【Don’t Make These 3 Mistakes When Prepping for AP Exams】 準備AP考試不要犯的三個錯誤

(轉載自: USNEWS

幫大家整理了一下資訊,文中建議的三個不要犯的錯誤:

1. Using a Review Book Without a Plan

其實準備任何考試都是如此,使用官方或坊間考試書籍,甚至是補習,都不應該是「填鴨式」唸書。學生往往認為:『補習是求心安』、『狂刷題庫也是求心安』…卻忽略了「計畫」的重要性!甚至也有學生會認為『補習成績就會進步』,但回家從不複習,何來靠補習的那幾個小時就有顯著進步?

課程再好、教材再好,神兵利器,若沒有聰明的去使用它,也無法發揮它最大的功效。我常跟家長和學生在聊考試準備、發現學生最大的問題點常常就是陷入「為了讀而讀」的泥沼,沒有替自己的考試準備做好規劃,不論是TOEFL的聽說讀寫、SAT/ACT/GMAT/GRE…等考試的英語、數學、科學、寫作等測驗,有沒有真正地去了解自己每項的優劣式?有沒有真正地去找出無法突破的盲點和癥結點?因為我們每個人都有屬於自己的唸書習慣,就是因為是「習慣」,所以自己個人很難察覺,唯有透過老師或家教(前提是他們也夠有指導經驗),能夠從旁人的角度抓出你的盲點,進一步指導你如何突破。但在發覺問題之前,自己還是必須要先從基本工做起 — 讀書計畫。你沒有3-5年的時間可以準備,每個考生都是跟時間在賽跑,甚至像AP考試更是一年僅舉行一次,非常珍貴。當你有了完整且符合自己狀況的讀書計畫後,你的唸書必然有成效!

學生常會跟我說:「有啊~我考前都狂刷模擬試題啊~」「有啊~我有在補習啊~」但成績分數還是沒什麼進步。

這時候,你可以很清楚知道,自己已經進入了撞牆期了… 你若不盡快找方法解決眼前這堵牆,就只會停滯不前、無法進步,做再多的試題亦無助益。就如同留學申請一樣,凡是有計劃,雖不能保證一定成功,但卻能提昇成功的機率。

2. Being Careless About the Material You Study 不要小看你做過的任何題目或教材

呼應第一點,除了讀書計畫的重要性之外,認真看重每一份考卷、題目,是非常重要的,學生常犯的錯就是「為了刷題而刷題」,卻沒有認真檢討過每題答錯的原因,因此就算是再做一百次同樣的題目,都還是會錯。我也曾有個學生這樣跟我說過同樣的話:『這份考卷我好像有做過了… 但沒差,再做一次也未必會全對。』如果你對這句話很熟悉,或是心有戚戚焉,那你也犯了第二個錯誤。因為唯有檢討題目、檢討問題,才算是真正的吸收、真正的進步,若你能做到再做一次試題可以全對的自信,我相信你只做五份試卷會更勝你旁邊狂刷十份試卷但從不認真檢討試卷的同學。

本文中有提到CollegeBoard的AP資源中,有一項free-response questions,提及很多學生其實都太輕視這個部份的試題(是因為是free的嗎?)如果能把每次試題、試卷都珍惜,認真檢討每一題背後要考你的概念或能力,相信無形中你已經累積了非常高的綜合能力!

3. Taking the AP Exam Without the Course 沒有上AP課程就去考AP考試

這個議題一直有所爭議!到底有沒有上AP課程就直接去考AP考試,對自己的大學申請是否有影響呢?(先撇除一般公立學校學生,學校沒有開AP課程的狀況)

但老實說,這個議題若真的要談,可能會有長篇大論,因此我在這邊就不偏離主題,大概先以以下兩個角度為出發點:

↘高中校方角度:

因為目前有開AP課程大多是在國際學校或是雙語學校內,各校修課規定和規劃都不盡相同,所以學生若因此無法修到想修的課程,只好在還沒修課(或是根本不打算修)的情況下,準備AP考試。

↘補習班角度:

當然,補習班為了營利和招生,某些無良的補習班業者會透過各種話術或不正確的觀念,洗腦學生,告訴他們「不修AP課直接去考AP考試沒關係」,姑且不論他們的出發點為何,但如果因此剝奪學生原本可以修、或是原本打算修,卻因此不去修,單純補習去考試,那真的很要不得!

