The scoring system of the AP test is a complicated thing, but understanding how it works would give you leverage during the exam. You would know what part of the test to focus on, how to study effectively, and what skills you need to brush up on.
Understanding the Score System
The AP Exam gives you final grade that ranges from 1 to 5. Each number has different definitions:
1 – Not recommended to be given college credit
2 – Can be qualified to be given college credit
3 – Definitely qualified to be given college credit
4 – Highly qualified to be given college credit
5 –Extremely qualified to be given college credit
Most colleges and universities only accept students who get a score of 3 or higher. But, when studying, you should aim for a 4 or a 5. This would help you make sure that you are getting college credit.
How Do I Get a 4 or Higher?
The AP test has 2 parts – one part is multiple choices, while the other is free response. A machine checks and counts how many answers you got right in the first part while a teacher grades your essays during the AP Reading – a big convention where AP teachers gather just to evaluate tests. Needless to say, you need to do well in both parts, and here are some tips that could help you with that:
Always read your review books.
Review books are designed to follow the pattern of the AP exam and discuss the lessons that would be asked about in the multiple-choice section. You don’t need to memorize facts. Instead, understand them as best as you could and answer the practice tests without peeking at your notes. It would help you correctly answer as many questions as possible.
Find a good place to study.
It could be in your home, school, or anywhere else. When looking for a place to study for the AP exams, make sure that you are comfortable and are exposed to as little distractions as possible. This will help you be more productive with your time.
Ask for study and exam tips from your AP teacher
If you are worried that your study style won’t work, you can always tell your teacher about it. Aside from them being an expert on the subject and the exam, there is also a big possibility that your teacher is part of the pool that evaluates the free response section during AP Reading. Ask him or her some tips on how to do well on the essays. The advice that he can give would be very valuable.
Preparing for the AP test can be very nerve-wracking. But, don’t feel too pressured and learn to relax. Give yourself ample time to prepare and avoid cramming. You will feel more confident on the day of the exam if you follow this guide and study well. Who knows, you might just get that 5 that you have been wishing for.