Ready for AP testing?

AP classes prepare students to take an exam, called an AP test, in May. These tests determine whether the student receives college credit for the course.

AP tests are a big deal.  A single day, a single exam, determines whether the course counts for college credit or not.

The tests are scaled depending on the difficulty of the test that year, and grades range from 1 to 5.  Each grade corresponds to college credit for the course, with ones and twos not earning any credit, threes possibly earning credit at some schools and fours and fives earning college credit at most schools across the nation.

AP tests are available to any student taking an AP course, so many juniors are taking AP tests for the first time this year.  Lots of students become anxious and stressed about normal tests, so AP tests are extremely nerve-wracking due to the amount of pressure.

The amount of pressure also affects performance, as students do not want to lose the registration fee when they fail.  Marques Wilson, junior, is worried about doing badly and losing his money, so he’s trying to study more and do better than he would on any other test.

Normal tests differ from the AP test in that they have less writing and analysis involved, and typically involve memorization of facts.  Stephen Bryant, junior, is stressed out about the amount of writing, as none of the AP Computer Science test is on the computer.

Because of the increased amount of writing and analysis involved, many classes have students write essays to prepare them, as well as to work on their critical thinking skills.  AP classes and tests also prepare students for college, even if they do not place out of them, a concept discussed in this article.

Besides essays, many classes hold review sessions throughout the second semester in order to go over long-forgotten concepts and study everything they learned throughout the course.  However, anyone can go to the review sessions, even if they aren’t registered to take the test.

Registration for AP tests begins February 18 and ends March 1.  Registering late is not an option, so remember to sign up as soon as possible.  The cost of each test is 89 dollars, which can be made with a credit card (for a fee), cash (exact change) or check.  Payments are accepted during pride period to the teacher whose class the exam is for.  Late payments are not accepted.

Students must make the choice: whether they’re going to take the stress and earn the college credit, or give up on the test and take the college course with the rest.


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