AP tester types

Tales from the two sides of the testing spectrum

Haley Miller, Reporter

Type 1: The Super Studier

Slumped over his AP Psychology book at 2 a.m., with a pencil in one hand and flashcards in the other, junior Max Williams continued his annual tradition of studying for the AP exams with a “vigorous, soul-crushing” routine. His parents report that he “withdraws from society” during exam season, turning away from religion, family values and human decency to instead focus on the exams for his four AP classes.
“During April and May, AP exams are all that I live for,” Williams said. “Those scores could end up being the difference between life on the street and my destined life as a multi-millionaire.”
Williams says his studying routine varies from year to year. For the 2018 exam season, he plans to stop reading his daily inspirational quote every morning and replace it with lessons from his AP Calculus book. He says “inspiration can wait.”
In addition to sacrificing inspiration, Williams has decided to break up with his girlfriend, Maureen, to cut back on “wasted time.” The time he spent with her will now be used to read the entirety of his AP preparation books.
“You’ve got to eat, sleep and breathe the test,” Williams said. “If you aren’t willing to end the best relationship you’ve ever had, then you really might as well be accepting failure.”


Type 2: The Zen Master

Using green tea and meditation to clear his mind, senior Josh Leeland says his study routine relies on choosing not to acknowledge the tests’ existence. He says he stays in a “healthy state of denial.”
“I’ve found that the best way to study is to not study at all,” Leeland said, “and pretend that the tests aren’t ever going to happen.”
The night before his AP U.S. History exam last year, Leeland says he broke his “no studying” tradition and glanced at a picture of Abraham Lincoln. He says that this resulted in a lower test score overall because he couldn’t handle the amount of information he received from the image.
“It was almost like I knew too much, you know?” Leeland said. “Suddenly, I knew everything about the fifth Secretary of the Treasury, Abraham Lincoln, and I couldn’t keep all of my knowledge straight.”
Leeland received a two on the exam, but this year he intends to score higher by studying even less than previous years. He says the ultimate goal is to know nothing about his AP exam dates and continue being in denial.