How did you all feel about all the AP/IB tests you had to pay for?

<p>My dd was a full diploma IB candidate with AP classes, so the costs added up over time. Fortunately, for us it worked out and she got credit for all but one class. Even the one AP class she didn't get credit for was not a waste because she scored high enough on the placement test at her college that she could just take the next course. </p>

<p>What bothers me is that she was not the norm. I found out over the summer many of my dd's friends didn't get high enough scores to get college credit for their tests. Many more did not than did and at $87 a test it seems like a bit of a rip off. These parents don't really have the money for the tests to begin with and then not get any credit really hurts. My nieghbor's kid got As in his classes but didn't earn a score that would get him college credit for all 4 of his AP tests. He is attending the community college and still didn't get any credit. I talk to several teachers that teach AP and they said well it is no big deal about the pass rate. I was yes it is a big deal when only 2 or 3 kids score high enough imo. I know other schools and subjects could be doing better. </p>

<p>What worries me more is there is even a bigger push now for the kids to take AP classes and take the tests. The county is doing away with honor classes and making them all AP. </p>

<p>I know many of the parents on this board have very bright kids but I just don't know what to think with so many of the kids not doing well. I am in MD and we are suppose to be #1 on the country but how really? </p>

<p>The IB students didn't do well either. Only 1 in 3 got their diploma. I find this really sad. </p>

<p>I think the original idea was a good one behind allowing kids to take more challenging courses in high school. I still do believe it is nice to get reduce cost college credit when it works out but I can not help feeling a bit of frustration when it does not. Parents have got to feel a bit of pain of losing the money that they could use for college.</p>

<p>I think going into IB/AP, you have to realize that you may or may not get credits. </p>

<p>For some students, it's due to low score (but on AP I think you have the option to not take the test). </p>

<p>For other students it is because they attend top schools that accept few or no IB/AP credits. But it was the rigorous courseload that helped the student get admitted.</p>

<p>Both my kids have an IB Diploma, and for most of their classes took both the AP and IB tests, since college credit isn't given for lower IB classes. One had high enough tests to enter as a sophomore but he did four years and got a masters in one, so IB enabled him to save a year. His brother's school didn't allow IB/AP credit to be applied to college, so his tests weren't useful in that sense. Both were top schools.</p>

<p>The kids who are failing probably do so because they don't start in an IB program until 11 grade, when it officially starts. There are programs that begin preparing kids for the IB diploma in Middle School, and these kids don't have trouble attaining the full diploma. Even if they start IB in 9th grade they usually are OK, but two years makes it hard.</p>

<p>To help the kids who couldn't afford the tests, I donated enough money to pay for several kids' tests after mine graduated HS.</p>

<p>Kids who scored three or below on an AP test should look into taking the CLEP test while the material is fresh. Many schools accept CLEP credit, just check on collegeboard.org. </p>

<p>The cost of an AP or CLEP test is still cheaper than the cost of the actual course at a college (possibly sometimes even a CC). The student should make sure he/she is ready by taking practice tests, etc.</p>

<p>I think the school administrators, who knowingly allow these mediocre instructors to teach your child, fully aware they have a dismal pass rate, should be strung up by their you-know-whats. </p>

<p>A parent can and should ask the principals what is a particular teacher's pass/fail rate so an informed decision can be made. That's what I did for EHAP. When I found out that this teacher had a 50% pass rate (course overload), I opted for an inexpensive tutor - a star student two years ahead who knew where to guide my kid. I'm sure, if I couldn't have afforded a tutor, that some sort of bartering arrangement could have been made.</p>

<p>My D started IB in 6th grade, so she went all the way through MYP and the Diploma Program. In the end, she didn't do full diploma because the EE was just too much for her (around 40% of the students in her class did full diploma, the rest did certificate). But she took all the same classes, did CAS and ToK, and took 6 tests, scoring 5 or better on all of them.</p>

<p>Her college gives limited credit for tests; I believe she got 9 general credits. They don't allow a test to replace a specific college course. </p>

