Finals are coming up and you need to study. Of course, it is easier said than done, but the sooner you start, the better. Here are a few tips that will help you prepare for your final exams/AP exams, stress free.

Start Now

You have 1-2 months before you have to sit your exams. If you have not started to study seriously, you really need to start now. No matter how smart you are, no matter how high your grades are, if you do not study, the odds are against you.

Take the time to make sure your notes are up to date, if they are not, ask a friend to help you fill in the gaps. If you are struggling to understand important concepts, seek help from your teacher before it is too late.

This is true, regardless of the classes you take, and the types of exams you sit. Whether you are sitting your final exams, or individual AP exams for different courses, you owe it to your future self to start studying. You will thank yourself later for this.

Study with a Partner

You do not need to do 100% of your studying with other people. You can study just fine by yourself in the library. However, studying with others, no matter who they are (although the more studious the person is, the better), you can find gaps in your knowledge.

See, one of the best ways to see if you have gaps in your knowledge is to teach others the material. If you cannot do teach it, there is a gap. Find a friend, even if he or she is not taking the same courses as you. Attempt to explain the material you are studying. If you can do it, that is great. Retain that knowledge. If not, you now know what you will need to learn before you sit your exams.

Remember that AP Exams are Not Required

Sure, sitting for AP exams will make you a stronger candidate for college admissions and sure, you can use AP exams as a means to get rid of some college course requirements, but you must remember that AP exams are not required. If you feel you are not prepared, and you do not want to bear the brunt of a bad AP exam mark on your college admissions and high school transcript, consider not sitting the exam.

You have to be a bit Machiavellian about your education. You have to consider the end goal and carefully weigh your options, not just in AP exams but in everything. To be a successful academic, you need to prioritize the right things, and sometimes this means dropping commitments that do not help you further your goals.

Sure, you spent months working very hard on your AP course, but if you are not prepared, you are not prepared. It may not be worth the risk of a bad mark to sit the AP exam. Consider your academic options.

Be OK with the Results

At the end of the day, your college applications are being judged holistically. If you do not do as well as you would have liked academically, there are always chances to redeem yourself as colleges look at other factors as well. Of course, it would be best to do well in your final exams and AP exams, but understand that, as upsetting as a bad grade is, it is not the end of the world. There are other ways to show success when applying to college. Academics is just one part of it.