Optional AP Exams: Should Seniors Take Them?


Jourdan Collins

Senior Olivia Brink reviewing for her AP Biology exam

Jourdan Collins, Senior Staff Writer

By the end of senior year, the last thing seniors want to think about is taking an AP exam. Now that they are optional, it makes the decision even harder. By taking the exam a student could possibly receive college credit, but nothing is guaranteed. By taking and passing the exam, a student can earn college credit, but the concern is: what if you don’t pass?

On the other hand if a student doesn’t take the exam, they won’t have to pay the fee, they won’t have to come to school, and they won’t have to worry about failing the exam!

But what if they want college credit? Is it worth it? Julia Metzger shares her thoughts on the AP English exam, “I’ve worked hard the whole year so I might as well take the exam.” If a student feels that they have actively learned all year in class and feels confident enough to pass then why not! It could lessen your class load in college and who doesn’t want that? Others don’t feel so confident and would rather not waste their time and money.

Gaby Ruiz chose not to take the AP english exam this year. “The college I am going to doesn’t accept a 3, and I’m not positive I will get a 4, so I would rather not waste the money.”

If students are having a hard time deciding whether or not they should take this exam, then visiting the College Board website is a great way to see what each school requires. If students want a better idea of what score they are most likely going to get then visit the AP Score Calculator. Many girls feel pressured into taking AP courses in order to get into their dream colleges; however, when it comes to the exam most students don’t feel pressured taking it.

AP Lit teacher, Laura Frazier, shares her scholarly opinion on AP exams: “AP Exams represent the culmination of the year long course. They are a wonderful opportunity to earn college credit for working through a rigorous curriculum that challenges high school students to rise to the college level. Students, however, need to be 100% committed to not only taking the exam at the end of the year, but to doing their absolute best after trying their absolute hardest, so I believe that allowing exemptions for students is a good policy.

At this point in senior year, it doesn’t matter whether or not you take the AP exam. Each college has a different policy in regards to AP exams during their college admissions process. Making a decision is a personal opinion and will only help you get ahead in college by exempting certain courses. Whatever decision students decide to make, it is not the end of the world.