right arrow
Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04

Taking a foreign language AP exam in 12th grade

carlsencarlsen 16 replies20 threads Junior Member
My son will likely major in computer science or electrical and computer engineering. He has 5s on 5 AP exams and will take the AP exams in Statistics and Economics (micro and macro) this year. He is taking AP French in school, and I wonder whether he should take the exam. He earned a 660 on the French subject test last year -- ok but not great. The reasons to take the AP French exam and to try to do well are

(1) exemption from taking a foreign language in college. How common is it for schools to exempt students with a 4 or 5 on a foreign language from the requirement. What is a typical SAT subject test cutoff for exemption?

(2) having one less humanities credit to take for distribution requirements. Do many colleges count AP foreign language credit towards humanities distribution requirements?

I know the definitive answers to these questions depend on the school, but I wonder what people have found about the usefulness of AP foreign language credit for the schools they or their children attend. I am thinking of have him focus on the AP Statistics and Economics exams, because he is more likely to want to take higher-level classes in those subjects in college.

9 replies
· Reply · Share

Replies to: Taking a foreign language AP exam in 12th grade

  • skieuropeskieurope 39583 replies7182 threads Super Moderator
    edited October 11
    How common is it for schools to exempt students with a 4 or 5 on a foreign language from the requirement.
    Very
    What is a typical SAT subject test cutoff for exemption?
    That's a big old "it depends." UC is 590; Columbia is 780.
    Do many colleges count AP foreign language credit towards humanities distribution requirements?
    Another "it depends." Usually it counts as fulfillment of the language requirement but not double-counted as a gen ed credit for humanities; often the credit is assigned as elective credit, but it varies.
    I am thinking of have him focus on the AP Statistics and Economics exams, because he is more likely to want to take higher-level classes in those subjects in college.
    Even if the college accepts AP Stats credit, it is very unlikely that he can apply it to his major. Stats for STEM majors is calc-based, which AP Stats is not. Given the choice between focusing on the AP Stats exam and the AP French exam, I'd focus on the latter, although TBH the amount of prep needed for a strong STEM student for the AP Stats exam should be minimal.
    edited October 11
    · Reply · Share
  • racereerracereer 222 replies1 threads Junior Member
    Not sure on the AP Language, but many of the college don't given any credit for AP Statistics for the required statistics for a CS or Engineering track. I think you would actually get more mileage out of a good AP Language score than an AP Statistics score.
    · Reply · Share
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 78581 replies695 threads Senior Member
    carlsen wrote: »
    (1) exemption from taking a foreign language in college. How common is it for schools to exempt students with a 4 or 5 on a foreign language from the requirement. What is a typical SAT subject test cutoff for exemption?

    (2) having one less humanities credit to take for distribution requirements. Do many colleges count AP foreign language credit towards humanities distribution requirements?

    Each depends on the college (and sometimes the division, since engineering divisions are less likely than arts & sciences divisions to require foreign language to graduate). Surely, he has a preliminary list of colleges of interest by now that you can do some checking on.

    Note that for (1), many colleges have their own foreign language placement tests as well; doing well enough on those may reduce or eliminate the foreign language course work required for a graduation requirement.

    Seems like if in doubt and the testing fee is not an issue, he may as well take the AP French exam, because it may be helpful.

    As others have said, AP statistics will not be useful for subject credit or advanced placement for majors that require calculus-based statistics (including any engineering major that requires statistics, statistics, and economics at many colleges where calculus is required).
    skieurope wrote: »
    How common is it for schools to exempt students with a 4 or 5 on a foreign language from the requirement.
    Very
    What is a typical SAT subject test cutoff for exemption?
    That's a big old "it depends." UC is 590; Columbia is 780.

    UC campuses and divisions have varying foreign language graduation requirements that are often higher than the admission requirement. SAT subject test scores appear to be uncommon in terms of acceptance to fulfill the requirement on their own.

    · Reply · Share
  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 7602 replies61 threads Senior Member
    I would sign up to take the test if it isn't a burden financially. As noted by other posters, the answer is that it depends on the school how they will process AP scores, and you won't know where your child is going until after the registration deadline for the AP tests.

    My D got credit for AP stats but it didn't replace her required stats class for engineering (linear algebra and calculus based so not the same class as AP stats ; )).

    Depending on the school, coming in with credits, even if they can't be used for graduation or to place out of courses, can give your student priority scheduling.
    · Reply · Share
  • TheBigChefTheBigChef 580 replies5 threads Member
    OP, you listed two reasons why your son should take the exam. Can you think of any reasons why he shouldn't take the AP French exam? I can't. If he does well, it may be of some benefit in college. If he doesn't do well, there is no downside other than losing a few hours of time taking the exam. He's a senior, so a bad AP score will have no impact on college admissions.
    · Reply · Share
  • calmomcalmom 20615 replies167 threads Senior Member
    Take the exam.

    My son started at a college that didn't give him AP credit -- but he ran into some academic problems, quit school for awhile, and later transferred to an in-state public. When he transferred -- the AP credit came in very handy -- it helped eliminate some general Ed requirements and gave him enough credits that saved him at least a semester.

    This is not something you plan for or hope for when your kid is still in high school -- but a lot of kids do change majors or transfer down the line -- so it makes sense to consider more than the requirements for a specific college or major.
    · Reply · Share
  • bopperbopper 14122 replies100 threadsForum Champion CWRU Forum Champion
    There is no downside (wrt to college admissions/credit) in taking the AP exam and not doing well. AP results are not used for admissions. If he doesn't do well, then he just may have to take a FL again.
    · Reply · Share
  • mom2andmom2and 2913 replies19 threads Senior Member
    If he has a list by now, you can check the list. If NONE of the schools on the list will give him credit, probably not worth signing up. However, if any of them do give credit, makes sense to at least sign up for the test and pay the money. He can always decide not to take it or to just wing it in the spring if he signs up for it. Only my kid that majored in international relations had a foreign language requirement that could not be met by taking language courses in HS.
    · Reply · Share
  • mathmommathmom 32459 replies159 threads Senior Member
    I can't remember if my CS major had a foreign language requirement, but he was happy to take the Gen Ed credit for AP Latin.
    · Reply · Share
Sign In or Register to comment.

Recent Activity