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Does your kid's high school require AP exams?

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Replies to: Does your kid's high school require AP exams?

  • hopewhite25hopewhite25 Registered User Posts: 185 Junior Member
    Yes. You are required to take the AP Exam, unless you want to lose the AP GPA boost. Also, our school pays for the exams, so it does not cost us anything.
  • one+twoone+two Registered User Posts: 30 Junior Member
    Yes. Although the score is not counted toward the grade, they're considered the final exam for the class so if you don't take the test you missed taking final exam and that counts against your grade. However, the school district does pay for all AP tests. I didn't realize many schools didn't until I read that on CC.
  • tutumom2001tutumom2001 Registered User Posts: 1,037 Senior Member
    edited February 11
    At D20's public school, you are required to take the AP exam if you want the weighted credit. If you take the AP exam, you are excused from the final exam. Your AP test score in no way reflects your final grade in the class, even if you get a 1 or 2 on the exam. You are allowed to skip the AP exam, take the class final, and not receive the weighted credit. The clincher here is that the final is usually very similar to the AP test so you might as well take it. I don't know if the school, the district or the state pays for the costs of the tests, but families don't.

    Edited: The teachers grade much harder than the AP exam. There really is very little incentive NOT to take the exam.
  • oldfortoldfort Registered User Posts: 22,601 Senior Member
    I just read Princeton's admission policy, http://www.princeton.edu/pub/ap//, it doesn't say anything about having to take the AP exam. It just says one wouldn't get advance standing if AP exam is not taken.
  • roycroftmomroycroftmom Registered User Posts: 1,868 Senior Member
    It came up in another thread, oldfort, when an applicant called the admissions office to inform them he wasn't going to take the test, though the course was in his application. That was their response.
  • oldfortoldfort Registered User Posts: 22,601 Senior Member
    My kids' school did not weigh AP courses. Some of their courses were probably at a more advanced level than AP and that's why D1 was able to take some AP exams without actually taking the courses.
  • thermomthermom Registered User Posts: 436 Member
    edited February 11
    In our district the kids are also officially required to take the AP exam if they sign up for an AP course. They do lay out the costs upfront at least. I believe any child who is eligible for free/reduced lunch automatically receives financial assistance but otherwise, yep, it's like $90 a pop. We don't have much alternative to APs either in terms of an advanced track, so it's a cost we're pretty much stuck with. Pretty nice racket the College Board has there!

    I think saying that colleges view not taking the exam as "dishonesty" is a pretty big overstatement. I do think some schools might use AP exam results as a check against grade inflation at a school though. If kids from a school are consistently getting A grades in courses while getting 1's and 2's (or not taking) the corresponding AP exam, a college might conclude that there is significant grade inflation at that high school. Or at least so I have heard - who knows whether it's true or not. And that would only be true for AP's taken prior to senior year that colleges would see at application time.

    ETA: As it happened, my D was able to get some placement at her current college for a couple of the 9 AP exams she had taken by the time she left HS. The real value would have come if she had gone to state school - she would have gotten credit for all of them and entered as a sophomore. So the value really depends on the college you wind up at. I suppose it doesn't hurt to leave the options open!
  • momocarlymomocarly Registered User Posts: 682 Member
    No. Our son didn't take one because he knew that his degree required him to take that class in college so he concentrated on others. School didn't mind.
  • happy1happy1 Forum Champion Parents, Forum Champion Admissions Posts: 23,398 Forum Champion
    edited February 11
    As of 10 or so years ago our public HS stopped offering AP classes. The school developed it's.own Advanced Topic classes (which are typically more.in depth on certain topics and may not cover the entire.AP curriculum.) Students may take AP exams but are.not required to do so.
    Post edited by happy1 on
  • Mwfan1921Mwfan1921 Registered User Posts: 916 Member
    edited February 11
    Our public high school does not require students to take the AP test, but some teachers may require students then take a final, there is no consistent policy. AP classes are weighted the same as the highest honors classes (there are multiple honors levels).

    D19 is still deciding what tests to take, as she is going to an LAC next year that does not generally give credit for tests, although certain tests can be used for placement (but not many).
  • sahmkcsahmkc Registered User Posts: 562 Member
    I see no reason to take AP exams that will not result in credit at your college. My DS already had more credit than would be allowed to transfer to his college by his senior year. He also could not use any AP that would be considered as part of his major. So why would I shell out money for these exams. Also, some people do not test well, so the exams will not result in college credit. Obviously, our school does not require AP testing. My DS was told by his AP physics teacher not to take the exam because he was only taking AP Physics 1 as AP Physics 2 would not fit in his schedule. The teacher said those who didn’t take both usually did not “pass”. So why take AP’s if you are not planning on taking the test – the material is more rigorous than the regular classes and the students tend to be motivated and serious. My son had AP Micro & Macro Econ, he could not use AP credit for the college equivalent classes because they are part of his major. However, he got an A in his college Econ class – half of the class got a C or lower. The college my DD is going to will not accept biology AP’s because they do not believe it is equivalent to their intro biology class. There may have been others that they would not accept, but that was the example given. The professor who was going over the college’s curriculum requirements really did not like AP or Dual Credit. It was very upsetting to many parents, but I am in agreement that AP and Dual credit is not equivalent to many college courses taught by Ph.D.’s.
  • skieuropeskieurope Super Moderator Posts: 40,237 Super Moderator
    Princeton, for one
    Nope. Princeton does not require admitted students to take AP exams for their corresponding courses.
    It came up in another thread, oldfort, when an applicant called the admissions office to inform them he wasn't going to take the test, though the course was in his application. That was their response.
    And I was on that thread, and was incredulous then. I filed that under "The student asked the wrong question or the student heard something other than what was said or the person (likely not a FT admissions employee) gave incorrect info." Colleges may certainly "prefer" certain things, but that does not mean that they will always get it. I also filed it under "just because it's on the internet does not make it true." I would posit that precisely zero applicants have had acceptances rescinded for not taking an AP exam. YMMV.
  • ProfessorPlum168ProfessorPlum168 Registered User Posts: 2,236 Senior Member
    To me it makes no sense not to take the test other than for financial reasons. If you’re fearful of getting a low test score, don’t take the AP class.

    As a additional bonus/twist, at my kid’s HS, the teachers in AP Bio/Chem/Physics C would give you a retroactive letter grade boost if you got a 5. So if you got any type of B in AP Chem for example, the grade would be changed to A-.
  • evergreen5evergreen5 Registered User Posts: 1,249 Senior Member
    edited February 11
    AP exams at my kids' high school are not required.

    My view is this: taking an AP course and taking an AP exam are separate endeavors. Nothing on the College Board site indicates that an officially approved AP course must require students to take the AP exam. Accordingly, requiring students to take the AP exam is purely a high school decision. The course is for high school credit while the AP exam is for college credit.

    As a practical matter, the AP exam scores cannot be part of the course grade for seniors. Final transcripts are due at many colleges prior to the score release date.
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