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It’s that time of the year again… AP exams have begun. Welcome back last-minute studying, 2AM weeknights, endless practice tests, and worst of all… the unnecessary and absurd amount of stress. If you are unfamiliar with AP exams, they are nerve-racking tests that can take up to 3 hours to complete with limited breaks. These exams contain questions from every unit you’ve gone over in each class subject which leads to a lot more studying.

Stress is inevitable during AP exams. However, choosing the right coping strategies can help minimize stress levels and may actually even improve your exam scores. As a high school student, I am able to minimize my stress through the following strategies, I hope they will help you as well.

Create a playlist of your favorite songs
It may seem totally counterproductive to spend upwards of an hour putting together an awesome playlist, but I have found that using music to study really reduces my stress. The music keeps me focused and I become totally unaware of how much time has passed. It even brings back old happy memories that help counteract the negative feelings of stress.

Make your breaks useful
Taking breaks throughout a day of studying is necessary to keep you from feeling overwhelmed. However, make sure these study breaks are useful! Try not to open your phone and get caught up in social media. Personally, I like to take a walk outdoors to get some fresh air. In addition to walking, I like to grab a quick snack. Although I do love my Welch’s gummies and Pringles, the snacks that help me the most are succulent fruits. These snacks fuel me back up and get me ready to study even more.

Most importantly…don’t forget to BREATHE!
Take a second every now and then to slow down. Remind yourself as many times as you need to that your future does not AT ALL depend on any one of these exams. Take slow, deep breaths and remember; every single high schooler, in every single state, in every single school system feels the exact same way. You are not alone.

Good luck! You got this!!


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