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Is taking AP tests worth it?

rockandrolltimerockandrolltime Posts: 129Registered User Junior Member
edited February 2009 in Williams College
I'm currently in the process of deciding whether or not I should take certain AP tests this May. I took AP Art History and the US History test last year, and scored 5's on both. This year, I can take AP Euro, AP US Gov, and AP Calc. From what I've read, the AP Euro and USH test get me out of the same courses, so it's not worth it to take the Euro test this year. Is this perception accurate?

Also, in terms of any math requirements, I'll make it clear that I HATE CALCULUS. I want to avoid this test as much as possible, but it would be silly to avoid it and end up having more difficulty in college courses. Is it possible to fulfill all distribution requirements without taking a single calc class at Williams?

Thanks!
Post edited by rockandrolltime on

Replies to: Is taking AP tests worth it?

  • Machiavelli12Machiavelli12 Posts: 393Registered User Member
    Im suppose to be taking AP Eng Lit, AP Govt, AP Stats and im not taking any of them. Its ridiculous. None of the schools I applied to grant much credit for these and usually its in the form of electives and I have already filled them up with my 3 past AP tests which I scored 5 and 2 tests with 4s.
  • JoshuaLymanJoshuaLyman Posts: 1Registered User New Member
    I know what you mean. I'm in AP Composition, Physics, Calc, and Gov, but don't want to throw away $360 for tests i don't want to take, will stress out about for no reason, and won't end up using whatever grades i get anyway, both in college and later life.

    Does Williams expect admitted students to have take all AP tests from respective classes their senior year?
    I've heard that college's expect kids to slack off a little second semester and ultimately don't care about AP tests or scores, but I've also heard that seeing seniors enrolled in AP classes on application transcripts comes with the assumption that the student will take the test.
    Does anyone know what Williams' policy is?
  • crnchycerealcrnchycereal Posts: 400Registered User Member
    As you guys probably know, Williams does not grant credit for AP test scores, but they will allow you to place into higher-level electives. As for core classes required for certain majors, the only real way to skip out of those is to score highly enough on the placements exams at the beginning of freshmen fall.

    I don't think that Williams requires students in AP classes to actually take the tests. My senior year in HS, I was in four AP courses and took three of the exams. But it's not as though Williams would revoke one's admission for not taking most or any of the exams. As for whether or not a student can fulfill the distributional requirements without taking calculus, the answer is definitely yes. You only need take 3 division three courses, and they don't have to be math. In theory, you could take introductory bio, chem, and physics and be done with division three forever. Statistics is another option. On the other hand, though, if you take anything in the math department, you'll likely end up taking calculus, as even the lowest level courses are calculus.
  • KatjaKatja Posts: 34Registered User Junior Member
    We were trying to figure this out, too. A 5 on the US History AP exam is all you need to get into the next level course, right? And it's not necessary to take the Euro AP exam?

    Any advantage to taking the AP Lit & AP Stats exams at the end of senior year?
  • onemoremomonemoremom Posts: 405Registered User Member
    Here's the policy on AP credit and college placement exams from the Williams Registrar's Office: rt -- History

