by John Moscatiello

Dear AP® Students,

AP® Exams are here!  A lot of you are nervous about what it will be like to take a 45-minute exam on a computer or a phone. You’re worried about Wi-Fi and cheating and how you perform on test day. So many things can go wrong, and it’s ok to be nervous right now.

Remember that while the exam format has changed, the content you have been studying all year has not. Contextualization on a DBQ is still contextualization. Limits and derivatives aren’t different now from what they were a few months ago. You can still show off your skills and knowledge on test day.

I’ve been helping people prepare for tests for almost 20 years. The number one piece of advice that I can give you right now is to TRUST YOURSELF. So many of my students let negative thoughts and self-doubt and perfectionism get in their way during a test. The test starts, and they throw away their plans. Remember that you don’t need to be perfect to get a perfect score on AP® Exams. Write good answers, not perfect ones.

Some of you are worried about cheating on this year’s exams. Remember that you can consult any books or notes that you want. You are allowed to search the internet. What you can’t do is collaborate with other people. So make sure that you don’t end up on a social media site or copy other people’s writing, and you’ll be fine.

Besides, getting away with cheating is going to be harder than most people realize—your teachers are going to see your free responses and they will be run through plagiarism detection software. The consequences for cheating are too serious to make it worth your time.

Don’t worry about other people, and don’t worry about the internet. You can take a makeup exam if you have technical problems on test day. See this form. Just clear your mind and do the best work you can do.

Remember that all of us at Marco Learning are here for you if you need us.



John Moscatiello is the founder of Marco Learning. He has been a teacher, tutor, and author for AP® exams the past 17 years. Over the course of his career, John has taught more than 4,000 students, trained hundreds of teachers, written content for 13 test preparation books, and worked as an educational consultant in more than 20 countries around the world.

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