Taking AP exams is a great way for high-school students to make their lives easier down the road. Taking these tests cost much less than it would cost to take the whole course in college. This way you effectively save money and you also have one exam less to worry about in college, which means you'll have more time to focus on other things.
Thinking about the future is not something most high-school students are good at, so choosing to take AP exams definitely shows initiative on the part of the student. However it takes at least 3 out of 5 points to get a passing grade and a lot of students fail to pass these exams, in which case it becomes a waste of time and resources. Here is a crash course in how to pass your AP exams with a good score and save yourself hours upon hours of work in college.
Finding the motivation to go through all the extra material on top of your high-school obligations can be difficult. You need to find a way to make learning a bit more fun or just more bearable. Visualize success, listen to so great motivational music, exercise, pump yourself up in front of the mirror, have a cup of coffee - do whatever it takes to get in the right state of mind. Frequent short breaks can also help you stay motivated and focus during longer study session.
Surround yourself with the right people
Studying can be much easier if you have a group of people to study with. Just make sure it's a group of serious individuals who actually want to prepare for the exams and know how to study. A few funny comments and jokes are fine, but if the study session ends up being a gossip session you are wasting your time.
Create a competitive environment
It's much easier to be competitive when playing sports or even video games than when studying for an exam, but you can place small bets, have the ones that fail an exam buy dinner or even have the people with the lowest scores do something outrageous on a dare.
Find the right place to study
Locking yourself in your room may not always be the best way to study, especially in a world where everything from our phones to our fridges can connect to the internet. There are always distractions, but some places have a more official atmosphere and allow us to focus better. Find the right place for you - it may be a local coffee shop, the park, a friend's house, etc.
Use memory tricks
Make it easier to remember facts by associating formulas, ideas, dates and names with something you find funny and interesting. You can also associate certain information with music you listened to when studying it, with a particular smells (scented candles are very cheap) or even a room you were in. E.g. Napoleon was first forced to abdicate to the island of Elba, which kind of sounds like Alba, as in Jessica Alba. A mental image of an exiled Napoleon courting Jessica Alba on an island is now connected with important facts from the life of the French Emperor, making them easier to remember.
Don't underestimate the importance of college
Many high-school students don't really understand the importance of college and the role it plays in their lives. Going to college and earning a degree should not be a long-term goal, an obstacle that awaits you somewhere far in the future. You need to start thinking about the quality of life you will have ten years from now when you'll have bills and complicated relationships to worry about. Create a vision of a good life that will motivate you to overcome small obstacles like exams and work towards making your dreams come true.
Focus on fewer exams
While passing all the exams will surely save you a lot of effort in college, it is unlikely that you will be able to prepare for each and every one. It is better to focus on subjects you are fairly good at and devote more time to studying 4-5 exams than going for more and having no time to prepare effectively.
AP exams can put additional stress on a student, but completing them carries a great rewards. As long as you can find the motivation to study and make it a more bearable experience by adding a fun element to it and including others, you can manage to pass them with relative ease.