Are you taking AP classes this fall?
Every year a month before the AP exams I receive a flurry of requests for last minute tutoring. While we can do our best to cover and review material and fill in gaps left out by teachers, there is another approach that can guarantee you success.
When I have the opportunity to work with students year round, even if it is every other week or once a month, we have a clear plan, goals we can establish, and most importantly, I can get to know their teacher, what they focus on, what they're skipping, where the holes are, and I can work in conjunction with their teacher to fill in gaps from the beginning.
Students that work year round reach April and they are not panicking, they are meticulously following our plan we started back in July or September, and working not towards hoping to get a 3 but focusing on those extra skills they need to get that coveted 5.
Students who work with...
So you finished your first AP class, and you think you did pretty well. You're taking three of them next year in preparation for college admissions, so you're definitely going to relax over the summer, right?
No! While the school year is still fresh in your brain you should consider the following:
1. How could I have been better organized?
2. Where did I struggle?
3. What are my goals for next year, and what do I have to change to achieve them?
One of the very first things you can do is get an early start! And it doesn't have to feel like work, make it fun! But by taking a few simple steps over the summer you will be ten steps ahead in September!
Are you taking AP Government & Politics? Watch a Sunday news show every week, and write down words, terms, things you don't understand and go look them up online. Watch The West Wing. Read Newsweek cover to cover.
Are you taking AP American History? Pick a topic you really enjoyed in middle school social studies...
Students are always asking me how they can get a 5 on their AP exams. I always remind them, Advanced Placement is supposed to be a college level course, if you want to excel on the exam, you must work year round AT the college level. What does that mean? That means get started early, as early as the summer, learn how to take notes, learn how to dissect primary documents, learn how to review and reassess, learn how to write strong historical thesis statements, these are skills you will use year-round in college, and these are the skills that will help you achieve on the AP exam far more effectively than cramming a few weeks before. By approaching the class as a college class, and setting a goal to not just achieve but to excel throughout the year you are also preparing yourself for college, which is the whole purpose behind AP to begin with. I have been establishing study programs for students to excel in their AP classes for eight years in a range of subjects, let's get started!