How to Destress During AP Exam Week

How to Destress During AP Exam Week

Although the weather is beginning to become warmer, students are spending more time inside to prepare for the infamous AP exams. AP (advanced placement) courses are offered to high school students and give students the opportunity to earn college credits. The catch, however, is that the hours-long exam taken at the end of the year determines whether or not the student gets the credits. For most AP classes, earning a 4 or 5 on the AP exam is the only score that select universities will take. Naturally, this is a stressful time for students taking exams. They must learn to efficiently study and manage their time to retain information from all of the units they have learned thus far in the school year. While this is a very tense week for many students, including myself, it is important to remember how to destress and calm anxious or tense emotions. 

1. Take a break

I personally feel as if there is a stigma attached to taking breaks. Breaks should not be viewed as “cheating yourself out of studying time.” We need breaks in order to ground ourselves and keep us motivated. It is unrealistic to effectively study for hours on end and not give your brain time to register the information. Taking a break and mentally accepting the fact that you are allowed to take breaks will give you time to rest your mind and focus your energy on a less stressful situation. 

2. Talk about how you are feeling

Feeling anxious is a horrible feeling, but what makes it even worse is feeling like you have to hide this feeling or keep it to yourself. If AP exams are stressing you out, which would not be unexpected, talking to a parent, guardian, friend, or even your teacher about how you are feeling might give you a sense of release. Furthermore, whoever you are talking to will provide you with comforting words and maybe even relate to you, which will help soothe your mind. 

3. Know that you have nothing to lose 

Of course, everyone taking the AP exams wants to score well and earn college credits. However, knowing that your AP exam score will not affect your grade in the class might help you push an unnecessary weight off your shoulders. 

Whether it is for an AP class or not, any exam is stressful. The worst thing to do is panic and make yourself more stressed out than you already are. As students prepare in the next coming days for their exam, they should make sure they are getting enough sleep, eating well, and efficiently studying (a.k.a. They should not be reading an entire textbook the night before the exam). There are only two weeks of exams, and once they are over, AP students can finally exhale for what will feel like the first time!