AP courses are not easy. Although APs provide students an excellent opportunity to start exploring their interest in subjects not typically offered by regular high school prep curricula (and even possibly earn college credit in the process!), they are also usually a student’s first experience with college-level material.
Whether you’re a seasoned AP student or taking your first AP class this year, the best way to be successful in your AP class is to stay on top of the course work from the beginning.
Particularly for students and families who have never experienced APs, they can be surprised with the amount of content that is covered and the pace of the class. And if you have taken AP classes and exams before, then you have experienced just how intense the first few weeks of class can be.
Here are four reasons why getting the support from a tutor for the start of your AP class can be beneficial and take some of the stress away.
1. AP Classes move quickly from Day 1.
AP teachers have no choice but to get through all the material that will be tested, so you are ready for the AP exam in May. This means that teachers will jump right into material on the first day of class. In addition, they may not be able to spend all of their class time going over topics you haven’t mastered yet, as they attempt to stay at the pace that will allow the whole class to cover as much ground as possible.
What does this mean for you?
Working with a tutor from the start means that you will be able to keep up with the class as you are acclimating to the pace and the more challenging material. Knowing that you have an expert tutor to help guide you through the material and answer any questions that you have can take away a lot of the stress that the start of the school year can bring.
2. Focus on skill development and exam-style questions.
In addition to the fast pace of the class, your teacher will also likely give AP exam-style quizzes and tests from the very beginning of the class to help you prepare early on for the official AP exam in May. These questions consist of both multiple choice and free response questions. They are challenging and take practice in terms of understanding what the questions are asking and the types of answers that your AP teacher is looking for.
Every year, many students struggle on their first assessments because they simply haven’t been exposed to these types of test questions. While that’s understandable and nothing to be ashamed of, it can add undue stress to the start of the school year. Performing well on these earlier assessments is not only a great confidence booster, but also sets students up for success later in the class.
Working with a tutor earlier in the AP class can be extremely helpful to make sure that these first assessments go well as students begin to learn how to answer these AP exam-style questions.
3. Learn to become a better critical thinker.
So much of your success in your AP classes revolves around asking questions and sharing ideas. Critical thinkers look for the reasons behind their answers, rather than just for the answers themselves. This is especially important because AP content builds throughout the year, so you need to be able to connect information from Unit 1 to information from Unit 6.
Working 1-1 with an expert tutor allows you to continue these conversations outside of class, so you can be constantly drawing these connections between new material and the material that you have already learned. In short, working with a tutor is the best way to not only master new content, but also review the content that you have previously covered.
4. Consistent practice is the key to AP success.
Practice is key and it takes time to learn the material. You do not want to find yourself trying to cram in all of your preparation for the May AP exam come mid-April. There is a lot of ground to cover and to review. Instead, starting your AP test prep outside of class as early as possible guarantees the most stress-free experience possible. It also guarantees the highest likelihood of success, because you’ll likely be better able to master the exam.
Working with an expert tutor will help keep you motivated and on-track. It Is often the most efficient way to get your questions answered and also get feedback on how you are progressing in the class. Lastly, it will make the journey less intimidating and put you in the best position possible to reach your full potential in the class and on the AP exam in May.
Go ace those AP classes!
Hopefully these tips and insights have given you the tools for AP success this year. Our best advice is to give us a call at 1-800-MY-TUTOR so we can customize a tutoring program that will work well with your student and think about a tutor who will be a great fit. Good luck with your AP classes this year!