AP test prep

Posted by: greenlotus

AP test prep - 02/10/20 08:55 AM

DD16 was asking about test prep for her AP classes, and after spending an hour on line looking at information about how to study for an AP exam, I am overwhelmed. So many sites recommend test prep books. While those might be an excellent idea for organized kids, DD15 (DYS and ADHD) probably would lose the book within the first week....Any practical websites someone can offer? How about apps?
Posted by: cricket3

Re: AP test prep - 02/10/20 09:30 AM

I think this will vary tremendously by individual kid, teacher and class. My kids did basically nothing outside of what was required by their classes. That said, I think their classes/teachers over prepared them- our schoolís AP classes are open to all kids, and the volume/degree of preparation reflects this. By the last month or so before the exam, most teachers have made efforts to familiarize kids with the exam expectations, some generally and some quite explicitly. For AP history classes, the format expected for essays is important; we had one teacher that used that format weekly, from the start of the class (huge overkill, not a fan, made my kids nuts and was not useful for good writing otherwise, but I digress). Foreign language teacher used media resources (watching news, videos, etc) that were similar to what would be tested, but this was integrated into the class. Science and math teachers here probably did the least of this, but did at least make sure kids knew the format/timing of the exam. If the class is solid, they should be fine for the exam, in our experience.

My advice would be to ask the teacher what they recommend- some of them have a favorite review book and prefer the kids use that, or even use it in class. Also, I am pretty sure there are ďofficial online resourcesĒ that are now made available to students when they register for APs, but we have no experience with that. The last thing may not be helpful, but our kids always had group chats set up with others in the class, and they frequently shared resources (I know AP world and physics C were classes where YouTube videos were shared). I can ask the kids if there is a specific class you are interested in.
Posted by: ruazkaz

Re: AP test prep - 02/10/20 09:34 AM

The issue we had was that the high school AP teachers prepared the kids to make a 3 on the exam, but we were shooting for a 5. So far, DS has made 5s on all his APs (STEM heavy) and we purchased the Princeton book for all of them, except AP WH as the teacher was excellent.

Maybe you can get the book and have your DD do it at home and you can somewhat help her schedule it out. Sorry, no help on websites/apps but good luck!
Posted by: cricket3

Re: AP test prep - 02/10/20 09:52 AM

Originally Posted By: ruazkaz
The issue we had was that the high school AP teachers prepared the kids to make a 3 on the exam, but we were shooting for a 5.


So sorry about that. Yes, that would be a problem. If you havenít already, you can access the schoolís past distribution of AP scores, I believe by teacher and/or class (or just ask through the grapevine- our kids knew physics would need some extra work based on what they had heard and experienced in class- it was pretty clear they werenít going to complete all of the units before the exam).
Posted by: ruazkaz

Re: AP test prep - 02/10/20 10:04 AM

I have never seen that information and we asked quite a bit. At his old school, the teachers that did well, Chem and Calc, let everyone know as they were proud of it. Also the AP WH teachers were very successful and would talk about the results. Others kept it to themselves.

DS took Phys 1, his freshman year and the teacher left in Feb and they got a sub that also taught Honors Phys. She would assign each kid a topic and have them teach it to her so she could teach it to her Honors Phys course...he self-studied quite a bit plus did use several websites to supplement his knowledge, unfortunately I am not sure which.
Posted by: cricket3

Re: AP test prep - 02/10/20 10:58 AM

Maybe the release of this info is state or district specific? Iím not sure now where Iíve seen it. Our district has some sort of incentive for teachers based upon their studentsí AP scores, though I donít know what sort. Itís definitely a point of pride with both teachers and the school, and I guess I have been taking it for granted. I also underestimated the value of taking some of these classes- not necessarily for the credit (that was mostly a bust for us) but for the opportunities to skip basic or introductory classes.
Posted by: mecreature

Re: AP test prep - 02/10/20 12:06 PM

I asked how many students got 5s in every AP class my son has taken. Only 2 gave direct numbers the rest gave ball park numbers I took with a grain of salt. I have never seen any info school or district wise.

My sons Calc BC teacher last year had 3 Saturdays where the kids came in took a previous or practice test and went over the questions that they missed. His teacher said this class set a record for 5's scored on the exam.

His stats teacher this year will do a couple test and has already done partial test.

His history teacher does such a good job I don't think they have to practice. He is a wonderful teacher. The kind you hope to get. He had him already in World and US History and this year European History.

My son a junior this year is taking the AP Spanish and Japanese exam. I am kind of in the same boat and not sure of their plan for practice.

I guess it would depend on the kid and the course they are taking.
Posted by: greenlotus

Re: AP test prep - 02/12/20 08:10 AM

Thank you all. We will check via the grapevine and teachers about past AP scores plus see what the teachers recommend. I am very interested to see what online info is available from the kids who registered for AP classes.

My DD's are in a school that has many test prep obsessed families (to the extreme) so I need to keep this in mind when given scores.
Posted by: spaghetti

Re: AP test prep - 02/12/20 08:23 AM

There's a website called Albert IO that the school gave the students subscriptions. They had to run through various amounts of it for homework as test prep. The kids said it was stuff teachers submitted so wasn't professional test questions.

As far as the format for writing essays, my kids took a history test before taking any AP courses and did quite well. However, in later AP courses, the teacher had a different way to write that she said was what AP was looking for. Mine stuck with their way (and got lower class grades for it) but got 5s on the tests. I think finding a second opinion is always a good idea.
Posted by: frannieandejsmom

Re: AP test prep - 02/12/20 10:40 AM

Dad took ap world last year. She did no extra prep for the exam. She scored a 4
Posted by: greenlotus

Re: AP test prep - 02/13/20 09:54 AM

Just wrote emails to the AP teachers. If I hear anything helpful I will pass it along.