Yuma, Arizona (NAPSI) - There’s good news for high school students who take Advanced Placement (AP) courses. A new study system from McGraw-Hill Professional, 5 Steps to a 5 on the Advanced Placement Examinations, has been created to help students prepare more effectively for these rigorous tests.

AP courses are intended to help students stand out during the college admissions process, earn college credits before entering school-helping reduce the cost of tuition-and, in some cases, skip introductory-level classes.

On the AP exam, 5 is the top score. Students should check with their college of choice, but most colleges require a score of at least 3 to count toward college-level credit, and some colleges require a 4 or 5. In 2013, over 2.2 million students took an AP exam. However, according to “AP Report to the Nation,” from the College Board, only 20.1 percent of U.S. public high school graduates scored a 3 or higher on an AP exam during high school. Better exam preparation and study habits are needed to ensure that students pass the test.

New Study System

The new study system-outlined in the test prep guides in 5 Steps to a 5 on the Advanced Placement Examinations—is designed to coincide with the most current AP exams. Each subject-specific course guide is structured around a five-step plan and contains several features that separate the system from other guides.

The first step is to develop a study plan, the second step is concerned with building knowledge, the third and fourth steps focus on honing test-taking skills and strategies, and the fifth is designed to foster the confidence that students need to ace the tests. The unique system also takes into account the fact that not everyone learns the same way. There is one approach that follows the school year, another that follows the calendar year, and one that accommodates the “last-minute” student who is just looking for the high- lights of the course.

Sample Tests and Links

Other student-friendly features include:

• Sample tests that closely simulate real exams

• Review material based on the contents of the most recent tests

• Icons highlighting important facts, vocabulary, and frequently asked questions

• Advice from AP teachers, college professors, and students who have achieved high marks on previous exams

• Access to websites and links to valuable online test resources, along with author e-mail addresses for students with follow-up questions.

For more information about the books and products, check out