Can AP Tests Stand the Test of Time?


It seems like every year, students get pushed to take more AP classes than they previously did. Even in middle school, our teachers told us to think about taking AP in high school. As of 2016, over a million students took at least 1 AP test. Last year, 170 students registered and took 310. Cass hopes to increase this number to 400 tests this year.

Reagan Wilson, senior, who has taken over 10 AP classes so far says, “You really don’t have to take the test to benefit from the class. There are some tests I didn’t take, but the class prepared me for college.”

Many students ask if AP is worth the time and if the tests are worth the money. A lot more students are choosing to take dual enrollment at local community colleges. I think that in the future, this option will become more popular with the new changes to the AP program

Currently, AP registration is in March, which means that students have all of the first semester and part of the second semester to choose what tests they want to take in May. Part of the new AP program moved the registration date to November, meaning students only get 3 months to decide what tests they want to take. If you happen to change your mind, it’s a $40 fee to register late or cancel a test.

USA Today interviewed Deanna Smith, a counselor in Kentucky, “The students I’m most concerned about are my lower-income and minority students – I’m afraid this will scare them away from taking the exams”. At Cass, 52% of students qualify for free or reduced lunch.

However, 800 schools across the country experimented with registration deadlines in the fall instead of spring. Surprisingly, the number of students who signed up skyrocketed, particularly among lower-income students.

College Board executives say that they have invested $80 million into helping students successfully prepare for their exams. They have plans to offer teachers new practice questions, instructional videos, and automated assessments that give students feedback online.

Ms. Guilford, APUSH and AP Psych teacher express her concerns, “Personally, I’m a bit concerned how this will affect my class enrollment and test participation. I hope students don’t shortchange themselves and miss the opportunities that an AP class could give”.

As an AP student, I hope that more and more students take an AP class if they can. A lot of the AP courses I have taken helped me learn how to study and manage my time. I’m glad I chose to take difficult classes now because college classes won’t be as overwhelming.