LUSBY, Md. – Prospective students first learn the terms Advanced Placement or better known as AP classes when they first enter middle school.
Their minds are molded into students willing to pay hundreds of dollars for a test they might not even pass.
As time passes and the first two weeks of May approaches, the anxiety, and stress to cram more insight into the things you’ve learned in class for the past school year start to rise.
With all the stress and other factors, are AP classes overrated? I asked a variety of students from Patuxent High School, their opinions on AP classes and tests.
Paying for any kind of test is outrageous in general, but paying $97 for one? Many high schoolers who take AP classes take more than one so if you have four AP classes one school year, you’re paying at least $291 since you get a buy two get one free deal. Not a lot of people have that money to just drop.
“It’s overpriced just to see how good you are at a college-level course that you might not even pass,” sophomore Tino Barone said.
Also taking these tests requires a huge commitment of time and effort and you may want to take time to think about it. Well, you can’t. Technically. You have until November 16th, that’s just two months to decide if you think you’re going to be well prepared for taking this big exam or else you must pay a late fee of $35 per exam.
So now if we aren’t calculating the deal, for four AP tests including the late fees, you’re looking at $493. That could be a car loan payment, insurance, or a multitude of things, but instead, you’re paying for an exam.
A vital reason many students take the exams is to earn college credits. You have to earn at least a 3 to technically pass the AP exams. Passing them can transfer into college credits which can go towards college and help you graduate sooner and not have to take those classes in the future.
This could also save you a lot of money too. Instead of paying thousands of dollars for four years of college, you could only spend hundreds of dollars for three years. The only problem is that not all colleges even accept AP credits. The number of colleges who do and don’t take it is still up in the air and no number is confirmed but is that still a risk willing to take?
The University of Massachusetts Amherst College does not allow you to convert your AP test scores into course credits. Also, colleges usually like to see a score of a 4 or 5 so even if you do pass with a three, colleges might not even care.
Can you imagine going to school for seven hours and then having to spend another four hours after the school day? What about spending another four to six hours on the weekends? That is just a taste of what study sessions look like. That on top of the multitude of packets and worksheets and the practice tests online really can take a toll on someone especially if they are taking more than one AP class. These classes are also meant for you to get to college but are they really?
It seems like the new norm of society requires kids who at first took honors classes to now take AP. AP classes seem to give off the stigma that they are elite or smarter than honors students. And so, I ask again, are AP classes worth it?
Over my four years of high school, I’ve taken six AP courses, and I can say that the only reason I’m taking them is so that I look smarter on transcripts. I don’t take the AP tests and I don’t really see the classes benefiting me in the future. Either way, it’s a personal preference of whether you want to take them or not, but be warned that they require a lot of work even if you aren’t taking the tests at the end of the line.