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Should students take AP Exams this year?


Just like everything during this pandemic, AP exams have been affected. With students having to take classes online, parents and teachers are wondering if students will be adequately prepared for the AP exams. Unlike last year, the College Board has announced that this year, students will be tested on "full course content". This has been challenging for AP teachers in that schools have had changing schedules, online classes and late start dates. You can imagine how difficult it might have been to get through all of the curriculum.


What is a student to do?

Unfortunately, some students do not have a choice. Many high schools require students that take AP classes take the corresponding AP exam. Even if a high school doesn't require the student to take the AP exam, there is a lot of pressure on students to take the exams. Not only to take the exams, but to score well on them. Students are often worried that if they don't submit AP scores that colleges will think that they didn't do well and that might impact

their college application.


Here's the good News!


AP exams are never required for College Admission! While I always encourage students to do their best and report high scores, I also encourage students not to feel pressure to report low scores. It is possible that a low score could potentially hurt a student, particularly at a highly selective school. Even if the student doesn't report their score on their application, they could still get some type of credit or advanced standing at the school they plan to enroll.


Ultimately, the student should always come first. They are under such enormous pressure to take as many AP's as possible and also score as high as possible on the AP exams. This can be such an undue pressure on our students. Just like last year, the AP curriculum was severely disrupted by the pandemic. Our students should not be expected to teach themselves the rest of the AP content that teachers may not have been able to get to due to the pandemic. Especially if AP exams are not necessary for college admissions. However, one thing to note: now that College Board is no longer administering SAT Subject tests, AP exams may play a more significant role in highly selective schools.


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