With the AP Macroeconomics test less than a week away, it’s time for students to start studying their equations and theories. Mr. Damon Peterson gives students an insight into the best study techniques every student has to boost their scores in this Q&A session.
Q: What is the most important study tool that your AP students have?
A: The most important study tool for AP Macroeconomics is to understand the course comprehensively, meaning all topics covered on the College Board’s outline and make sure they know all graphs, how the graphs work, and how the graphs relate to each other. Macroeconomics is very graph intensive. There isn’t really one tool they can employ to perform well on the exam. However, if they study comprehensively and develop what I call a “library in your head,” they can process the information on the exam much more effectively. It takes time and knowledge to do well on this test.
Q: Let’s be honest, there’s procrastinator in every AP class.. What can those students do to prepare for their exam last-minute?
A: If they procrastinate, the best thing to do is get a copy of the course outline from either the AP Central (the CollegeBoard’s website) or from the syllabus on my website. Next, get a copy of my AP Review Package, which can be found on the left side of the front page of my website under AP Macro Exam Review materials, or get a copy of 5 Steps to a 5 a review book by Eric Dodge (he writes for the CollegeBoard. This book reviews the relevant material and has two complete practice tests with answers). I have copies of the Dodge book and so does Barnes and Noble and Borders. Then they should go through those review materials, highlighting the areas they believe they are weak on. Once they have identified their weak spots, they can focus on strengthening those areas. Also, there is an online review for both Macroeconomics and Microeconomics the two evenings before the AP Macroeconomics Exam (the test is on May 12th). What they can do is go to the website of Mr. David Mayer at Churchill High School and on his front page they can go to the Facebook site for Macroeconomics. Students and teachers from around the country work on this site. They can ask questions and teachers/students will answer them.
Q: What are some memory tricks that these students can employ to help boost their scores (I.E. Mnemonics, association etc.)
A: I’m not sure what memory aids would be good gimmicks to remember information. Some of my students make flip cards and that seems to help. Graphing over and over would be a good thing as well. Again, since there is so much material, they need to prepare in advance and study comprehensively.
Q: Are there any online resources you suggest for your students?
A: There are some good online resources. They can go to my website and look at the AP Macro Exam Review materials I mentioned earlier. Besides the study guide, there are 20 other Powerpoint and Word files they can access for review. One of the power points includes all graphs and formulas they need to know. Another good site is Reffonomics and AP Central, which they can access through the links section of the front page of my website. Also, they can go to the Facebook site on Mr. Mayer’s website.