Misinformation and School Counselors

School Counselors, Guidance Counselors, Misinformation and Guidance Counselors

Students are entitled to take as many AP exams as they wish, whether or not their school offers a course for that AP exam.

There are school counselors out there who are filled with misinformation with respect to the college admissions process. This has always been the case. After all, not all school counselors and guidance counselors are experts on the highly selective college admissions process. In fact, most are not. Over the years, we’ve heard stories of many students who have asked their school counselors  to take AP exams for subjects not offered by their high school only to be turned down. Excuse us? It is a student’s right to sit and take AP exams even if their high school doesn’t offer that particular subject matter.

We recommend to all of our students to ace as many AP exams as possible — even if their high school doesn’t offer the course. One doesn’t need to take a course in psychology to get a 5 on the AP exam. Self-studying for AP exams that your school doesn’t offer is a terrific way to differentiate yourself in the highly selective college admissions process. Think about it. It shows to admissions officers at top colleges that you can not only excel on exams that your schools trains you for…you can excel on ones they don’t train you for. That’s something.

Students often have to let their school counselors know of their intentions to take AP exams their school doesn’t offer because the school has to order the exams. How dare school counselors say that these students can’t take these extra exams. The students (or their parents) are paying for these exams. An AP exam is $89. If a student pays for an exam, he or she owns the exam. For $89, a student has the right to take any AP exam. As stipulated on the College Board’s website, “You can take as many AP Exams as you want; in fact, the AP Program doesn’t require you to take an AP course before taking an AP Exam.” School counselors who put out misinformation, enough already.

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2 Comments

  • Ellen says:

    Please clarify. Yes I know students can take as many APs as they want but if their home school is not administering that AP test subject, the onus is on the student to find a school/site that is administering the AP exam. At least that’s what the CollegeBoard customer service rep just stated. Perhaps that isn’t a big deal and the online registration allows for an easy search but I would like to know and also to know where exactly it states on the college board website specifically that “…It is a student’s right to sit and take AP exams even if their high school doesn’t offer that particular subject matter….”
    Thank you.

  • Bev Taylor says:

    Ellen,

    We never said that it states on College Board’s website that “It is a student’s right to sit and take AP exams even if their high school doesn’t offer that particular subject matter.” That is what we say!

    What we quoted from College Board’s website was the following: “You can take as many AP Exams as you want; in fact, the AP Program doesn’t require you to take an AP course before taking an AP Exam.”

    However, your initial statement is incorrect. You say, “Yes I know students can take as many APs as they want but if their home school is not administering that AP test subject, the onus is on the student to find a school/site that is administering the AP exam.” A parent or a student can request that the AP administrator at the high school order the exam whether or not the high school offers the course.

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