Editorial: Let seniors opt out of AP exams

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As of now, all Harrisites are required to take two APs: World History and U.S. History. Most students end up taking 4 or 5 APs by the time they graduate. But what the seniors have come to discover this year is that a lot of the APs they made outlines for, lost sleep over, and studied so hard for count for little at their college of choice. Or they learn that a 3, which the College Board equates to “qualified,” is not accepted at their university, and they need a 4 or 5. By the policy here at our school, they still have to show up and take the test.

Many seniors at other schools do not have to take the AP exams if their colleges do not require it. So why do we? None of this is a problem for someone whose registration fee for the AP test is already waived, but many students cannot count themselves so lucky. The solution is simple: the administration should let seniors opt out of AP tests that will have no effect on their future, and are essentially a waste of both our time and that of our graders.

We take AP tests for a variety of reasons: to boost our average, to impress colleges with our advanced course load, and to receive college credit. At least, that’s what the College Board originally intended when it implemented these exams. The exams cost $89, which goes to paying for the test booklet, scantron, and grading of a standardized test that is not that much different from an SAT or ACT, both of which are considerably cheaper. We pay to take the test because those scores will hopefully get us credit.

Some seniors who have made their decision as early as November or December, have known all year that their APs will not be counting at their schools. If they choose not to show up on testing day, they have to pay an extra $10 fee for an exam booklet and scantron that will not be scored, in addition to the $89 they paid to register.  This should change.