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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?

  • brentwoodmombrentwoodmom Registered User Posts: 155 Junior Member
    Our school requires kids to take the AP exam, and if they don’t, they lose the AP credit. Between S19 and D20, we paid $1000 in AP test fees just for this 18-19 school year.
  • 19parent19parent Registered User Posts: 166 Junior Member
    My D19 said it is common for students at her school to sign up and pay for the tests and then when they find out where they are going to college (which of course is after the AP deadline) they just skip or not study for the tests that don't count. My daughter is taking 7 AP classes with Physics being 1 &2 and Poly Sci and Econ each being a semester each. I told her she had to take all the tests but could choose to only study for the ones that will benefit her.
  • LuanneLuanne Registered User Posts: 23 Junior Member
    Our high school does not require the test. S22 is in 1 AP now and if he opts not to take the AP test, he must take the final exam in the class. If he takes the AP test, the final is optional.
  • gardenstategalgardenstategal Registered User Posts: 4,845 Senior Member
    It varied by course. But when it was required, the thought process was that it was difficult to teach to a class if half the kids weren't invested in mastering the material and half were. And there were typically other alternatives that were not AP classes so a student didn't have to take an AP class to see the material.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 73,730 Senior Member
    edited February 11
    skieurope wrote:
    If you're a senior, and the college you will be attending does not give credit/placement for the exam or if you've maxed out your AP credits, then I see no reason to take the exam.

    Though the extra AP scores could become useful if the student transfers to a different college.

    Another reason some may have for not taking an AP test: pre-med students who intend to repeat the introductory course in college may prefer not to have AP credit that may require them to mark the college course as a "repeat" on the medical school application (looks like grade grubbing to some medical schools). This may be particularly relevant to AP physics 1 and 2, where there often is not the option to substitute a more advanced physics course.
  • RanipetgirlRanipetgirl Registered User Posts: 91 Junior Member
    UC Berkeley wants to know if you have not taken any AP exams that you had listed on the application. (under conditions of admissions)
  • tif1972tif1972 Registered User Posts: 70 Junior Member
    Yes, my child's high school requires you to take the test if you take an AP course.
  • ProfessorPlum168ProfessorPlum168 Registered User Posts: 2,236 Senior Member
    edited February 11
    If you're a senior, and the college you will be attending does not give credit/placement for the exam or if you've maxed out your AP credits, then I see no reason to take the exam.

    I would guess that only a small percentage of schools would not give credit, so that's more of an one-off. And as someone else pointed out, if one transfers to a different school, those AP credits could be used. Once again, $100 and a couple of hours off of your school day is a small price to pay to take tests that could save you thousands.

    As for Berkeley, they eventually do take off the reminder nags about turning in your test scores if you didn't take the test, but it takes a couple of months.
  • Groundwork2022Groundwork2022 Registered User Posts: 1,183 Senior Member
    Our (public) high school does not require students in AP classes to take the AP exams - it is encouraged, but otherwise completely optional. All students take the final exam regardless of whether or not you took the AP test. Grades are in no way related to AP test scores, nor are they retroactively altered based on AP test results. Our GPA boost is the same for both honors and AP classes, so taking a pass on the AP exam has no effect on that either.

    If you want to take an AP exam but either you can't afford it or don't want to pay for it, our school offers an arrangement where the student works a certain number of hours for the school and in turn the school will pay for the test. No free rides on the APs, but they do pay for one SAT sitting for everyone.


    "It’s clear that the reason they make the kids take the exams is produce good stats for the district. It has nothing to do with any benefit to the individual students."

    At $90-$142 a test, making kids take an expensive test that they don't want to take, aren't going to study for, and don't have to report to colleges is an expensive way for the school to make itself look or feel good. It appears the carrots ("no finals", auto A for a 4 or 5) or the stick ("no GPA booster") are in place to make sure they get bang for their bucks. Our school profile doesn't even note the percentage of kids who took exams. It does give the percentage of students who earned a 3 or higher (a vast majority). Make exams mandatory and, without the carrots or sticks, that percentage would sink.
  • MWolfMWolf Registered User Posts: 416 Member
    In my kid's very good public school there is no requirement to take the AP test. The idea is ridiculous and discriminatory - a public school cannot charge extra money for more rigorous courses, which would be the case if they required students to pay for an AP test as requirement for taking an AP course.

    The school provides the same weighting for an AP course whether a student takes the test or not, which is the same weighting as an honors course. You take the AP test if you want to use it to replace a college course, otherwise it's a waste of $92.
  • MassmommMassmomm Registered User Posts: 3,732 Senior Member
    @bjkmom Some kids take APs because they are the most challenging and interesting courses, not necessarily to pad their transcript . It really depends on how well they are taught. Others, such as APUSh , are excellent preparation for critical reading on the SAT.
  • teambyerlineteambyerline Registered User Posts: 6 New Member
    @roycroftmom that is absolutely ridiculous that a school would hold not taking an exam against a kid & this is the first I’ve ever heard of that (my 3rd is now a ha senior). Taking an ap class is supposed to be rigorous and at our school there is no comparison between honors & so they are so different. Why would any school not allow a student to challenge themselves with a tougher course without penalizing them.

    To answer the op our public school does not require the student to take an ap test & does not penalize the student for not taking it. Most ap classes don’t have a final but those that do give the students the opportunity to take the ap test or final.
    Further, our school allows those in the honors to take the ap test. For instance my daughter is in Spanish honors & will take the ap test. My son took ap Spanish & although he was a fluent speaker & top of the class he felt the class didn’t correlate to the exam. Those he tutored in honors were more prepared for it. So she opted for this course of action.
    Lastly the test cost $90 ea but if you receive free lunch the cost is $5 ea the schools scholarship fund pays the balance. Some kids not on free lunch with special circumstances can also receive the reduced rate.
  • ProfessorPlum168ProfessorPlum168 Registered User Posts: 2,236 Senior Member
    At $90-$142 a test, making kids take an expensive test that they don't want to take, aren't going to study for, and don't have to report to colleges is an expensive way for the school to make itself look or feel good.

    how do you figure a $90 test to be expensive when a class at a private school can easily cost thousands of dollars?
  • hs2020dadhs2020dad Registered User Posts: 17 Junior Member
    edited February 11
    DS20's public high school does not require taking AP tests after the AP class - they get GPA boost based on in-class test scores. No extra credit for AP test score. This is actually worse - his school teachers are more strict in giving high grades. There is another high school in the same district where teachers boost the grade based on AP test perf (score a 5 your gpa is boosted to A+). Kids in our school feel that its high unfair - since in the same school district kids going to other school get much better GPA's. Well it is what it is...but imho...high school and its associated courses/grading/future-college-admission process in US is unnecessarily too complex.
  • roycroftmomroycroftmom Registered User Posts: 1,868 Senior Member
    For all those objecting, what makes you think the AP course your child took bears any relationship at all to the one the College Board sets forth? You relied on the teacher claiming it did? Or the school? Why? I have personal experience with courses that claimed to be AP, and weren't taught remotely resembling the AP curriculum, which became obvious when half the class failed the test. At another nearby urban school, almost everyone is pushed into the AP classes to make the high school look good, but even the teachers will say not a single student could pass the AP exam. It seems many parents look at AP classes as a quality indicator of the high school, and personally expect to get some type of gpa/admission boost for them, but are unwilling to participate in the quality control test necessary to ensure it really is an AP level course.
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