Can a 8th grader take AP exam?

My son is currently in junior high (8th grade)。 Does College allow 8th grader to take AP exam? If they do? How should we register?

Why would he want to do that? There’s truly no point.

Yes. He would need to register for the exam through a local HS.

Just the exam? Or the course, first?

Little point if this is for college apps. They focus in 9-12 work. And you don’t want to race through for scores or bragging rights, then leave few appropriate course choices later in hs.

I would think that, rather than impress, taking the exams that young would cheapen their value.

LOL. That ship sailed long ago IMO

I’m not sure what you have in mind OP, but please understand that if your goal (or your child’s goal) is HYP or bust, racking up AP scores will NOT be any kind of determining factor for your child’s chances. In fact, it will likely be viewed negatively. Colleges ideally like to see high grades in courses offered at a student’s high school.

Elite colleges are not impressed by test taking drones. They will not prefer the student with 16 AP credits to the student with none. That is not how elite admissions works. Unless a child has done something truly remarkable by age 13, colleges have very little interest in anything before high school. They are interested in who your child is by the time he applies to college. That’s the person they want on campus.

If your goal is for your child to enter college with many AP credits already, so that the student will graduate sooner and you will spend less money on tuition, do your homework first. Colleges will state on their websites how many AP credits they accept, if any. They will state which APs are eligible for credits, and what the score needs to be in order to get credit. They will state if the AP credit is only for placement in a course level. If saving money on tuition is the ultimate goal, the student might well be better off simply taking CLEP exams, which you can learn about from College Board.

I agree with others that this is not a good idea.

One issue is that it is likely to be too stressful.

Also, however well a student might be able to do on an AP test in 8th grade, they are going to do better two or three or four years later. We really do learn a lot and mature a lot between 8th grade and 12th grade.

And I also do not see this helping in terms of admissions to universities.

Thanks everyone’s response. The reasons for me to consider doing this:

(1) This is the 10th year of my son learning Chinese in our local Chinese school. He is currently taking AP Chinese class there. All other students in the class are high schooler, and they will taking AP exam in May 2021. They will register through their HS
(2) My son will choose Spanish as secondary language in his four year high school study.
(3) I can let my son taking AP Chinese exam during high school, but by then he will probably spend another 20-40 hours (maybe, big maybe) to prepare, so why not taking it now?
(4) Who knows how college AO interpret it? For me I don’t see any negative impact on it, but just save some time in high school

So, does this make sense?

Our local high school said that they don’t have space for middle schooler to take AP exam, so I am not sure what I should do and come here for idea. Thanks!

“Who knows how college AO interpret it?”

We do. Again, they aren’t looking at middle school records.

Foreign lang scores are not a deciding factor. And if Chinese is a native language in your family, this is considered a cultural experience or perfecting the skills, not a rigorous academic choice.

Makes more sense now.

You need to call around to other high schools. None are obligated to give exams to unregistered students, but some will. Start with schools that are already offering AP Chinese or Japanese. Since the Chinese exam is computer based (always has been, not just in 2020), it is not so simple as just finding a proctor.

Just be aware that it will not be useful for college admissions. The only benefit is potential college credir.

Oh, you are an AO :slight_smile:
I am Chinese, but my son was born and raised in US, and English is his native language. Not every ABC(America Born Chinese) can automatically grasp Chinese. Our family has put a lot of effort to let my kids learn Chinese language and culture over many years, because we believe it is big assert for my kids can grasp one more language in his whole life

I think nothing is a single deciding factor for college application. AP Chinese score in 8th grade will be only a very small piece in the holistic picture of application

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@lookingforward is correct. It will not be a very small piece; it will be a zero piece. 8th geade achievements are not considered by colleges. Heritage speakers scoring a 5 does not impress colleges. The sheer act if anybody getting a 5 will not impact an application. So only do it fir potential college credit.

I am not saying the 5 score in AP exam, and I know that 5 score does not show academically rigorous. What I am saying is that it might show that the applicant was a bilingual before HS. I think monolingual/bilingual/trilingual should be matters

Your son speaking Chinese is great. It will no doubt serve him well. But the AP Chinese exam will have NO effect whatsoever in his college decisions. If he wants to do it for fun or for possible credit that’s a legitimate reason for him to take it. But does HE want to do it? Also, it’s not a cheap test.

Colleges will not be impressed. It will only be good for credit at probably a limited number of public universities. And who knows what colleges will accept in five years? I honestly think this is a waste of your money and his time.

@vistor , why does the timing of learning language matter? If your goal for your son is an elite college, which I suspect it is, you are not looking at this in the right way. No, it doesn’t matter if someone is trilingual or bilingual or monolingual. Think how many kids in this country grow up speaking dual languages, with no extra paid-for classes in which to learn their other language. If your son is passionate about learning other languages, that’s a wonderful thing for him to develop and be involved with, but it’s no ticket to an elite college.

And also, it really needs to come from your son, not from you. @lookingforward is an AO at a very prestigious college. Read her posts. You and your son (when the time comes, which really doesn’t need to be in 8th grade) have plenty of time to understand what it is that elite schools look for. It’s not a 5 on an AP language test when the child already speaks that language fluently.

Not an AO, but part of the process for many years.

Nope, it’s not about being bi/tri lingual. In fact, it’s not about many things where family makes decisions how to push or where to enroll their child.

Thanks for your reply。 You sounds a very experienced parent, and knows clearly about college app. I do want to my son to get into an elite college, but I do not calculate everything to how much the direct impact in college app, and I don’t think anyone can. I only know that at this moment, just for this concrete thing(taking Chinese AP exam), both me and my son want to get it done. For my son side, he wants to get this done, since he will finish this class by May, and all other students in the class will take the exam. On my side, I want to use this as a motivation to let him learn Chinese better. I know taking an AP exam at 8th grade will not directly help his college app 4. 5 years later, or maybe 0 help like you/@lookingforward/@skieurope and many other said, but this will help him learning a language and culture, and this ability/knowledge/discipline/hardworking should be able to transfer to other subjects learning in more or less degree. Plus, learning Chinese is almost the only thing I can help him academically. This is my vision.

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@Lindagaf
Thanks for your reply. You sounds a very experienced parent and knows college app clearly

I do want my son to get into a prestigious college, but I don’t calculate everything we do on how much it will directly impact college app, and also I don’t believe anyone can.
I only know that at this moment, for this concrete thing (taking Chinese AP exam) is something both my son and me want to do. From his side, he is taking the AP course now and every student will take the exam in May, so he also wants to get it done. From my side, I want to use this opportunity to motivate him to learn Chinese better. Chinese is almost the only thing that I can help him academically. Like you/@Lookingforward/@SkiEurope and many other said this will be 0 or might negative impact for his college app, but I feel that the ability/knowledge/hardworking/discipline might transfer to other subjects’ learning in more or less degree. This is my vision.

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I was proficient in 5 languages before HS. Trust me, no AO cared or asked for proof. And I only took an AP exam for one of those, which in hindsight was a waste of money. There are valid reasons to know multiple languages. Impressing colleges is not one of them.

Proficient in 5 languages before HS - WOW!! So impressive!
Have you already graduated from college?