College Board often touts AP’s expansion into various public and low-income schools as a victory for education. If you overload, you risk stretching yourself too thin. While there are subsidization options for students with financial difficulties, there's little debate that AP exams are one of the college board's biggest money-grabbers. It's finally 2021 and we're honestly all just happy that 2020 is over. Even though students in an AP English class might want to be engineers instead of an English major, they still have a lot to gain by taking the class, as all students need to take a freshman English class at university. Some educators describe AP courses as kind of an “arms race,” where as certain students take more AP classes, others feel pressured to load up with more to compete. This is a doubled edged sword, as the AP credits will serve as a "safety net" if a student winds up changing majors, but it gives students less time to make an informed decision. Get the latest articles and test prep tips! For this week, I would like everyone reading this to reflect on their high school experience, and if applicable, their AP courses. Early graduation isn't always a good idea--you won't graduate with the students in your class, and you have less time to … Why Gifted Students Shouldn't Take the Highest Level Classes Bill can get an A in calculus, but that doesn't mean he should take the class. Let's be honest: nobody really knows what they want to do for the rest of their life in high school. Check out 21 SAT tricks you should be using, and find out the hidden hints in the ACT instructions. First of all, don’t load up on APs just to have AP classes all over your transcript. I can also speak to AP credit not panning out. At some high schools, AP classes approach the levels of difficulty reached by their college counterparts. If you know what your goals are, you can create a smart AP program for you. But what are some of the major problems with the AP program? It can take a few years for a teacher to master a curriculum. Different schools have different quality of programs, and as such, some students will be disadvantaged from the very start of the exams. AP classes are designed to be as challenging as college courses and can improve your skills in writing, critical thinking, and analysis. What made that teacher so effective? These are the steps you should take to make sure you get the most out of the program, despite its flaws. A Comprehensive Guide. The 5 Strategies You Must Be Using to Improve 160+ SAT Points, How to Get a Perfect 1600, by a Perfect Scorer, Free Complete Official SAT Practice Tests. In high school, she earned 99th percentile ACT scores as well as 99th percentile scores on SAT subject tests. Labs in resource-strapped urban schools often don’t have enough of even basic tools, like dissecting microscopes, for their students.”. To add to this, Colleges have different requirements for AP credits. Getting a dose of a college-level curriculum early on could ease your transition from high school senior to first-year college student. So I made a list of lyrics from each of his songs that you could use in your next Instagram caption. Jennifer Kustanovich, SUNY Stony Brook5. It will take much more than just one program to fix it. It's absolutely instrumental in facilitating the transition between high school and college for prospective undergraduate students, and it has cemented its role as such. So what ends up happening is that, similar to the SAT/ACT, the tests simply reinforce the status quo: students at well-funded schools do well, students at less well-funded schools struggle. Plus, the bigger the program gets, the less power it has to set students apart. All rights reserved. Plus, taking AP classes doesn’t even guarantee admission into schools like Harvard and Stanford. And as one student who left an AP school put it, AP “puts some students on pedestals and makes other students feel really bad.” In ICG schools, classes are differentiated based on subject matter, and students make choices based on their intellectual interests. ACT Writing: 15 Tips to Raise Your Essay Score, How to Get Into Harvard and the Ivy League, Is the ACT easier than the SAT? It conducts the SAT, the PSAT, and AP exams annually, just to name a few of its offerings. As we’ve discussed in the past, the ultimate goal of taking an AP class is to pass the AP test at the end of the year—if you don’t, you’ve basically wasted the $92 you spent on the exam. hbspt.cta.load(360031, '4efd5fbd-40d7-4b12-8674-6c4f312edd05', {}); Have any questions about this article or other topics? Ask below and we'll reply! Everyone's been here. AP courses are hard. (For example, don't take AP Biology without having taken an introductory biology class first.). While you might think AP is the key to college, think again. Thinking you should take IB classes instead? Not to mention that some colleges have curricula for courses that deviate from the AP standard, leaving some students unprepared in courses like Calculus. The teachers of your AP classes get the free response parts back. Inside Higher Ed explores this phenomenon: “Consequently, their efforts, while well-intended, never address the underlying problems that affect school quality and educational equity ….the expansion of the AP Program failed to promote real parity between the educational haves and have-nots. Okay, this is a slight exaggeration, but you would be surprised at the size of some AP textbooks. In other words, people are questioning how good the expansion of the AP program actually is if it just means more students are failing AP exams every year. Plus, taking AP classes doesn’t even guarantee admission into schools like Harvard and Stanford. Even so, colleges can change these credit-granting at any time, making it difficult for even the most methodical of students to efficiently allocate their studying. Was there a teacher that stood out to you above all others? Essentially, these are tests that motivated students take at the end of a rigorous AP course in high school in order to attain college credit for their classes. Our new student and parent forum, at, allow you to interact with your peers and the PrepScholar staff. Don’t take 10 AP classes but sacrifice a key extracurricular or studying for the SAT/ACT. The "not for profit" organization certainly makes quite the shilling, considering that statistically, at least 50% of students will walk away from the AP exam with nothing to show for it. By taking AP classes and doing well on exams, students are able to get a head start on their major course of study. My colleagues said the same was true in their subjects.”. So it’s a problem if most of the AP growth in recent years comes from failed exams. The AP Program is growing too fast for all the new programs to be supported, especially at low-income schools, leading to more failed tests than anything else. Also make sure that for any AP class you take, you have solid pre-requisite courses under your belt. Remember to pick out classes with your own goals in mind. Again in The Atlantic, the former teacher argues AP classes aren’t actually equivalent to college-level courses: “Before teaching in a high school, I taught for almost 25 years at the college level, and almost every one of those years my responsibilities included some equivalent of an introductory American government course. Despite all of the benefits that come with the AP credits, some students still choose not to accept them.