我們甚至會常見,有些無良的補習班,瘋狂地鼓催AP的重要性,說服了九年級(國三)、十年級(高一)的學生補上3~4科AP課程,結果為何?絕大多數的國三或高一學生,因為學術底子還不夠、英文底子還不夠,囫圇吞棗,補了一堆AP課程,無法負擔課程難度,最後考試考也考不好、重要的學校課業也顧不好。如果只是考試分數不理想就算了,但這過程中、以及這樣的結果,受傷的最後還是學生,學生的自信被補垮了、考垮了…

回到本文,文中也是建議學生,若能修過AP課程,還是最佳的。文中提及,因為AP課程提供的會是更完整的資料整理、知識建構,如果我們以短程利益來看,有學校AP老師的指導,可以讓自己唸書唸起來事半功倍,幫自己建立起扎實的基礎。但若以長遠利益評估,回頭想想,AP若考得好,未來可以抵免大學學分,但抵完之後呢?隋之而來的,就是你到了海外大學,因為基礎課程已經被抵免掉了,所以你是直接挑戰進階課程,而你,準備好了嗎?

文中想表達的意思是,一個學生self-study AP,考了不錯的分數,也抵了學分;跟一位有在學校認真上過AP課程,也考不錯的分數,也抵了學分。進了大學開始上進階課程,是否一個有受過基礎概念訓練的學生,在適應進階課程的時候,陣痛期會比較短?(姑且不論特殊狀況)

最後,就針對「到底有沒有修過AP課程,跟自修去考AP考試,有沒有差異或是重要性?」這個議題,也許未來我們可以再針對這個主題探究一番,因為過去幾年來,除了跟同業同好、學校AP老師們、留學顧問們、學生們、家長們,交流過很多多方的感受和心得;最重要的,是我們直接向大學求證,到底他們看重的是哪個?我想答案呼之欲出了~

Anyway, 這篇文章可提供給正在或將要唸AP的學生做個參考,也歡迎大家留言/私訊交流,更歡迎大家預約諮詢,聊聊教育、聊聊留學趨勢、聊聊留學申請~

原文出處 USNEWS

THE COMPONENTS OF A college application can seem limitless – grades, extracurricular activities and standardized test scores are just some of the factors you can highlight to stand out. But when it comes to test scores, you have more to think about than just the SAT or ACT.

 

AP exams are a popular opportunity since earning a 4 or 5 can help you not only earn college credit during high school but also show off your knowledge and skills to college admissions staff.

How should you best prepare for AP exams and – more importantly – what should you not do? Two current college students recently reflected on their experiences with AP courses and exams and shared three mistakes high schoolers should be wary of.

Using a Review Book Without a Plan

As is the case with standardized tests like the SAT and ACT, review books are often a go-to resource for students in AP courses. While consulting a review guide to prep is not a mistake, trying to cram it into a short period of time is.

Jesse Pollack, a junior at Duke University, said reading through the review books can be wearing. “Unless you have a plan to space out the material, there is a chance you may become overwhelmed and lose the motivation to read it.”

Pollack said he made this mistake during his AP prep, noting that “trying to cram it a month before the exam” didn’t help, particularly with the AP European History and AP U.S. Historyexams.

Southern Illinois University—Edwardsville freshman Nolan Finney also pointed out the importance of dedicating plenty of time to AP prep. “AP tests are not easy, and if you want to do well, it will take numerous hours of studying,” he said. “I would highly suggest not waiting until the day before to study because you will realize it is too late.”

 

Being Careless About the Material You Study

It is essential to know the types of questions and problems you’ll face on the specific AP exam you’re taking. Finney noted the importance of understanding which material from the AP course you will need to study, rather than assuming absolutely everything from the course will be covered on the test.

“Generally, as a student, you can know what to focus your studying around,” he said.

And don’t neglect the AP practice questions, particularly when it comes to question types like free-response questions. “The other fundamental mistake I made was taking virtually no past free-response questions from the College Board website,” said Pollack.

“Seriously, I can’t stress enough how important that is for any class, especially science or math. The free-response can get so repetitive.”

 

Taking the AP Exam Without the Course

While it is possible to take an AP exam without enrolling in the corresponding AP course, it is not typically recommended. Both Pollack and Finney took the accompanying classes for the AP exams they sat for.

Pollack explained that while you could theoretically forego the course and study on your own for the test, it might not be the most beneficial decision in the long run.

“If you self-study for an AP exam without taking the class, chances are you won’t know the material as well as someone who actually studied the subject for a semester or year under the guidance of a teacher,” he said. “You could be at a serious disadvantage going into advanced college physics if all the background you had was self-studying for an AP exam.”

Finney similarly noted that students in the AP prep process are working toward a bigger goal beyond a simple test score. “You have to work if you want to receive college credit,” he said.

By avoiding these three mistakes, carefully developing a prep plan and keeping your ultimate goals in mind, you can be well on your way to earning an impressive AP score.

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