Anxious Apprehension About AP Exams

I’m sorry this post is so late, but I went to go see High School Musical (a school production of it) and it slayed my entire existence. When asked the infamous “What team?” question, I screamed a scream so loud and guttural it sounded like a middle-aged man. Yeah, I could write an entire post about how obsessed I am with the franchise. And I probably will.

So, in less than 6 days now, I will be taking the AP United States History exam… and I’m absolutely terrified. Even though I feel pretty confident about the knowledge I’ve learned in the class, just thinking about the exam shakes me to the core because of my anxiety. I cannot keep my cool when I’m taking a test. And then about halfway through my bladder randomly decides that I have to pee, so that just makes me even more jittery.

I take my time during tests because I want to make sure I give every question my best attempt at answering. For multiple choice, I almost always finish just before time is up. Writing, however, is really difficult for me because I have to make everything perfectly worded and structured but also completely accurate to history. Most of the time I fail all together.

Of course, I’ve been anxious with other important tests throughout the school year, but it has never built up this bad before. I’m scared that I’ll be given the DBQ prompt about Reconstruction or the Great Depression (which I’m terrible at), and I’ll just faint right in my chair, or puke, or pee on myself.  Or all of the above. Probably all of the above.

AP exams are just really, really scary when you think about it. You take a class for an entire year and you get grades for all your tests and such, but it all leads up to that one final exam made by a company, not your teacher. Once you take it, it’s over. That’s it. And sure, you just have to make a three to get a passing grade but being an honors student means you’re expected to score higher or even the highest mark. Yeah… I’m really stressed about it.

Plus, I have absolutely no idea how to study for it. I wish I could say that I’ve been preparing for months, reviewing all of my notes everyday and responding to all the DBQ and LEQ prompts on the College Board website. Well, I have been… within the past week. Now, with only a few days left, I am running out of time and sanity and I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO.

Here’s a few of the study techniques I’ve come up with:

  1. Read all of my notes. Like… all of them.
  2. Read all of the Barron’s Book.
  3. Find every single prompt on College Board and know how to answer it.
  4. Read the whole textbook??
  5.  ??????????????????????????

Yup. At this point I’m wondering if I’m even going to study at all. Actually, no I’m not, I most definitely will study.

I might actually go through with reading the Barron’s Book because it is a great resource for APUSH. It compiles topics within each period and has practice questions at the end of a section, which is very efficient for both multiple choice and writing portions. Along with receiving practice MC and prompts from my friend Joy, I am going to study College Board prompts- but certainly not every single one. I think it’ll also help if I go back over my notes for the chapters that I do not remember very well (*ahem RECONSTRUCTION cough cough*).

So maybe I do know what I’m going to do? I don’t know. I’m just trying to take it day by day. Thinking about how those shoes were thrown at George W. Bush’s head at that one conference always seems to cheer me up. HE JUST DUCKS SO QUICKLY, IT’S LIKE A DANCE MOVE!  (As shown in the featured picture.) That and Jimmy Carter being attacked by a rabbit is just hilarious.

Anyways, sorry for the short post, but I really, really need to study. And if you’re also an AP student, why are you reading this? Do you want to fail at life? If you said no, go start studying. If you said yes, I’m glad you are conscious on your decision to fail. Good for you, you quitter.

Feedback is much appreciated, especially if you have some tips on dealing with AP exam jitters. And if you’re also facing an exam next week, I wish you the best of luck. May the odds be ever in your favor. (And whoever the poor soul is that gets my history teacher as their reader…. I am sorry. There’s no good that will come out of that misfortune. Might as well drop out, I guess?)

As a little treat, here’s a video my history teacher showed my class to help with inspiration: It made me laugh a lot.

See you guys next week! Love ya bunches!

~Vannah Smalley

P.S. FBAWTFT Update: 565 days! That means 200 more days until one year! I’m soooo excited!! Also, J.K. Rowling replied to a tweet asking about what Newt’s patronus was and she said it was a “big spoiler” for the next movie. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN??!?!? I’m terrible at guessing, but if I were to pick a patronus for Newt, it would be…..either a dragon or a swan, simply from what I’ve heard from other speculators. I can talk more about that in my FBAWTFT post. ❤


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