Study guides useful for AP classes

March 26, 2010 — by Apeksha Sharma

Many students walk in on the first day of school not knowing what to expect when taking a seat in an AP class. This is no different for junior Lexie Mullaney, who often uses personal study guides to help her in her APUSH class. Mullaney, along with many other students, relies on their own notes to help them advance in a class.

“I have troubles studying directly from a text book,” said Mullaney. “Study guides help me organize the information so that it is easier to study what i need to know.”

To survive an AP class, students most typically need to rely on themselves and teachers to make it through the course. It often helps for students to make personal study guides. For such classes as AP Literature and AP Language, taking notes about key events discussed in class ends up paying off in the long run because many of the discussions held in classes end up being key points on the test.

Many times, teachers take the conversations in class, a useful one being Socratic seminars where students discuss various topics, and transform points made during these debates into questions. By taking notes and making study guides about these discussions in class, students are given an advantage when preparing for tests by having an idea of the kinds of questions that will be featured on the exam.

Similarly, study guides are a useful tool when reviewing for a test, yet they are not always given out by teachers. So students will often rely on online sources to make studying easier. The most commonly used website for students in AP US History is CourseNotes.com; students can get a summary of the chapters in the history textbook so that the clarity of their readings is prominent. Also, various practice tests are available online, and also help with the studying process. Sometimes, similar questions are seen on the tests, making it easier to relate back to the online tests.

As students become more independent in school, teachers start providing less information to help prepare for tests and quizzes, which makes online resources such as practice tests and study guides essential for studying for tests.

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