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How to study for 7 AP tests?

A.G.V.A.G.V. 12 replies12 threads Junior Member
Hi, I'm a rising sophomore, and I want to be admitted to a prestigious university. I want to self study for 7 APs this school year and take the corresponding tests for about 5 of them. The APs I want to take are AP English Language and Composition, AP Chemistry, AP American History, AP World History, AP United States Government and Politics, AP Environmental Science, and AP Biology. I want to take every tests after AP Chemistry, and am wondering how am I going to do so when considering the amount of work associated with an AP? So, can someone please give me advice, and not just "you're studying for too many APs."( I have all the textbooks and prep books for them, too.)
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Replies to: How to study for 7 AP tests?

  • riverandsasha3riverandsasha3 160 replies19 threads Junior Member
    You're going to have to devote all of your time outside of school if you plan on doing well. If you aren't actually taking the classes in school, then you will have to allocate time after school each day to study. It would be best to create a week plan to follow the entire year (Mondays are 1.5 hours for one class and 1.5 hours for another class, and you will switch off each day). You need to treat it as if it were school. Unless you already have a good understanding of the subject, it's going to be difficult. Of course you can just study the main topics right before the exam and hope to remember everything that is important, but that won't get you far. You will not develop a deep understanding of any of the subjects unless you do work each day. It's good that you're being proactive and you're intellectually curious, just make sure it isn't too much. 7 self-studied APs will look good on college apps but not as good as having actual extracurriculars. If you are sacrificing all of your time when you could be doing something more meaningful, you're only hurting yourself.

    That being said, if you think you can handle it, do it. I have no clue what. kind of learner you are, and I've seen people succeed with similar tasks. Good luck with all of the studying.
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  • RichInPittRichInPitt 2802 replies47 threads Senior Member
    edited July 24
    Self-studied AP scores are virtually meaningless in college admissions.

    Multiple T20 AOs have told us they don’t even look at AP scores (they’re for Freshman placement, that’s why they’re “Advanced Placement” tests). Others have said that classroom grades over a year means much more than a single 2 hour test grade.
    edited July 24
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  • 864346864346 76 replies7 threads Junior Member
    LOL i'm impressed/shocked that someone would even consider this. APs are really only worth anything if you get into a college that accepts the tests and scores you got. Based on this as well as the list of extracurriculars you posted in another thread I think it's about time you reconsider your priorities. Better to focus on two or three things to get good at than to be the jack of all trades and master of none. And if your reason for taking so many APs and doing so many extracuriculars is to be well rounded, I'll just tell you now that colleges don't care how well rounded you are. They are looking for a well rounded class and want people who are really good at one or two things. They don't need 1,000 mediocre tennis players or 500 decent pianists; they want the top musicians athletes in the state or even the nation.

    I know you didn't want negative feedback but I can't just sit here and watch you crash and burn. If you attempt to self study all those APs as well as participate in even a few of the extracurriculars you listed you're gonna have a rough high school career ahead. No more hanging out with friends, free time, or sleep. And if you want to go to prom? Well too bad, gotta study for APs.

    Also, even if you devote a ton of time to studying APs theres no guarentee that you'll do well on the tests. You can think "oh I know literally every word in the book" but weird things happen sometimes and you could get screwed over. I personally know many people who thought they aced the test and had A or higher averages in class but got screwed over by the AP test.

    Given the extremely high opportunity cost of pursuing the high school path you are considering, I think it's time you reevaluate your priorities.

    If you still want to self study all those APs I would recommend setting up an after school schedule like your normal school schedule where you would basically study the APs as if you were taking the classes. You would be having the equivalent of double school given the number of APs you are looking to self study so I expect that it would take a 5ish hour time commitment after school each day. If your school offers these AP classes, ask the AP teachers who teach those classes for help and practice materials. AP teachers have exclusive access to a lot of AP materials and they are knowledgeable in the test structure and prep strategies.
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  • udonlordudonlord 61 replies5 threads Junior Member
    edited July 28
    ...let me get this straight.

    You want advice on how much work it's going to be, yet don't want to hear "you're studying for too many AP's"? Seriously? Stop fishing for responses that you want to hear.

    I'm going to say it. You are studying for WAY too many AP tests. Short of the idea that you're some sort of child prodigy, this is NOT doable. Have you taken any AP's freshman year? If you've taken 1 or 2, you should already have a general idea of the commitment needed for 7 freaking tests.

    Look, if you're moderately intelligent, can pick new concepts up fairly quickly, and have a semi decent work ethic, I don't think 3 or 4 is too far out of the question. But 7? Sophomore year? You're setting yourself up for disaster and/or burnout for sure. Learn to live a little; there are nice things outside of the world of college apps. Grab some boba with some friends, read a comic book, play some video games. It's a great thing that you're willing to work hard already. but burning yourself out now is really harmful.
    edited July 28
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  • DadTwoGirlsDadTwoGirls 6818 replies2 threads Senior Member
    Self studying for one AP test might make sense.

    How to self study for seven AP tests is very easy: Do not do it. There is no reason to self study for seven AP tests. This will not help you with admissions to top ranked universities. Pick one and only one to self study for and to take. Pick the one that is in the subject that you like the most and that you are the best at.

    You asked us not to tell you not to do it. We are going to nonetheless tell you not to do it because it is not a good idea.

    By the way, some of us who are telling you this did attend prestigious universities.
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