<p>For us, the real value of IB wasn't the hope that she'd be able to skip over parts of her college curriculum. The value was in how well it prepared her for college work. She had her problems in freshman year, but academics was not one of them. (She takes mostly small discussion classes, and in the first week she told me, "I can tell exactly who took ToK.") And of course, we parents know that if IB teaches nothing else, it teaches time management, a skill that is standing her in good stead now. So the whole experience was well worth it to us, the time, the work, the occasional anguish (oy! those IB meltdowns!), and yes, the cost of the tests.</p>

<p>In our school district we don't pay anything for the AP exams because in order to get the additional grade weighting the student has to take the test.</p>

<p>D passed every AP exam she too (mostly with 5's) and as a result she will graduate a semester early. Even if I had had to pay ( and I would have) it would have been the best bargain of my life.</p>

<p>At D's HS (local public) the pass rates for some of the AP exams is terrible. (they don't give out the information, I had an inside source). Yet a lot of students get A's in these classes. I agree with a prior poster that there is something wrong here.</p>

<p>Let's not just blame the teachers. Some of D's friends didn't bother to prep or study for AP tests. They obviously didn't care about the $87 that their parents paid.</p>

<p>Rip off. At D's school, the AP tests were mandatory if you were enrolled in the AP class. D got a bunch of 1s and 2s. </p>

<p>HOWEVER:</p>

<p>when she took the college version of the AP classes, she did really well. So the classes were very good for D, but the tests were just another expense. I should add that she does not test very well either.</p>

<p>It was frustrating. If my D had stayed in-state, at the college she would have attended her tests would have given her credit for 3 classes. But she decided to go out of state where she got zero credit. </p>

<p>Once she made her school choice she didn't even take the final two AP tests because she didn't feel like she would do well on one and the other was in her major and the school strongly suggests they don't use credits for major classes - we saved the money.</p>

<p>However - she had a friend who is starting college as a 2nd semester sophomore due to her credits, so..... completely worth the cost of the tests for her.</p>

<p>But, I agree with mom4 - I think it helps prepare them for college regardless of how well they do on the tests - S got horrible grades in AP Chem (class/test), but did pretty well in chem in college.</p>

<p>At our (public) school exam are mandatory and parents pay (though there is a fund for people who can't afford to pay). My kids got mostly 5's and a few 4's. For the courses my kids have taken the teachers say that nearly everyone gets a passing score, but I haven't asked for the exact numbers.</p>

<p>Oh and as to how I felt - I felt fine.</p>

<p>It depends on how you view AP tests. Personally I always viewed them as a) more "proof of smarts" in a college app and b) way to test out (or place higher in) distribution requirements, not c) as a way to get actual credit and save money / shorten the time in college.</p>

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"proof of smarts" in a college app

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<p>I didn't realize the apps had a place for AP results. Regardless, DS1 is pre-med and in engineering, so he needed to take the college classes for most even though he had 4's/5's. He did use the humanities credits, but I am a little resentful of all that money.</p>

<p>First off if you say that you can't afford the test then your school will pay for it. Second if you are concerned about the cost then dot take the test. If it is mandatory then Have the school pay. Third, if money is tight then have your kid get a job. I'm from the upper middle class and the cost isn't an issue but my parents told me that they will only pay for one test each year. So I've been working so I can afford to take more.</p>

<p>D2 moved from a school without IB to a different school with IB offering. She started the IB program junior year, and is finding the whole program to be easier than her other school. I didn't realize IB program started as early as middle school.</p>

<p>My kids took AP and IB courses in order to take the most rigorous course load, not to get college credits. I think it is a mistake for many math/engineering students to get placed out of prerequisite courses, because those AP math/bio/physics courses are not taught at college level, and often students struggle with higher level courses later on.</p>

<p>Kerrbo AP chemistry was the only AP or IB class she didn't get credit for because she scored only a 3. We knew she probably would not get a 5 because the chemistry teachers have very poor past records. DD was also taking HL Biology at the same time so it was hard for her to self teach for the chemistry AP test. I find it funny how she could test out of chemistry I though. </p>

