How to Crush the College Board (Academically Speaking!)

By: Kiera Kofkin-Hansen

Administration of this year’s AP Exams went underway this week, with Tuesday kicking off the next two weeks of stress students have been dreading since they decided on their classes last spring. The recently implemented digital format of these exams can be a blessing or a curse, depending on personal preference. However, I’m here to tell you the tricks I’ve learnt after three years of attempting to please the College Board on their wicked tests.


I don’t know if I’m just sensitive because I’m still scarred from sophomore year when tests were in person and HANDWRITTEN, but cheating is a no go. I have complete faith in the College Board that they can and will detect plagiarism, not to mention that they sinfully design their tests in order to allow for zero time to think, let alone look something up “real quick”. I promise you, you will score significantly better if you put your faith in yourself rather than the internet this one time. 

  1. Notes are okay (but you didn’t hear it from me)

As I mentioned, there is little time to do anything other than select the first answer that came to you whilst taking these tests, but having a few notes of important concepts next to your device is always a little helpful, even if just as a crutch. I wouldn’t consider this cheating as much as a memory boost, and I speak from experience when I say whatever you feel is important enough to have on close call will more than likely only be useful when it comes to FRQ’s and written responses (so don’t waste what precious time you have on multiple choice!) 

  1. Study, study, and study!!!

My last but certainly most important trick for these digital exams is to study. I know: boring. The worst part of homework ever. “I can’t do it because someone actually TOLD me to”. It’s cliche, yet astronomically helpful in regards to your performance, and you’ll be glad you did on the day. A trick I learned from AP Psychology this year (shout out Mrs. Richards!) is that studying a little bit consistently over a long period of time quite literally melts the information into your brain more effectively than a night-before-cram-session, and I highly recommend it. As someone who detests sitting and studying and would much rather fill out a one hundred question study guide, I’m forever grateful that I decided to actually put the work into studying this year for exams because I felt so much more confident and it made my exams less like a chore and more like another super fun activity! 

AP exams, like any other exams, are highly stressful, yet there are ways to ease the pressure on exam day in order to boost your serotonin and scores all at once! I hope my tricks help you future test-takers take on the College Board with your heads held high!

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