Need Help?

Get in touch with us


How to Self-Study for AP Exams – 7 Steps Plan

Apr 18, 2023

Is it possible to crack the AP exam with self-study? Is it necessary to take AP classes to score more than average in AP exams? These are the questions that most of the students think about. As per the College Board, it is not necessary to take AP classes. You can prepare for the AP exams by self-study too.

However, the AP (Advanced Placement) program’s level seems high when you decide to prepare them with self-study. Moreover, in the case of self study AP, there is no teacher to guide you. So, you might wonder how to prepare for AP exams with self-study. Or from where to begin the AP exams self-study preparations?


Smart Tips and Tricks to Self Study AP Exams:

Do not get worried! With better planning and some smart tips and tricks, you can clear AP exams and any other complex exam. In addition, most students prepare for AP exams by self-study to score more college credits or have some prior knowledge of the selected subject.

This section is about some self-study steps that can lead you to qualify for AP exams with better scores.


Self-Study Step 1: Select an Easiest AP Course

In India, there are 23 accessible AP exams. Although you can select any of them, selecting a course that you find easiest would be better. AP Environmental Science, AP Calculus BC, AP Human Geography, AP Psychology, etc., are some easiest AP exams you can select for self-study.

Self-studying AP Psychology is a good option for you. This course has a very simple and practical curriculum. It is substantially different from other AP courses. However, it would be best to remember some factors related to the course you selected, such as your strengths and weaknesses.


Self Study AP Step 2: Draw an Outline

It is essential to outline the course you have selected to enroll in. Creating an outline lets you proceed step by step to cover the whole curriculum before the final AP exam.

With the help of an outline, it is also necessary to know where you need to start your preparations. If you have an outline for that subject, you will work from the point ahead of what you already know. However, in the absence of an outline, you will start from scratch.


Suppose you are planning to self study AP Psychology. In that case, you can prepare it using the following steps.

  • Look for the complete curriculum of AP Psychology.
  • Check what topics you have prepared in your school classes.
  • Collect all the required materials to cover the rest of the topics.
  • Make notes for revision and preparation.
  • Take AP tests for practice. In addition, you can look online for previous years’ papers or sample papers.
  • For self-studying AP Psychology, ensure to compare what you know and must be aware of.

For the AP Psychology self study or any other AP course, you can visit the official website of the College Board and look for the ‘AP Course and Exam Description.’ There you will get complete information about the curriculum of the selected course, what skills you need to prepare for it, and the important content related to that AP exam.


Based on the course description, you can take notes of what things you are leaving to learn. This way, you will realize if there is any topic remaining from the preparation outline you drew.

Self Study AP Step 3: Prepare a Study Schedule

Creating a timetable is equally important as outlining. If you wish to not fall behind the schedule in covering the whole curriculum of your selected course, in that case, you must keep a steady pace. It is only maintained via strict discipline. And to maintain strict discipline, you must create a timetable.


Divide your schedule equally between school studies and AP exam preparations. Falling behind in school studies is also a loss for you, as your classroom studies help you with the fundamental concepts of your selected subject.

You can make your timetable daily, weekly, or monthly. Consistency in your study schedule lets you feel the curriculum much easier. Next, decide on a quiet and spacious place for self-study. It enables you away from distractions.


Self-Study Step 4: Assemble Your Study Material

You can look for several books and study guides to prepare for AP exams. Processing the information in multiple ways and formatting it according to your need will help you retain it and keep the studying process more interesting. In addition, there are various types of study resources available for you. You can select any of them.

  • Textbooks

are the most selected and traditional way to prepare for AP exams. For better recommendations, you can visit the College Board website. In addition, you can see many textbook recommendations for self-study AP Psychology, AP Mathematics, AP Physics, and other AP exams.

  • Review Books:

Selecting reviewed books is also a good choice. Exam-focused preparation books will assist you in reviewing all the essential content for the AP exam.

  • Online Content Providers:

Online classes created by various educational institutes are also a good source for AP exam preparations. You can join any online academy and get all the preparation information and help for your self-study.

  • YouTube:

These days, YouTube is counted as one of the best platforms for preparing for any complex or easy exam. You can get all important notes, study materials, lecture videos, and more data that can help you with the AP exam preparations through YouTube channels.

Self-Study Step 5: Preparing Notes and Observing Yourself

If you dream of scoring more than three or more perfects in the AP exams, you must collect all the best study material available to prepare for the selected subject. Therefore, concentrate diligently on the curriculum and its preparations. Preparing notes will help you in this step.

