4 Reasons to Get Support Now for Your New AP Classes
AP courses are no joke.
They are also usually a student’s first experience with college-level material and work. But they’re also an opportunity for high school students to start exploring subjects that interest them at a deeper level, possibly setting themselves up for courses at university.
Whether you’re a seasoned AP student or taking your first AP class this year, the best way to stay on top of an AP class from the beginning is to get started before you’re overwhelmed.
And if you have been through AP classes and exams before, then you probably know just how intense the first few weeks of class will be.
Here are four reasons you shouldn’t wait to get support in your AP subjects, and how we can help you get off to a strong start!
1. Class will move quickly from Day 1.
No matter the subject, AP courses are loaded with material. And AP teachers have no choice but to move quickly. This means they will jump right into material on the first day of class.
Plus, they may not be able to spend a whole lot of in-class time going over topics you haven’t mastered yet, as they attempt to stay at the right pace that will allow the whole class to cover as much ground as possible.
What does this mean for you now?
Work with a tutor from the beginning—ideally starting over the summer, but definitely as soon as school starts. If you can spend the first few weeks of class reviewing Unit 1 material rather than learning everything for the first time, you’ll be able to acclimate to your teacher’s style, requirements, and the school year in general with much less stress.
Even if you don’t start until you’re back in school, having the support of a tutor from the beginning means you’ll still have a resource for asking questions and solidifying difficult concepts while you’re teaching plows ahead to the next chapter.
2. Focus on skill development and exam-style questions.
But it’s not just the fast-paced style. Your teacher will also likely begin giving AP exam-style quizzes from the very beginning. But that’s a good thing! It’ll make you feel all that much more ready come May.
If you’re unfamiliar, AP questions are typically formulaic and require you to answer them in a set structure to maximize your points. (Some literally have checklists of points you have to hit!)
Every year, many students struggle on the first few of these assessments because they simply haven’t learned the expectations yet! And how would you? This is all new. At times, teachers have to concentrate on the content, and don’t have time to explain the format fully.
You can preempt this added challenge by having an expert tutor teach you the exam format before that first assessment comes around.
3. Learn how to see yourself as a critical thinker.
So much of your success in whatever AP class(es) you take revolves around asking questions and sharing ideas. Critical thinkers look for the reasons behind their answers, rather than just for the answers themselves.
This is especially important because AP content builds throughout the year, so you need to be able to connect information from Unit 1 to information from Unit 6.
Getting a head start on your AP classes can help introduce you to some of the bigger picture themes you’ll need to be familiar with so you start to recognize those connections as soon as they emerge.
4. Cumulative practice is the key to AP success.
Practice is key. You can know exactly what the test expects of you, but you also need to be able to replicate success in order to go into your exam confidently come May.
Often, it takes our students roughly 10-12 practice free response sections to begin producing 5-worthy answers consistently. On some exams, there are up to 5 or 6 free response questions. This means you may need to write upwards of 50 essays or other free response answers in order to go into the test at peak confidence.
Imagine starting that process in March or April; if you did, you might need to answer one free response question per day, every day until the exam. Adding that stress on top of your other homework, and potentially on top of other AP courses, is not a recipe for success.
Instead, starting your AP test prep outside of class as early as possible guarantees the most stress-free experience possible. It also guarantees the highest likelihood of success, because you’ll likely be able to actually master the exam.
Go ace those AP classes!
Hopefully these tips and insights have given you the tools for AP success this year.
Our best advice is to at least start the conversation with an expert tutor before school starts, and ideally to have a few sessions with them through August. If you can’t do that, reach out as soon in the school year as possible and ensure you never fall behind!
As always, speaking with a Program Director is your first port of call to find your perfect match. Give us a call at 866-789-PREP (7737) or book a time to speak to us to get started. Good luck with your AP classes this year!