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How should I Self-Study for these AP's?

bowling555bowling555 Registered User Posts: 106 Junior Member
edited January 2014 in AP Tests Preparation
Hi, im a Junior in High School, currently not taking any AP Classes. However, next semester, I am enrolled in Regular English 11 and Regular College Prep Physics. But my dad is an engineer, and you need to have regular Physics to get into AP Physics B (We take Physics in the Fall and AP Physics B in the Spring because we are on the 4 X 4 Block Schedule). I didnt take Physics in the fall, focused on Precalculus Honors, so is it possible for me to self-study for the AP Physics B Exam if i start now? I am reviewing vectors because I understand that Physics is mostly Vectors

Also, for the next AP, i am questioning if i should self-study for AP English Lang. I have the Barron's book, but I am a very bad writer. Should I consider self-studying for this class? My school offers this class, but I am enrolled in regular English because I wasn't as academic-oriented during course selections in My sophomore year (TRUST ME, my schedule last year was very easy).

I found this resource called Educator.com that can be very helpful for the AP Exam.


My question is, How should I self-study for two AP's? These are the first AP Classes i will EVER have taken if i decide to self-study for them.

I plan on going to community college before transferring to UCB,UCLA,UCSD or UCI.
Post edited by bowling555 on

Replies to: How should I Self-Study for these AP's?

  • azyoulikeitazyoulikeit Registered User Posts: 25 New Member
    I feel more qualified to speak about the English exam, so I'll talk about that.

    The AP English Language test is one of those tests that's hard to "practice" for per se. The questions rely more on good writing abilities and reading comprehension skills than rote memorization. It's not like the Physics B exam, where the content is predictable. That being said, *AP English Language is not a content-based course.* It's the kind of course where it's critical to actively participate in class, to be doing timed writings, to be able to have feedback on those writings, and so on. Those are things that are much harder to accomplish outside a classroom setting.

    Would I recommend it? It depends. You say you aren't a good writer, which I think may be problematic in this instance, since the exam has three essays which, combined, count for 55% of the exam's score. *However* if you're writing essays in your current English class, and you try to go above and beyond the classroom expectations, then I don't see any reason why you couldn't. The multiple choice is the easy part for most people. The essay writing is a different story.

    What may help is going through College Board's past free-response questions on their website (https://apstudent.collegeboard.org/apcourse/ap-english-language-and-composition/exam-practice?englang), writing those essays, and having an english teacher grade them (if they can't, maybe try to self score). Revise and repeat. I think it's really important to read other students' previous essays as well and see what score those essays got and why. That way, you can get a sense of what kinds of things the graders are looking for and you can adapt as needed.
  • bowling555bowling555 Registered User Posts: 106 Junior Member
    azyoulikeit, thanks for the advice. I will use my former english teacher to grade my essays. However, consider this:

    My dad thinks AP Physics B and AP Eng Lang are good ideas, however, he doesn't want me to take both next semester. However, I heard from several people to take "The More the merrier". What do I do? I obviously don't want to be too stressed out. I get stressed out pretty easily.
  • azyoulikeitazyoulikeit Registered User Posts: 25 New Member
    I think it kind of depends on how much you think you can handle. Different people handle different workloads differently. However, the workload of someone self-studying is likely different from someone taking an AP class at school, where there's a set amount of homework, readings, problem sets, quizzes, tests, etc. to study for. How much you put in is how much you get out, honestly. If you think you need to spend an egregious amount of time studying for each exam, then maybe self-studying for both is not a good idea. Who knows.

    At my school, it's common to take about 4-5 AP classes in a year, and it's almost expected of the valedictorians/salutatorians/etc to take 7-8 each year. At other schools (perhaps with stricter grading or harder coursework), many take only 2-3. Your situation could be different, obviously, so I think the question you should ask yourself is how much effort do you need to put in? There are some people who can score a 5 on AP Physics B simply by doing the problem sets, and there are some people who have to reread the chapters, watch multiple lectures, and so on to get a 5.

    What's your goal for the AP Exams (in terms of scores)? Maybe you can try taking practice tests to see how you stand and then go from there.
  • bowling555bowling555 Registered User Posts: 106 Junior Member
    I decided to not take AP Physics B and AP English Language. I will take AP Physics 1 and/or 2 next year.
This discussion has been closed.