5 Things to do this Summer to Prepare for Your First AP Course
The first time a student takes an AP course, they will be introduced to a whole other level of academic commitment. Advanced placement courses are taught at the college level but can be taken by students as early as sophomore year in high school. AP courses can help students earn college credit and build their student resume so they can get into college in the first place. The more a student knows about their AP classes, the easier it will be to thrive during the academic year and do well on the exams. Students taking AP courses in the fall can just sit back, relax and enjoy their summer so that they’re well rested for the task at hand, right? Wrong! Almost every AP course includes summer work, so it’s important that students get this completed before the first day of school.
1. Managing summer work
Nearly every AP course will include summer work. This work is due on the first day of class and will help students understand the type of assignments that will be completed throughout the year. If a student is taking their first AP course, they are encouraged to sit down and organize all of the work that needs to be done over the summer before too much time has passed. Many students leave summer work until the last minute and can become incredibly overwhelmed. This is especially true if students need to read a couple of novels, which can be time-consuming, before day one. Students who require help organizing can either work with a study group, tutor, or both (READ: What do your final grades mean for you).
2. Study group or tutor?
It’s recommended that students either work with a tutor or study group in July and August so they can complete all of their summer work promptly and without too much stress. Some students are highly organized and will have a group of friends who are all taking the same AP courses. In this case, it’s a good idea to set up a study group that meets once or twice a week to work on assignments. Alternately, some students will be the only one in their group of friends taking an AP course and may not have a study group to work with. In this case, a private tutor can be helpful with organization and explanations of tough assignments. Students who want to be extra successful can consider working with both a tutor and study group.
3. Keeping in touch with the teacher
It’s also really important that students keep in touch with their teacher over the summer. If students are taking this teacher’s class for the very first time, they won’t know their grading style or expectations until the fall. It’s a great idea for new AP students to introduce themselves in an email and find out when the teacher will be available for questions over the summer. AP teachers are a great resource and students should not be afraid to reach out and communicate (READ: Taking the AP Exam).
4. Managing the reading list
One of the biggest challenges of AP summer work is managing the reading list. Courses such as AP Language and AP Literature assign several novels throughout the year. Additionally, every course will have at least one textbook with hundreds of pages of information. It’s hard to absorb too much information at once thus students are encouraged to manage their reading list over time. If the novels are broken up into smaller parts, they can be a lot easier to comprehend. This will also be good time management practice for the school year.
5. Leave enough time to complete assignments
New AP students are encouraged to leave ample time to complete their summer assignments. It can be overly stressful to be studying 8 hours a day during the week leading up to the start of school. Rather, it’s better to look at assignments early in the summer and figure out what can be done now and what can be left for later. In addition to keeping the AP experience little stress, time management allows students to get in touch with the teacher to ask clarification questions if necessary.
Prepare for your first AP class this summer with the help of an Irvine AP tutor. Call us today for more information.