AP Tests

Our Founder, Bev Taylor, wrote a controversial “Huffington Piece” article a couple of months ago about how AP tests are a bit of a scam. She told the story of how her son, who had already been admitted to the Ivy League school of his dreams, chose to doodle on his AP Calculus exam. Why? Because the college he was matriculating to didn’t have a hard math requirement and he didn’t have a shot at getting a ‘5’ anyway. One person (“SteveinLA”) wrote in the comments section to the article: “Your son had the opportunity to demonstrate that he had some competency at mathematics…and he chose not to. That tells me much about his character. Your anecdotal story emphasizes the need for teachers of AP courses to be strict regarding their grading policies, as we look like fools when the student receives an A in the class and scores a 1 on the exam. But, that’s what happens when students have no pride, grades are due May 31st and the AP exam scores come out in July.”

AP Testing, Tests for AP, Advanced Placement Tests, Advanced Placement Testing

AP tests are important in the college admissions process but they may not result in college credit for much longer.

We happen to think that “SteveinLA’s” comment is rather foolish. Bev’s son’s pride is not linked to a score he got on a meaningless test that had no chance of impacting his future. There was zero point in his having to take the test since his school didn’t have a hard math requirement and it wouldn’t impact his AP Calculus grade. The AP program is built on the foundation that students (and their parents) can save money towards college degrees by receiving credit in high school for AP courses. Well, “SteveinLA,” what do you have to say of Dartmouth College’s decision to eliminate AP scores counting towards college credit? Does this contradict all that you believe about the AP program?

According to “The Dartmouth,” “The College’s new policy to stop accepting pre-matriculation credits for incoming students may impact students who wish to save on tuition by graduating early. The change, voted upon by the Faculty of Arts and Sciences on Nov. 12, will take effect beginning with the Class of 2018, according to Registrar Meredith Braz.” We apologize, “SteveinLA,” if this is a blow to your pride. High school coursework has no business in the same sentence as college coursework. And more and more colleges will stop accepting AP credits in the future.

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2 Comments

  • mary says:

    I am sorry, I tend to agree with SteveInLA. I think if you choose to take the AP exam, pay for it and then decide to waste time by doodling on your exam paper, that shows a lack of respect for the whole system. The student can choose not to appear for that exam but sitting for the test and doodling is meaningless. It does not matter lack of AP credit to the college. If I were a student and chose to take the test, regardless of credit, it would be my personal goal and commitment to get some feedback on how my efforts paid off. Honestly I would have no respect for a student who chooses to deliberately go for the exam and sit and waste their money and time (of the evaluators and themselves). Disappointed that you would post this blog.

    • Ivy Coach says:

      Mary,

      Thank you for the comment. Some schools require that students who take AP classes pay for and sit for the AP exams. It’s a silly requirement when that student stands to gain nothing by paying for and sitting for the exam (because they’ve already been admitted to college and that college doesn’t offer any credit for a good score or, in this case, doesn’t have a hard math requirement).

      Simply by sitting for the exam (even if the student gets a 1), that student helps boost the high school’s ranking. Students should not be put in the position of having to pay for and sit for an exam that will be of no benefit to their future. They’re being put in this position not in their own best interest but in the interest of a school’s ranking. That isn’t right in our book as it doesn’t put the student first. And the aforementioned student’s “personal goals” in life are bigger than getting a good score on an AP test. If that really was an important personal goal of his, he probably wouldn’t have gotten into the Ivy League school of his dreams anyway because colleges don’t want students who care so deeply about grades and test scores. They want students who care deeply about learning.

      In our over-tested society, students should not have to take tests that are meaningless to their future. They take enough tests. It’s time high schools stop making students pay for and sit for AP exams that will be of no benefit to their futures.

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