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  • Ethan Xie

Take A Chance on AP Testing

Recently, many high school students, including myself, have taken AP tests, pouring their time, sweat and tears into perfecting and learning college courses in order to stand out to universities as well as gain college credit. All this effort put in by students, however, raises the question, are AP tests really worth it?

The Advanced Placement (AP) program was established by the College Board in the 1950s to offer high school students an opportunity to engage in college-level coursework while still in secondary education. Partly as a response to the Soviet Union during the Cold War, the AP curriculum was established to nurture talented students in order to maintain competition in the international scene.

AP courses cover a diverse array of subjects, ranging from mathematics and science to humanities and the arts. They are intentionally designed to be more rigorous and demanding than standard high school courses, providing students with a challenging academic experience that prepares them for the rigors of college academics.

AP courses are also beneficial to college admissions. According to the Fall 2023 State of College Admission report by the National Association for College Admission Counseling, 85% of surveyed colleges considered that grades in college prep courses and the strength of curriculum are "moderately" or "considerably" important in admission decisions. This indicates the importance of AP classes in college admissions.

As a whole, the AP program provides motivated high school students with the opportunity to pursue advanced coursework, earn college credit, look better on college applications and better prepare themselves for the academic challenges they will encounter in college and beyond.

I believe AP testing to be beneficial for most students. Due to its importance in college admissions, the potential for college credit and the development of critical thinking, it benefits students by providing them with greater educational opportunities. 

Especially for high achieving students who are willing to put in the time and effort it takes to accomplish, AP tests are highly beneficial. Ongoing changes in AP testing, however, such as the transition to digital AP tests, will also continue to shape the AP testing landscape.

Overall, I believe that everyone should give AP testing a chance, as it ends up being worth it for most. Regardless, if you don’t do as well as you would have hoped, you could always leave it off of your college applications with little to no expense.



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