is when her AP exams are being given. To do so, click the link to the testing calendar at the end of this article.  
Note that there is often more than one test scheduled for a particular time block. For example, Art History and Human Geography are both scheduled for the the afternoon of Tuesday, May 14th. If your son is planning to take both tests, he should speak to his school counselor, who can arrange for him to take one of the exams at a later date.

How to Prepare

The College Board provides a huge amount of valuable Information about each AP exam, complete with a description of the test, sample questions, exam tips and scoring guidelines. Even if your teen's AP teacher is providing test prep, I strongly advise every student to check out the tips from the test-makers. A link to College Board prep resources is provided below. 

Test Day Tips

Here's the first tip; remember that AP exams are a marathon, not a sprint. Each test takes two to three hours and consists of both multiple choice questions and a free response section, which can take the form of several essays or problems to be solved.
To do his best, your teen needs a good night's sleep, a reasonable breakfast, and an unhurried morning, so make sure he assembles everything he needs the night before. It's a good idea for students to have a watch - without an alarm - so that they can pace themselves. I also recommend they wear layered clothes so that they'll be comfortable, regardless of whether the testing room is hot or cold.
Things they should NOT bring to the test include any electronic devices (phone, tablet, etc.), reference materials, and food or beverage of any kind, including water. For more College Board recommendations about what to bring - and not bring - check out the Exam Day Policies link at the bottom of the page. 
One final testing tip: in the multiple choice section there's no penalty for wrong answers so students should answer every question. 

How and When a Student Gets Scores

Scores will not be mailed; they will only be available on the College Board website. In early July, your teen will be able to get them by signing in to her College Board account. (She'll need to create one if she hasn't done so yet.) She may also need to provide her AP number, the number that links her to her AP tests. It's given to her by the AP coordinator before her first test, so remind her to save it.
To avoid a delay in accessing scores, it's also important that the e-mail address students provide when filling in their AP answer sheets is the same as the e-mail they use for their College Board account.

May the force be with all your kids for the next two weeks!

College Board AP Resources:

AP Exam Dates: Testing calendar
Exam Day Policies: What to bring and not bring
Bulletin for AP Students and Parents: 12 page comprehensive brochure
Preparing for the Exams: Subject specific information about each test plus practice questions from previous year's exams.

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Posted on 05/01/2019, by Dr. Ellen Fithian (0 comments)




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