It is one of the best ways to prepare a topic and revise it in the least amount of time. Having good notes reduces the revision period and lets you perform more efficiently during the last moments. You can also assess yourself while revising the syllabus.

You can also use mind maps, flashcards, diagrams, or other effective learning methods to make your preparation notes more effective. These learning techniques help you in making a significant record of all the information you have learned. Also, you can retrieve all this information in a short span with the help of these techniques.

Self-Study Step 6: AP Exam Registration

It is an essential step for the AP exam. The applications for the AP course open in early March every year. You can ask your AP exam coordinator for help if you are unclear about any procedure.

For the exam application, visit the official website of the College Board. Then, complete all the instructions given in the registration form and pay the exam center fees. Then, you can contact your school teachers to install more self-study time and make arrangements.

Do not forget this step. Otherwise, all your labor will go to waste.

Self-Study Step 7: Preparing for the AP Exam and Review Yourself

As the time gets close to the final AP exam, reviewing your preparation is a very important step. During this period, you wish to study every single point, whether it is your notes, flashcards, review books, or practice papers. 

However, the crucial thing to check is the exam format of the AP course you have selected. Familiarize yourself with the exam format and adjust your study schedule properly. Review your preparations from time to time. This way, you can score from three to five in AP exams.

Remember to wrap up the new content you started last month before the AP exams. It secures you from getting worried at the last moment.


Self-studying for AP exams is an effective way to utilize your time as per your availability and also lets you save your tuition fees. You get an opportunity to score college credits with the aid of AP exams. In addition, it is an incredible chance to secure your higher studies tuition fees.

Unlike school AP classes, self-studying lets you study your dream subject and schedule your span according to your wish. It is an impressive way to clear AP exams and get many rewards.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the difference between self-study and school AP classes?

Sometimes, you may want to select a subject for the AP exam, but your school does not take it. In such cases, self-studying those courses are the best option. The difference between both them are:

  • You can pick your desired subject for the self-study AP exam. But, it is not possible for school AP classes.
  • You can choose your learning style. However, in school AP classes, you have to follow their style.
  • Self-study is more time efficient compared to the school AP classes.
  • Self-study an AP exam is a fairly impressive way than school AP classes.

2. What tips should I follow to succeed in AP exams by self-study?

Although Ap exams are not easy to crack, it is not impossible to score them with self-study. Having a proper plan is vital to clear AP exams via self-study. Some tips that can help you are

  • Please select a subject you know and find it easiest among others.
  • Look after its curriculum and find out what topics you are aware of and unaware of.
  • Make a timetable to cover the exam syllabus and divide your schedule equally among school studies and AP exam preparations.
  • Search for the best study material and prepare notes during self-study.
  • Solve some pre-AP tests and review yourself. 

3. What strategies can help me motivate myself during self-study AP Psychology?

During self-study AP Psychology, you need to be positive. Keeping calm and motivated is the only key to handling the pressure of this complex exam. You can follow the given below strategies to motivate yourself:

  • Look for a company to study with. You can accompany your younger or elder siblings, peers, friends, or even seniors.
  • Set small goals to complete the curriculum. When you achieve any goal, do not forget to reward yourself.
  • Be accountable to someone else.
Tips on Self-Study for AP Exams


Relevant Articles

AP Lang Rhetorical Analysis Essay

AP Lang Rhetorical Analysis Essay

AP language exams are held for numerous subjects. Students have …

AP Lang Rhetorical Analysis Essay Read More »

AP Lang Synthesis Essay

Steps to Draft AP Lang Synthesis Essay

The synthesis essay AP lang is part of the AP …

Steps to Draft AP Lang Synthesis Essay Read More »

AP Calculus AB Exam

Strategies for Success: A Complete Overview of the AP Calculus AB Exam

The AP Calculus AB Exam serves as an important element …

Strategies for Success: A Complete Overview of the AP Calculus AB Exam Read More »

Digital AP Exams

Preparing for Success: A Guide to the Features of Digital AP Exams

Digital  Advanced Placement (AP) exams bring about a huge change …

Preparing for Success: A Guide to the Features of Digital AP Exams Read More »


Study Abroad

card img

With Turito Study Abroad

card img

With Turito Study Abroad

card img

Get an Expert Advice from Turito

card img

Get an Expert Advice from Turito


card img

With Turito CAP.


card img

With Turito Coding.


card img

With Turito RoboNinja


card img

1-on-1 tutoring for the undivided attention