Ap Exams

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The key to cracking standardized tests
On May 7, 2002, a sportswriter questioned NBA superstar Allen Iverson about his dedication to his team and his alleged failure to attend team practices. The next few moments would go down in NBA history as one of the most iconic interview responses ever given, and produced the now-infamous line: “We talkin’ about practice!”
Tackling the AP English Language and Composition Essays: Part 3
In Parts 1 and 2 of this series, I covered the basics of the three AP Lang Essays (Synthesis, Rhetoric, and Argument), how to generally approach them, and the six steps of writing a successful essay on test day, focusing on the Rhetoric Essay. Now, we’ll look at the Synthesis and Argument Essays: how they differ from the Rhetoric Essay and how to ...
Tackling the AP English Language and Composition Essays: Part 2
Welcome back! In Part 1 of this series, we covered some basic information about the AP Lang essays, as well as the first two major components of the process, “Organizing Your Time” and “Reading and Annotating.” In Part 2, we’ll look at the final four components.
Tackling the AP English Language and Composition essays: part 1
More than any other test, the AP English Language and Composition Exam is dominated by essays. Three timed essays—the Synthesis Essay, Rhetoric Essay, and Argument Essay—will take up most of your time on the exam, and count for more than fifty percent of your score. In this three-part guide, I’ll walk you through the process of writing timed ...
How to balance redox reactions in acidic and basic solutions
Balancing redox reactions is an essential skill for the Chemical and Physical Foundations section of the MCAT, the GRE Chemistry Subject Test, and the AP Chemistry Exam. Today, we will learn how to use the half-cell method for balancing redox reactions in acidic and basic solutions. We will first balance a redox reaction in acidic solution, then ...
Implications of the Electoral College for democratic equality
In my previous posts, I’ve described the rules of the Electoral College, the origins of these rules, and some limitations that EC rules present for universal democratic rights. I talked briefly about the worry that the EC disadvantages non-swing state voters and voters in urban areas. Critics also charge, more broadly, that the EC rules ...
The origins of the Electoral College
Today, we’re taking a step back to examine the history of the Electoral College. Why do we have it, what is the logic behind its design, and what does this mean for our understanding of political representation in the US? 
The limitations of the Electoral College
In my previous post I provided a quick explainer of the Electoral College (EC from here onward). In the wake of the 2020 election, the system was once again in the spotlight and, as is the case nearly every election cycle, subject of ample criticism. In this post, I will highlight the primary critiques of the EC and the implications of these ...
How to think like an AP Rater/Reader on the AP English Language exam
As someone who tutors AP English Language and Composition (lovingly referred to as AP Lang) and as someone who struggled with timed writing herself, I know how daunting a task it can be to score a 5. Luckily for you, I’ve also served as an AP Rater/Reader and can offer some additional insight into what we are told to look for while scoring a ...
Cracking an AP Bio biotechnology question
The AP Biology exam for 2017 is set for the morning of Monday May 8th. So it’s that time of the year again to begin reviewing past concepts and doing practice exams.
The five most essential tips for AP Chemistry review
Here are five tips to ace AP Chemistry -- you can begin right now!
How to solve a 6 grid-in question on the AP Biology exam
On the AP Bio exam, there will be 6 grid-in questions that will require you to do some math. Yes, math. These questions will require you to do some simple calculations and thus you are only allowed a four-function calculator to do addition, subtraction, division, and multiplication. That being said I’ll break down an example grid-in question to ...
Real AP Biology exam solutions
The AP Biology Exam date has been set for Monday, May 8, 2017. Beginning at 8 am that morning, everything you learned over the course of the year will be tested with 63 multiple choice, 6 grid-in, and 8 free-response questions. Although the AP exam seems far off, it’s a good idea to master the basics now and set a good foundation off which to ...
