First of all, if you’re not an “AP” student, don’t worry. The test doesn’t care what type of student you are. It cares about your ability to get through the problems. So if you’re a new student, don’t worry if you’re behind by the time the test rolls around. Just find out what your average time is and work hard to close that gap.
Second, before you do the test, know where you’re going and when you’ll be there. This way, you can pack properly and bring extra supplies with you such as flashcards, paper, pencils, and so forth. You also want to know where you’re going to study. Do you want to take it in your classroom at school, in a library, or at your home? Some people like to take their test in their cars because they get more involved with the material. Find out what works best for you!
Then you need to prepare for the types of questions that will be asked. One of them is theorems. You’ll be asked to prove an algebra fact using real numbers. You need to be able to explain each fact in both space and time. Don’t worry too much if you’re not familiar with the an algebra concept – you’ll probably have no problem explaining it to a test panelist.
If you have no idea what a sin is, don’t worry. Most people don’t, so you’ll be fine explaining it to an examiner. You’ll also need to know when to take your test – and for how long. If you’re going to take it sooner rather than later, you might want to consider taking AP Calculus review classes.
In addition to studying, you’ll need to practice your skills. This means running on a treadmill, lifting weights, doing drills, and so on. You can find resources online and offline to show you how to practice your formula, etc. If you’re taking a practice exam, you might also want to go to a practice center. Here, you can watch someone else take the test and get tips from them.
If you know when you’ll be taking the test, you can get a good idea of when you’ll have time to study. That way, you’ll be able to plan in advance how much material you’ll need. However, if you can’t make a final determination as to when you’ll get ready, then you need to be prepared to test at any time.
Finally, when you finally do take the test, there are a couple of things you should do. First of all, try to get a good night’s sleep. When you’re tired, you tend to do worse on the questions. Also, don’t make any big changes in your studying until the last minute. That way, when it comes time to answer the last question you’re sure you’ve answered correctly, you’ll have all the time in the world to explain your reasoning.
Of course, one thing many students find difficult is answering the last few questions. That’s especially true for students who don’t know the answer. To prepare yourself, take a few notes when you think you’re close. Then, when you have to write the correct answer, use the notes to jog your memory. You’ll usually get a better chance of getting it right when you don’t have to think about it.
Finally, study as much as you can. This means scheduling a few hours each night to study, and making sure that you get a night off every now and then. By taking care of these three things, you’ll be able to pass the AP Calculus exam in no time at all.
Now that you know what it takes, all you have to do is actually take the test. It doesn’t get any easier than that! Good luck! Start practicing today!