Students in AP classes should not be required to take the AP exam at the end of the year for them to receive the designation of taking an AP course on their transcript.

Students in AP classes should not be required to take the AP exam at the end of the year for them to receive the designation of taking an AP course on their transcript.

Most, if not all, Schreiber students would agree that the first two weeks of May are among the most stressful of the year.  It is during these two weeks that all AP exams are administered, leading most to cram a year’s worth of material for several subjects into a week or two of studying.  Many Schreiber students take multiple AP courses, and are required to take all of these exams in a short period to receive an AP designation on their transcript.

For many, taking these tests will have little to no impact on their educational futures.  AP exams do not impact course grades or GPA, are not a requirement for any college application, and are not a mandatory part of the college application process. 

Additionally, many schools do not accept AP credits to place students out of a subject or earn credit toward graduation, rendering these tests essentially useless.  This is in part due to the rising number of students taking AP courses, but may also be because it is a loss of money for the college. 

Furthermore, these tests are costly.  AP tests cost $96 each, and parents are expected to pay for their students’ exams.  While there are many ways for students to get funding for these exams, they still cause an unnecessary financial strain on families and our school without any guarantee that they can be used for credit in the future. 

For a Schreiber student to get credit for an AP course on their transcript, they are required to prepare for and take the AP exam at the end of the year.  The results of this exam have no bearing on a student’s grade in the class; scores are not even released until well after the school year is complete.  However, if a student chooses not to take this exam, the course is relegated to an honors level on their transcript, despite the fact that they have taken the same AP-level course throughout the year as someone who is taking the exam.  This is unfair, as it can have a major impact on a student during the college admissions process, while the test often has close to no effect.  With this in mind, Schreiber should offer the opportunity for students to obtain the best possible education without the deterrence that the AP test brings.

There are a variety of reasons why someone may not want to take an AP exam: their schedules may be overloaded with AP classes, they may not want to spend the money, or they may feel that the test will not be impactful enough to be worthwhile.  This case particularly applies to seniors, who already know which school they will be attending and whether or not their school accepts AP credits.  If the school does not, these tests are simply a waste of time and money.  However, these same students may still want to take AP-level courses in many subjects because they have a genuine interest in the topics and would like to challenge themselves at a college level.  If students want to take many APs, they should be given the option to forgo the AP exam for the class in May without the course title being changed, as the course itself is not impacted by the choice to not take this test.