Should you take AP tests?

Lauren Mister, Editor

This is the age old question: to take the AP test or to not take the AP test? The answer is: it depends.

Registration for AP exams has begun and the prices will be discounted until the end of February. However, they are still quite pricey, especially if a student is taking more than one test. When deciding which to take, there are many considerations I think students should keep in mind.

  1. How hard has the student worked in the AP class? For those who are diligent and timely in their class, taking the exam is a great idea. If the student has failed to turn in assignments on their due dates or unsuccessfully complete product grades, spending money to get a score of 2 or 3 is not advisable.
  2. Could the student potentially get college credit? Those who have an idea of what major they want to pursue or what college they want to attend should research the available equivalents of AP test scores. If the school doesn’t offer credits or classes for certain AP scores, then taking the test is not a great idea. Sure, it may be good practice, but paying money for no benefit is pointless.
  3. Is the student going to study? It’s simple to say that a student has worked hard enough in class to pass an AP test with a 4 or a 5. However, part of the examination process involves extensive studying of notes, worksheets, textbooks, and other studying tools such as review books. Students should not take the tests if they are not willing to put the effort in to ensure success.
  4. How committed is the student? Some may be driven to succeed in their classes and perform well on the AP tests. Others aren’t necessarily dedicated to getting the highest possible score. Students should only sign up for the exams if they are devoted to striving for a 4 or a 5. By setting themselves up for failure by saying, “I could never get above a 3 on the test,” students aren’t committing their full potential and, thus, are wasting their time and money on a test they know they’re going to fail.

When deciding on whether or not to take an AP test, students should ask themselves honestly if it is worth it and if they’ll spend the time and energy it takes in preparation. Teachers are expectant of their students to take the exams. However, students should also be conscious of their work ethic, their commitment, and furthermore, their future. It isn’t a question of “Should I take the test” more than “Will I do what is necessary to achieve?”