So, let’s say the AP exam is rapidly approaching, and you’re feeling a bit underprepared. What can you do outside of school to review in a more relaxed way? Here are several ideas that have worked for students just like you!
Idea #1: Review those literary techniques
Create your own flashcards with a definition of each term and an example of how it works. For example, you can use idea #2 or use some of the essays you’ve discussed in class. These can be created on note cards, paper, or online using a website like Quizlet, where you can create your own or search already made flashcards. Just keep in mind that any pre-made sets you find were created by students as well.
If you’re not the flashcard type, choose a few devices and techniques you struggle to remember. Team up with a friend on FaceTime, Google Duo, or Zoom; pick your favorite song; and try to write your own version that includes some of those terms with examples. Research shows that setting ideas to music makes them easier to remember.
Idea #2: Read a short essay
You could go for the more traditional nonfiction articles from The New Yorker or The Atlantic (each offers several for free if you don’t have a subscription) or you could read a fun satirical piece from The Onion. You could also watch a recent political speech online. As you read, consider:
- Who is the likely intended audience? How you can tell?
- What is the author’s tone (attitude) toward the subject? What words tell you this?
- The purpose, any supporting ideas or claims, and any key techniques the author uses to get his or her purpose across.
Once you’re done, see if a friend wants to review with you. Create a review game (Jeopardy style or through Kahoot) for your friends and have them return the favor.
Idea #3: Apply what you know
Take what you do know and create an advertisement for something you use every day. Be sure to have a clear audience and ways to appeal to that audience (such as a tagline, a jingle, relevant images, and helpful statistics). Share it with a friend and see if they can identify the audience you had in mind and the techniques you used to appeal to that audience.
Reviewing at home can be a great tool to help fill in content you’re not sure about or to have fun reinforcing what you do know. Just remember, research also shows that if you can have fun and teach content to your friends, you’ll not only remember it for much longer, but you’ll also have a better understanding.