How to solve an AP Chemistry question that stumped most test-takers
On average students scored 3.88/10 points on this question while only 1% of students got a perfect score. In this question, students are expected to know how to analyze the experimental data that is given and show an understanding of thermodynamics.
SAT & AP Tutoring Approaches with Eric
Eric is a doctoral candidate in the Urban Planning program at Columbia University.  Prior to enrolling at Columbia, he earned a Master’s degree in Urban Planning from NYU and a Bachelor’s degree in history from Bowdoin College.  Learn about different strategies Eric uses to approach SAT & AP Exam preparation! 
Odor perception on the AP Biology exam
 Last year, AP Biology students did a great job applying their math skills to the test. On average, 55% of math related question were answered correctly compared to 35% in 2013! That’s great news but there were still many questions that students struggled with such as free response Question 7 about odor perception.  This question gave students a ...
A basic guide to the AP Chemistry Exam
   pic The AP Chemistry exam is on May 2nd, leaving less than two months to prepare!  You might still be struggling with where to begin, and that’s how this blog post can help. In 2014, the exam was revised to focus on six big ideas in chemistry. The new format is intended to test your understanding of big picture concepts and apply them to the ...
How to study for AP Biology
When I was in high school, it was actually my AP Calculus teacher who gave me this AP Bio study tip. I used it with great success that year in AP Bio, and it continued to serve me well throughout college as I majored in molecular biology.
Choosing between AP and IB: an in-depth guide
I went to the International Academy (IA), which, for two years, was ranked the number one public high school in America by USA Today. As a metric, they used the number of IB or AP tests each student took.  My high school was an all IB school, one of the first in the country, and as an IB school, it required every student to take 6 IBs.
What are heuristics? Representative vs. availability heuristics
One topic that many of my psychology tutoring students get confused about is the topic of heuristics, which comes up when they study judgment and decision-making.
3 tricks for physics standardized tests
Learning to take standardized physics exams, like the AP Physics exam or the SAT Physics Subject Test, is not unlike trying to become fluent in a foreign language. Both follow highly idiosyncratic logic and are best learned through practice. (And believe it or not, standardized physics exams have less to do with physics than physics aficionados ...
How to remember the steps of photosynthesis
Over the years, I have tutored many students studying for the AP biology exam and I have noticed that the majority of them find photosynthesis and cellular respiration very difficult and confusing. These are very important processes that frequently appear on the AP exam. However, there is so much information, so much detail, and so many terms, ...
The DBQ (The Writing Sample) on AP Exams
One of the trickiest tasks in the humanities AP tests – whether it’s for AP World History, AP U.S. History, or AP European – is the dreaded Document Based Question, or DBQ.  As an experienced high school academic tutor in New York City, I’ve seen students take many different approaches to these essays.  It’s too bad that high school students get ...
Study Skills: The Trick to a 5 on Any AP Test is…
…pacing!  It is so crucial to have a careful, measured plan of attack as a part of any standardized test prep regime.  But as a veteran AP tutor for high school students across New York, I can tell you that the key to success lies almost entirely in sticking to a well-organized, personally-tailored study schedule.  Cambridge Coaching does a great ...
Fitting AP Exams into your Schedule
The spring can be a hectic time for high school sophomores or juniors. As an academic tutor, I have witnessed my students juggling several responsibilities from rigorous academic coursework, to extracurricular activities, to volunteer work, to jobs...to standardized test preparation.
The trick to preparing for history tests
I’ve found that my students in New York City, whether they’re studying for history tests in high school, for AP history exams, or just generally trying to learn new ways of holding onto information, find history to be one of the most difficult subjects to prepare for.  Studying for history tests can be intimidating just because there’s often so ...
Chemistry Tutor: Approaching the AP Chemistry Exam
Over the last two years of your high school career you’re typically faced with an onslaught of standardized tests. While many of these, such as the SAT, ACT, or SAT II tests are required as part of your college application package, the AP exams are somewhat unique in that they can actually affect your college coursework by placing you into higher ...
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