    WILLIAMS COLLEGE ADVANCED PLACEMENT GUIDE -- CLASS OF 2012



    Test Score Major Course Credit Eligible to Enroll In

    Art -- History 5 ARTH 200 or 300 level

    Art -- Studio All No advanced placement

    Biology 5 Dept. assigns*

    Chemistry 3, 4, 5 Dept. assigns* Dept. assigns*

    Chinese All Dept. assigns* Dept. assigns*

    Classics (Latin) -- either 5 CLLA 101 & 102 CLLA 201, 302 or 400 level

    4 CLLA 101 & 102 CLLA 201 or 302

    3 CLLA 201

    Computer Science -- A 4,5 CSCI 136*

    Computer Science -- AB 3,4, 5 CSCI 136*

    1, 2, 3 CSCI 134*

    Economics -- EITHER or BOTH† 5 ECON 110 or 120 ECON 200 level

    English -- Lit. 5 ENGL 200 or 300 level

    English -- Lang. All No advanced placement

    French -- Lit. 4, 5 Dept. assigns*

    French -- Lang. 3, 4, 5 Dept. assigns*

    German -- either 3, 4, 5 Dept. assigns* Dept. assigns*

    History -- American 5 HIST 100 or 200 level or AMST 201

    History -- European 5 HIST 100 or 200 level

    History -- World 5 HIST 100 or 200 level

    Japanese All Dept. assigns* Dept. assigns*

    Mathematics -- Calculus AB 4, 5 MATH 104 MATH 105, 251*

    2, 3 MATH 104*

    Mathematics -- Calculus BC 3, 4, 5 MATH 104 MATH 106, 251*

    1, 2 MATH 104*

    Music All Dept. assigns*

    Physics B -- PHY 4, 5 Dept. assigns* Dept. assigns*

    Physics C (Mech) -- PHM 4, 5 Dept. assigns* Dept. assigns*

    Physics C (E & M) -- PHE 4, 5 Dept. assigns* Dept. assigns*

    Political Sci. -- U.S. 4, 5 PSCI 205 or higher

    Political Sci. -- Comparative 4, 5 PSCI 205 or higher

    Psychology 5 PSYC 200 level

    Spanish -- either 3, 4, 5 Dept. assigns*

    Statistics 4,5 See Department

    *DEFINITIONS & NOTES:

    Major Course Credit means credit for a specific course in a major is awarded. For example, if a score of 4 or 5 is earned on the Calculus --AB test, the student is eligible to reduce the requirements in the Math major by one course. If course credit is blank, there is no reduction in the number of courses required for that major.

    Those departments that assign placement do so on the basis of department placement exams, to be administered during First Days, and/or consultation with the student.

    Biology -- Placement depends on department exam results. Students must obtain an AP score of 5 to be eligible to take the department exam.

    Chemistry -- Placement and major course credit depend on department exam results and consultation with the department.

    Chinese – Placement depends on department exam results.

    Computer Science – Students should consult with the department to confirm appropriate placement.

    † Economics -- Students who receive a 5 on the Microeconomics AP or Macroeconomics AP exam, or a 5 on each, may place out of ECON 110 or 120, or both, respectively, but major credit will be given for only one course. Even though ECON 110 is a prerequisite for ECON 120, students who place out of ECON 120 but not ECON 110 must still take ECON 110 if they wish to major in economics.

    French -- Placement depends on department exam results. Students may be eligible to enroll in RLFR 200 or 300 level courses.

    German -- Placement and major course credit depend on department exam results. Students with scores of 5 may be eligible to enroll in GERM 108 or higher. Students with a score of 4 may be eligible to enroll in GERM 104 or 201. Students with a score of 3 may be eligible to enroll in GERM 103.

    History -- students receiving a score of 5 on any AP history examination will be guaranteed a place in the 100-level History seminar of their choice.

    Japanese – Placement depends on department exam results.

    Mathematics -- Calculus placement depends on a department questionnaire and AP test results. Students can also see department for additional advising, especially in cases of eligibility for courses beyond calculus. A student who receives a 3, 4 or 5 on the BC examination is ordinarily placed in MATH 106. A student who receives a 4 or 5 on the AB examination is ordinarily placed in Math 105. A student who receives a 1 or 2 on the BC examination or a 2 or 3 on the AB examination is ordinarily placed in Math 104. Students who have had calculus in high school, whether or not they took the Advanced Placement Examination, are barred from Math 103 unless they obtain permission from the instructor.

    Physics -- Placement depends on Math and Physics AP scores, department placement exam results and individual conferences. Students may be eligible to bypass PHYS 141 and enroll in PHYS 142, PHYS 151, ASTR 111 or in rare cases PHYS 201.

    Political Science -- Students with scores of 4 or 5 on the American Politics exam may substitute a PSCI 200 level course in American Politics for

    PSCI 201 as a major requirement. Students with scores of 4 or 5 on the Comparative Politics exam may substitute a PSCI 200 level course in Comparative Politics for PSCI 204 as a major requirement.

    Spanish -- Placement depends on department exam results.
  • TuppenceTuppence Posts: 134Registered User Junior Member
    1mm@6- Thanks for the link. I'll forward it to my son, a 1st year. It could help him figure out how many courses he'll need to complete for his major. And, on behalf of the readers here, thank you for taking the time to cut & paste all that information.

    The only thing I would add about placement, which doesn't necessarily have to do with scores on AP tests, is that I've heard that it's possible to take a class that might have a prereq that one doesn't officially have on a transcript. Talk to the professor.

    As far as the AP Calculus exam, something to think about: I've heard of students, not necessarily at Williams, who had no intention of taking a math course in college, regretting not taking the exam. If they had taken it & done "well enough," it would have simplified their plan of "no more math."
  • onemoremomonemoremom Posts: 405Registered User Member
    Tuppence: I just noticed that CC duplicated my post and also deleted the link and introductory comment I had provided -- I had prefaced the list (one, not two!) with the statement: "Here's a link to the Williams policy on AP exam credit and Placement exams from the Williams Registrar's Office:"

    rt -- History
  • onemoremomonemoremom Posts: 405Registered User Member
    Hmmm, now it's single and the preface is there -- my computer and the CC site must have compatibility issues ...
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