AP Exams 2020 Open Book Tips

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If you didn’t already know, the 2020 AP exams are open book. Every single one. To approach them correctly, here are some AP exams 2020 open book tips to use.

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AP Exams 2020 Open Book Tips To Remember

Open book tests aren’t a guaranteed win

You still have to answer all of the questions.

Many students think that just because you have access to their notes, it’s as easy as can be.

Remember, even though you can pull information from your notes like specific facts and formulas, that alone doesn’t answer the question.

You need to be able to apply that information correctly. If not, then those notes don’t mean anything in the end.

You STILL Need To Prepare

Approach the open book exam just like a regular test.

Understand this fact: Open notes only save you some time. That’s it.

They don’t magically answer the questions for you. At best, you can save time during studying when it comes to memorization.

However, comprehension is more important. Use your notes and review important concepts and information like you would any other time.

That way, your notes can help you clarify something you’re not sure about, rather than find the entire answer.

More notes aren’t always the best option

Don’t let too many notes cause failure.

Remember that the AP Exam is still a timed test. Even with open notes, if you don’t answer everything within the allotted time period, those answers don’t count.

If you don’t do any preparation but have a ton of disorganized notes, question answering is quickly replaced with note checking. While you’re searching through documents, questions are left blank.

Organize your notes, and make sure to have access to ones that cover topics you have the most problems with first.

Don’t directly copy responses from online resources or notes

The College Board designed this year’s AP Exam to avoid simply copying and pasting.

Every test taker has access to their notes and other online resources when taking it. With that in mind, the new exams force students to apply the concepts from those resources in different ways.

In essence, the application is what’s tested, not simple memorization. Copying and pasting information won’t actually help you fully answer questions.

Rely on your class notes first before searching online

The internet is great for finding information, but your notes have more value.

Going online to hunt for answers during a timed test can cause real problems. First, the internet is filled with helpful sources, as well as misinformation and differing opinions.

It’s easy to fall down a rabbit hole looking for help on one answer. During that time, you aren’t answering questions. That’s why go to your notes first.

They have two immediate benefits:

  • They cover exactly the topics and information you’re asked to apply on the exam
  • You wrote them down personally, so it’ll be faster to recall which ones you need exactly for help

If you have extra time, don’t count out an online search but go to the notes first.

Working with others IS NOT acceptable

“Open book” is NOT an excuse to work with other students on the exam.

The AP exams exist for you to show your comprehension and application of specific subjects, not someone else’s instead.

Despite this year’s AP exams being open book, it is prohibited from receiving any help from someone else while taking them. This includes students who are found to be:

  • Using someone else’s work
  • Exchanging or sharing information on exam topics or questions
  • Collaborating via online platforms
  • Soliciting tips or answers

Any of those actions are considered to be violating security and those exams will be judged accordingly.

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