Summer Prep for Online AP Courses

Although school may be just wrapping up this year, it is not too early to begin thinking about next year’s online AP courses. Many students, especially those who are taking online AP courses for the first time, may wonder how best to prepare for the challenge of online AP courses. What can be done to prepare during the summer before class even begins?

Set summer goals

An important part of online classes is developing the discipline to be self-motivated in your studies, and summer is a great time to practice this skill by setting learning goals for upcoming AP classes. This might take many forms depending on the class—perhaps you want to read a certain number of books related to your AP class, or maybe review certain concepts from prior classes that are related. Setting a realistic goal and creating a plan to achieve it early on will make it easier when setting goals for completing your AP class.

Establish study strategies

Online AP courses cover a lot of advanced material, and developing a note-taking system can make all that information seem more organized and accessible. There are several methods of note-taking, so trying some out over the summer can help identify strategies for learning that work for you.

Read and review

One of the best ways to get ahead is to seek out knowledge that relates to your upcoming AP class. Seeking out your own information can be helpful for a variety of reasons. First, reading books or articles related to your AP class can highlight additional information that might be useful on the AP exam. Finding new information and reading independently can be a great way to practice goal setting and note taking. In addition, it can also help you identify areas that could benefit from additional review. The College Board publishes examples of past exam questions which can be helpful when selecting topics to learn more about.

Connect with others

When developing a summer preparation plan, teachers, counselors, or other AP students can be great resources. Reach out and talk to teachers or counselors, and ask about ways to prepare and achieve success. They might have helpful pointers and access to resources that can aid you before class begins. If you know other students who have taken your AP class, see what worked best for them (certain study strategies, additional books, mentors). Learning from others and how to ask for support is a valuable skill in independent learning.


Students can learn more about AP courses by going to the AP Students website at

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