Is AP Testing Worth It?

This year’s AP season has come to a close, and has left us with hundreds of sleep-deprived yet accomplished students across the school. For those who aren’t aware, Advanced Placement exams (better known as AP exams) are college-level exams which are offered in a variety of different subjects.

These tests aren’t free, however, and many are beginning to speculate if taking these exams is worth the approximate $93 the College Board demands. Opposing groups would suggest that these exams are just a money-making machine designed to trick millions of students into buying into a single 1-5 test result. These members of the opposition fail to realize the long-term benefits of performing well on such tests.

Firstly, the main reason why students are flocking towards taking these exams is for college credit. The state of Illinois passed a law last year stating that if a student scores a 3 or higher on an AP test, public universities in the state are required to give the student college credit. This means that the initial amount of money which is required to take the AP test is most likely to be rewarded with huge deductions in college tuition due to a high amount of credit received.

There are clear indicators dictating whether you should be inclined to take an AP test or not. For example, if you have a semester grade of 65% in a particular class, it is more likely that you will be the one complaining about the tests being a “scam.” However, if you are performing well in the class, that should be an apparent sign that you will achieve success on the AP test. In fact, if you are a student who excels in the class but doesn’t have the financial resources to take an exam, there are financial aid opportunities available in our own Student Services department at West.

All in all, it is evident that there is a clear difference between not being prepared for an exam and “wasting” your money on exam. It is important that future AP testers realize that the long-term reward is far more enticing when paired with a class that fits their interests.