People often wonder when they should start studying for their AP exams, but the answer is: it depends.
It depends on whether you’re taking the class in school or whether you’re planning on self-studying.
It depends on whether your teacher gives you everything you need to succeed on the exam or whether you’ll have to learn a large part of the material yourself.
It depends on whether you’re taking one of the harder exams or one of the easier exams.
Of course “it depends” is a terrible answer so we’ll try to answer it to the best of our abilities.
First of all you’ll have to do some research.
If you’re taking the class at the high school figure out what the average score was in the class and whether the teacher actually prepares you for the exam or if the top scorers had to spend hours out of class preparing for the exam.
If you’re planning on self-studying the class you should figure out if it’s considered to be one of the easier exams (micro/macroeconomics, gov, psychology, or environmental science) or one of the harder exams (AP Chem, AP Calc, or APUSH)
You should also decide how much you’re going to study for every day and what your goal score is for the exam.
For most exams we recommend starting studying for at least 6 months before and focusing only on the concepts that are actually on the exam. (You can use one of the books found on our Books By Subject page.) You can study for around 15 minutes per day for 4 months, 30 minutes per day for 1 month, and then an hour per day for another month.
For some of the easier exams you can get away with studying for 2-3 months total, but if you want to decrease your overall level of stress you should start studying earlier.
The overall consensus is this: you should start studying as early as possible but only if you will retain what you’re learning for the exam.
There’s no point starting to study a year before the exam if you’ll have to do hardcore review by the time the actual test date comes around.