If You’re Taking an AP Class, Take the AP Exam: Here’s Why
As we get closer to May, I’ve been hearing more and more students say they aren’t planning to take the AP exams for certain AP classes they’re taking. If you don’t know what an AP class is, it is a course that gives students the opportunity to earn college credit while in high school. AP stands for Advanced Placement, though no one actually has to place you there, and any student can take these classes as long as they’ve completed the necessary prerequisites. Every year in May, exams are administered for all AP classes, and scoring a three, four, or five on these exams may give students college credit, depending on their college. The issue is though, many students in these AP classes are deciding not to take the exams! If you’re one of those students, here’s why you should reconsider, and go register for every AP exam you can:
First of all, taking an AP exam does not cost AHS students a dime. It is completely free to register for and to take the exam. Keeping that in mind, if you score a three, four, or five on the exam you can earn college credit, which means you won’t have to pay for as many course hours once you’re in college, so you’ll be saving money. Additionally, if you think about it the same way I do, not having to pay a dime to take the exam in conjunction with earning college credit essentially means you are earning a profit by taking and passing these exams. Let me say that again, you are earning a literal PROFIT for passing an exam. It does not get any better than that!
Now, some students I’ve heard from will say things like “Oh, well I’m not good enough at the subject to pass the exam” or “I don’t have time to study for that exam since I’m in other APs, so I’m not going to take it.” The thing is though, even if you literally know nothing, which you don’t because you’re in the AP class, at least some part of the AP exam is multiple choice, meaning you have a decent shot at getting questions right just by guessing. Even if you went into the exam and randomly bubbled letters on the entire Scantron, there is still a chance you could pass the exam from pure probability. What about the FRQs, you ask? Well, you never know what the FRQs are going to be, so there is always the possibility that they will ask about the few topics that you happen to know extremely well. In short, even if you don’t have time to study for an AP exam or don’t feel like you know the content well enough, because of the sheer fact that these are standardized tests, there is still a very high chance of you passing.
It’s also important to note that AP exams are scored on a national curve, so even if you don’t think you’re too good at a subject, compared to the rest of the country you could be extremely good! Speaking from experience, my freshman year I took the AP World History exam. It was my first ever AP exam, and I remember walking out of the test feeling like a total idiot and like I legitimately knew nothing. I would have promised you I got a one, but to my surprise when the scores came around in July, I got a four! This is because AP exams are scored on a national scale, and they don’t make these tests with the expectation that you’ll get a perfect score.
Bottom line is, if you’re taking an AP class, the whole point of the class is to earn college credit while in high school. The only way to earn that college credit is by passing the AP exam, and you don’t have a shot at passing if you don’t take the test. Plus, your teachers spend the entire semester preparing you for the exam so you can earn college credit, so not even taking the exam is sort of like a slap in the face to them. If you’re an AP student, go register for each and every AP exam you can, take those tests in May, pass them, earn a profit in doing so, and if nothing else, enjoy the quality memes people post about the funny questions from the tests.
AHS AP Exam Registration is open from Dec. 20 to Feb. 25.
Link to 2019 AP Exam Registration:
Link to 2019 AP Exam Schedule: