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AP Exams: A Teacher’s Tips to Reduce Test Anxiety

Students around the world are beginning to feel the pressure as they prepare for AP Exams next month.   After all, a score of 3 or higher on these exams can enable students to earn college credits, depending upon individual university requirements.  Although preparing for these exams can be stressful, it can also reduce test anxiety on the big day.


It is essential for students to have an organized study plan in place.  This involves setting specific time aside each day to study.  This studying needs to be in addition to the completion of the coursework in the AP course.  On average, students need to spend  at least two hours per day on the completion of AP coursework, so finding additional time to prepare for the exam really requires a student to create an organized study plan.   Studying should take place during a student’s optimal learning time.  Some students work well early in the morning, while others work better later in the day.  In order for studying to be successful, students need to choose a time and place that is advantageous and free from any type of distraction.  Most importantly, students need to set time aside every day and make it a part of their daily routine.


Students need access to AP Exam preparation tools for effective AP Exam preparation. The College Board has wonderful study tips, as well as practice questions and exams for students to review. K12 also has just released wonderful  mobile apps to prepare for AP Exams.


In addition, it is important for students to complete practice exams. The AP Exams are timed, and timed tests can cause unnecessary testing anxiety in students.  The more students familiarize themselves with the content on the exam and the time constraints, the more comfortable they will be with sitting for a timed exam.

With planning and practice, students can effectively prepare for the AP Exam.  The completion of sample exams will empower students to become more familiar with the content and format of the exam, which will alleviate testing anxiety.  The utilization of preparation tools is essential and will pave the way for success!

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Kristi Hartmann

Kristi Hartmann

Kristi Hartmann is AP Coordinator and Academic Integrity Advisor for K12 International Academy. In this role, she empowers students to challenge themselves so that they are equipped with the necessary skills to succeed after graduation. Hartmann believes in and promotes lifelong learning and has been an educator for thirteen years. She earned her B.S in Secondary English Education from Northern Arizona University and later received additional certifications in Cross-Categorical Special Education and English as a Second Language. She received her Master’s Degree from Northern Arizona University in Educational Leadership. In 2010, Kristi received her National Board Certification in English Language Arts.

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