Tips for Success on Open Book/Open Note Exams

While you prepare your notes and resources before your AP Exams, keep these facts in mind.

Open book/open note exams are not easy. Answering AP Exam questions takes more than copying information from notes. Finding facts, formulas, or other information in your notes is only one step to answering an exam question—you have to apply the information in order to complete the task.

You still need to prepare for the exam. You should prepare for an open book/open note exam just as you would a traditional AP Exam. Having resources available may save you time in memorizing information; however, you still need to know how to apply the information efficiently and correctly. This takes preparation.

More materials aren’t always better. You'll need to answer multiple questions on your AP Exams and you'll have limited time to do so. The more time you spend looking for information, the less time you'll have to use it in writing your answer.

You should not copy responses from notes or resources. We designed this year's AP Exams knowing you have access to your notes and resources, so the exam questions will ask you to apply concepts from your notes and resources in new ways. Copying what you have done in the past won't produce a satisfactory answer.

Your class notes are better than internet searches. The internet can be an excellent source of data and facts, but it's also a source of misinformation, diverging opinions, and manipulated content. In the experience of our faculty, students taking open book/open note exams who try to find the answer on the internet often earn fewer points than students who use their time to apply their own learning to develop a logical response.

Collaborating with others is not considered acceptable open notes: AP Exams give you an opportunity to show your mastery of a subjectnot someone else’s. It is strictly forbidden to give or receive aid during the exam. Any students found using the work of others, exchanging or sharing information on exam topics, collaborating via any online platform, or soliciting tips for problem-solving approaches will be investigated for violating exam security.