Debatable: Is it worth it to take an AP course if you do not take the test?
Written by Madeline Capka
The main reason a high schooler decides to take an Advanced Placement class is to get a head start on their college career by earning AP credits, which are accepted by many colleges. Dartmouth is among the very few that don’t accept AP credit, but this is because they are a very prestigious school and can afford not to accept the credits. Princeton, Brown, Harvard, and Cornell are other Ivy Leagues that do accept AP credits.
David Conley, CEO of the Educational Policy Improvement Center, explains that, while some prestigious schools don’t accept college credit in high school, this is not a trend that will continue.
“We’ve always seen a certain group of colleges not give much credit to AP. It’s not unusual and not new; they’re highly selective and can get away with that…[There are] more general admissions schools where they want students to bring AP credits and they do want to reward them for doing that,” Conley told Sabrina Ben-Achour of marketplace.org.
While having AP classes on your transcript may impress colleges, they will most likely end up wondering why the student did not at least attempt the AP exam. Darby doesn’t do class rankings anymore, making the 5.0 scale AP classes are graded on not as important. Students can still make it onto the Honors Roll without a good grade in an AP class.
At Darby, many students receive reduced lunches, and these students can also participate in the AP test for only 20 dollars, versus the normal cost of 87 dollars. This reduced price can help students who want to participate in the AP test, but are worried about the high cost.
Not only can you save money on the actual test, but earning college credit for only one class can save you more than $1,000. One class at the Ohio State University costs $1,146 for Ohio residents, and $3,312 for out-of-state students.
While AP classes do provide students with the opportunity to learn at a higher level, almost all the learning the entire year is geared towards preparing students for the AP test. If a student opts out of the final test, they have no chance of receiving any college credit, and may have to retake the class once they get into college if it is a core class such as AP US History. Even if a student were to take the AP test and receive a score of 1 or 2 and not receive college credit, at least they know they had a chance to obtain credit and won’t end up regretting not taking the test.
Despite the boost to students’ GPA and preparing a student for college, the main focus of any AP course is to prepare them for the AP exam to make sure they can at least attempt earning college credit for the class.
Written by Emily Betteridge
Scheduling classes for the next school year can be a daunting process for most students. At Darby, there are tons of class options and opportunities for students to pursue their passions. Core class options range from intervention courses for students who need a little bit of help, to honors and advanced placement (AP) courses. Students often debate the value of taking an AP course when scheduling. The student may ask themselves, what if I take this class and then do not take the AP test at the end of the year? Does the class then become pointless? The answer is no. There are still many benefits to taking an AP class even if the student does not take or pass the test at the end of the year.
Students who take AP classes stand out to colleges. AP classes are meant to simulate a college class giving the students experience in the college environment. Colleges will see the student was prepared enough to take the top course during high school and will be able to continue that during their college career. Throughout the AP class, students will also build up important skills needed for college. Students are introduced to the workload that a college class requires, better preparing them for the future. Even though the student did not receive college credit for the class, they will still stand out from the crowd of students applying to a college.
By taking an AP class, students are able to dive deeper into a particular field during their high school careers. Specialized classes such as AP Psychology and AP Statistics can help a student narrow down their interests before college. This will save them money in the long run because they will not have the need to take a class they know they do not like, whereas if they had not taken an AP class in high school they would spend time and money on a class they did not need.
AP classes are graded on a 5.0 scale as opposed to the normal 4.0 scale. Therefore, if a student maintains an A in the class, they will receive a major GPA boost. This can help in achieving a higher class rank.
Taking an AP class has many benefits, even if the student does not receive college credit for the class. AP classes appeal to colleges because they show them the student has a high work ethic and is prepared for college. Also, students can explore subjects they are interested in and figure out if they want to pursue that subject in college. For students who are worried about class ranking, AP classes will help boost their grade point average. If students are troubled with the decision of whether or not to take an AP class, there are enough benefits to taking the class even if the student does not take or pass the test at the end of the course.