The quango is charged with ensuring compatibility between the exam boards but its heavy-handed, ruthlessly statistical approach makes everything much worse. Senior examiners therefore have to apply the thumbscrews to their juniors, with predictable consequences for accuracy. The only shock for me was that they admitted it. The moral of the story is to check the grades your centre sends to the board. They are used more than you think. If in doubt about a result, always go for a re-mark — the numbers of requests are booming. In standardisation, they are given a sample of pre-marked papers and tested on how well they can match the agreed marks.
If they cannot, they are not allowed to continue marking. But there are thousands of orphan scripts left unmarked every summer and my board was so desperate that it summoned the zombies, the lingering doubters and other barrel scrapings to a special centre to mark against the clock.
Several of these worthy souls had failed standardisation but were allowed to carry on paid at several times the normal rate. It gets worse; there are gangsters out there.
Exam cheat No 3: Markers are poorly motivated and often poorly qualified. What unites us is a genuine love of the subject we are marking and respect for the students who are producing the answers. For me, reading a good script is an emotional and resonant experience.
Students deserve nothing less than my best, and I try to give it. I cannot say the same for the examining process. Unexpected exam hero No 1: He was unpopular, but he had some good ideas, one of which was to reduce the exam boards to one. A single board with consistent standards, fair rules and fair results.
And no more zombies. Full marks, I say. This had no connection to an organisation called ABC Awards. Part of entering AP exam week rested and relaxed is feeling mentally refreshed.
If this is not the case at your school, ensure you create a work schedule well in advance of your AP exams, and aim to finish any other academic tasks before your first test. This can minimize possible stress and distraction. Make time, too, for an activity that is fun and relaxing. Go for a walk, play a favorite video game, or invite your friends over.
The specifics of what you do matter less than ensuring that you do not spend the week before your exams tense and anxious. As mentioned above, avoid entirely abandoning your test prep. Instead of broadly reviewing, however, study several points that are essential to earning your intended score: As you study for your exams, include a bit of practice with editing essays. Before you take your first exam, locate several essays that you have written for class perhaps even your AP classes and edit them for clarity.
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On test day, you will not have time for extensive rewrites of your free response answers, so it is well worth knowing where to focus your energies. Include this practice in your daily study hour. While you cannot add much information to your store of knowledge at this point, you can improve your test-taking process.
Many students who take AP tests report feeling worn out after just one — let alone back-to-back exams! Unfortunately, because the AP schedule is set by the College Board, you may face this very situation.
If you must complete back-to-back tests, plan ahead to ensure that you will have some quality rest time between exams. For example, bring music to listen to, and eat a healthy meal one including complex carbohydrates, protein, and vegetables to nourish your brain. If you have multiple AP tests on multiple days, do your best to clear your schedule in the evenings. You will need to relax and sleep in order for your brain to recharge, and a busy night can interfere with this process.
Do indulge in light exercise you will be amazed at how effectively it can reset your mind or a favorite activity.