<p>My dd got her IB diploma and 24 credits at her small LAC so I am ok with all the costs. Although it is terrible that most colleges don't accept the SL courses for credit. She would have gotten 39 credits had seen gone to our Flagship University or the other State Universities. She wants to get an advance degree and getting through college faster is a little important to her and me. </p>

<p>It still pains me for her other friends who did not get the diploma and most of them really could use help with college costs. My dd's school had IB start in 9th grade and they still only had a pass rate of 30%. Of those still in the program at 12th grade only 30% got their diplomas. I guess some of these students could have been only candidates because they didn't complete a portion of the IB requirements but this is not the intent of the program at her school. Kids that do IB have to take the full diploma and not just some classes. I have seen these kids go through the program and I know most really needed to do well to knock out college credit. Most fall into that middle class dilemma were they make too much money for aid but not enough to be able to pay for college. </p>

<p>I would just like to see the schools be more forthcoming about the real pass rates. That way parents can make good decisions about paying for tests. I don't think our school system will do this because they tout how well they are doing by the number of kids that pass one AP test with a score of 3. This is the way they have decided to prove they are doing a good job of teaching the kids.</p>

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I'm from the upper middle class and the cost isn't an issue but my parents told me that they will only pay for one test each year.

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<p>I understand forking out for the exams can be painful, but this strategy may turn out to be penny wise, pound foolish for your parents. Depending on where you end up attending college, high scores on AP exams could translate into credits and mean significant cost savings.</p>

<p>We paid for both AP courses and AP exams. For anyone groaning over the AP exam fees, take heart. They cost a lot less than the courses did. ;-)</p>

<p>I think if the OPs school is "selling the AP" classes as a future cost savings they are doing no favors. I honestly had no idea that AP credit was given by colleges when my first went through so it was a bonus when he started with some gen ed credits checked off because of AP. At our kids school not everyone can take AP classes, the tests are required and the school will pick up the cost for low income families. I'm not a believer in these branded AP for profit classes and I do not think high schools should "sell" the classes. IB was created for a totally separate reason and I'm not familiar with IB programs as they are not prevalent in our area.</p>

<p>Following up on a couple of topics brought up by posters on this thread.</p>

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I would just like to see the schools be more forthcoming about the real pass rates.

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<p>The AP Report to the Nation may be of interest to some here.
<a href="http://apreport.collegeboard.org/sites/default/files/downloads/pdfs/ap_report_to_the_nation_Consolidated.pdf%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://apreport.collegeboard.org/sites/default/files/downloads/pdfs/ap_report_to_the_nation_Consolidated.pdf&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>Here's the link to get to state specific supplements.
<a href="http://apreport.collegeboard.org/report-downloads%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://apreport.collegeboard.org/report-downloads&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

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At our kids school not everyone can take AP classes, the tests are required and the school will pick up the cost for low income families.

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</p>

<p>For those in need of assistance, here is more information.</p>

<p>AP</a> Exams - AP Fee Reductions
Federal</a> & State AP Exam Fee Assistance
AP</a> Exam Fee Assistance - 2011Details by State</p>

<p>"Once she made her school choice she didn't even take the final two AP tests because she didn't feel like she would do well on one and the other was in her major and the school strongly suggests they don't use credits for major classes - we saved the money."</p>

<p>I explained to my kid that (1) he may transfer to a school that has a more generous policy - so if he gave up tests based on one school, he might be giving up credits and (2) majors change, so that AP Bio score of 5 for the pre-med might come in useful when they change to art history (God forbid LOL). I encouraged my kid to take all the AP tests regardless because you never know what is coming down the road. </p>

<p>My DS also found that pass rates among teachers differed. One AP Lang instructor prepared the kids so well (those who studied, obviously) that a 5 was virtually guaranteed. The other teacher yielded mostly 4s. Same with Bio, one teacher had mostly 5s, the other one had mostly fails. Yup. The kids didn't work as hard in that class, so it was a trade-off.</p>

<p>The point of taking AP/IB courses is to learn the subject, no more or less.</p>