AP Human Geography Tips for Success

Jared Park, 2015-2016

AP - Advanced Placement

Taking an AP class can be stressful and overwhelming, especially as an incoming freshman adjusting to high school. This list of tips is made up of nifty things I've learned for myself over this year in AP Human Geography that have helped me become a more successful student.

How to be Successful:

1. Always come to class prepared

Coming to class prepared with my spiral, laptop, pens, pencils, Wood book, and completed assignments was always a recipe for success! Classmates who came to class unprepared often missed out on a lot of learning that was essential to acing the AP exam.

2. Make a to-do list

With such a large workload, it became increasingly important that I made a to-do list with each assignment I needed to complete that day. This helped me never forget to complete an assignment or take notes. Make sure this to-do list is in the most convenient place for you. It could be in your planner, on your phone, on your computer, etc. I kept mine on my phone so I could set additional alarms just for that extra push to make sure I never forgot to get anything done.

3. Stay ahead!

I found that getting my work done ahead of time lead to a less stressful week and a better night's sleep. My APHG teacher gave us a "menu" that had all of our homework assignments and notes, plus their due dates. Making sure I got them done ahead of time or at least on time was a key factor to success in my first AP class.

4. Re-watch class lectures

In my class we were assigned lectures to watch at home in addition to lectures given by the teacher in class. My teacher posted all of her lectures on Google Classroom so we could re-watch them to absorb more information and add more to our notes. It is pretty much impossible to absorb all of the information from a lecture on the first time through, so re-watching them gave me an advantage over my classmates with a better understanding of what we were learning.

5. Process your notes after you take them

After taking as many notes as I could, I looked back over them and processed them in my own time. Highlighting, underlining, circling, and adding pictures helped me grasp the information for much longer periods of time.

6. Ask questions when you don't understand

If you ever don't understand something, ask your teacher. That's what they're there for! Don't ever be shy or embarrassed because you don't understand part of the material. Your teachers and classmates will answer your questions and help you out.

7. Use Quizlet to study unit vocab

Quizlet has many different ways to study vocab in a game-format that really helps you remember the unit terms. APHG vocab was applied in the classroom daily. If you didn't know the vocab, you'd be lost! Additionally, a strong recollection of vocab was needed for both the mutiple choice and the FRQs on each test, and Quizlet became the best resource for success.

8. Use iScore5 and a review book to study for the AP exam

Although they cost a bit of money, they are well worth it. iScore5 is an app on the app store for $5 dollars created by APHG teachers. I was unsure at first whether or not to make the purchase, but I am so glad I did! This app and the review books gave me excellent preparation for the AP exam at the end of the year.

9. Make an APHG group chat

It was very helpful throughout the year to have an APHG group chat on iMessage with a few of my classmates. If any of us didn't understand something on one of the assignments, we would simply text the question into the group chat. This really helped us collaborate and find success. Individually, we were ok; but as a team, we were much more successful!

10. Prioritize!

Although it may seem more enjoyable to binge-watch Netflix or hang out with your friends, you have to set your priorities straight. College credit will save you thousands of dollars long-term, which is more important than any short-term benefit, in my opinion. If you don't set this AP class as a priority, you probably won't earn the college credit at the end of the year.

11. Don't let one bad grade get you down

This is an AP class -- a college class. On one test I received an 8%. Yup, an 8 out of 100. This grade really put me down and made me lose faith in myself. Don't make the mistake I did! This is a college class, so of course there are some things that are going to be ridiculously challenging! Keep believing in yourself. I corrected the 8% on that test and finished off the six weeks with an A average! One bad grade is only a small bump in the journey to being a successful AP student.

Follow these tips and I know y'all will do great!

Good luck!