During this time of the year, students are swamped with final exams and projects. Many students who are taking advanced placement classes get ready for their AP tests, which have been taking place for the last two weeks. For a lot of older students, taking AP classes and exams comes naturally already, because they have gone through trial and error in the past few years to figure out the best ways to study and prepare for the tests. Junior Shweta Srinivasan is one of those students with a lot of previous experience.
“I have taken AP Physics, AP [Literature], AP [Psychology], and AP Computer Science Principles,” Srinivasan said. “I have taken the AP exams for all of those classes.”
For Srinivasan, the test-taking nerves don’t come until right before the exam. She welcomes the stress that comes with AP exams as a motivator to study hard.
“I don’t get nervous when AP exams get closer, but right before I’m about to walk in the test room and take the test, I get a little anxious,” Srinivasan said. “I believe students do get stressed [for AP exams], but not to the extent where their mental health is being affected. I think it’s the good kind of stress that motivates them to study and prepare well to get a passing score, not the bad kind of stress that inhibits them from performing well.”
In order to reduce her stress levels when AP testing comes around the corner, Srinivasan makes sure she is well-prepared. She said that the teachers in the AP classes she has taken have helped the students de-stress by helping them prepare.
“The teachers in all three AP classes I took this year as well as the AP class I took last year prepared [the students] really well for the AP exam by giving us practices tests, which gave us an idea of what to expect and gave us confidence that we would [do] well,” Srinivasan said. “This level of preparation really helped reduce the level of stress I had.”
Srinivasan’s advice for younger students taking their first AP exams or preparing to do so next year is to review all of the material learned in class throughout the year. She also had a unique experience in her English class to reduce stress that she enjoyed.
“In my English class, we actually had a yoga instructor come and we did different types of yoga with him, which I really enjoyed. It helped calm my mind down and helped me relax before going to take the AP Literature test.”
Srinivasan says that confidence is key. “The most effective way to reduce stress for me is just to close my eyes and take a deep breath, and tell myself ‘I got this,’” she said. “Once I think about all the preparation and the hours of studying I have put in for the exam, it gives me the confidence that I will do well and that all the work I have put in will pay off.”