The AP Question

Some students see the AP system as far from perfect, while others feel it accurately represents their abilities.


Kat Klinefelter

The students of Mrs. Rhinehart’s period 2 AP Literature class are among several hundreds at NASH who have already made their decision regarding registration for the AP Exam in May.

Sunny Li, Staff Writer

AP Exam early-bird registration has come to a close. Although unregistered students still have time to register, most students have made their final decisions.

At the very least, there seems to be a general consensus that taking an AP test–for most classes–is more beneficial than detrimental. 

Junior Tejasvi Annamaraju sees the decision to partake in AP testing as a natural course of action.

“I feel like since I am already taking challenging classes,” Annamaraju said. “I might as well take the AP tests to earn credit for it.”

Similarly, junior Mackenzie Shearon feels that she “might as well use the information from the [AP] course for something worthwhile,” adding that AP testing was a good way to prepare students for the more challenging examinations in college.

Senior Nicholas Ferguson took the AP courses for credits as a “jump start in college,” which will ultimately save him the stress of having to “worry about completing studies that will not be beneficial for [him].”

Additionally, the tests Ferguson has chosen to participate in–Statistics, Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, and Calculus BC–are all related to math, a topic he already enjoys.

However, there are downsides to AP testing that students recently took into consideration. Most jarring of all was the high price of $97 per exam, which has slowly increased over the years.

Annamaraju feels that the test is overpriced.

“It’s unfair to make students pay almost $100 for every test since they are not guaranteed to pass the test, and it’s not like the refund policies are great, either,” she said.

Additionally, Shearon criticized the College Board’s price tag.

“I definitely feel like it should be lower, especially since it’s affiliated with a nonprofit organization,” Shearon said. “I struggle because I know PSATs cost money, and it costs money to take [other] standardized tests.”

By making the registration period shorter, students don’t really experience the difficulties of the course and may sign up in a rush.”

— Tejasvi Annamaraju, NASH junior

Ferguson, however, admitted that the high price hasn’t affected him much, but he still expressed concern for the steady increase in price.

It’s unfortunate for the people who do take more than three or four AP tests per year,” he said.

Annamaraju believes that AP testing is not fully representative of a student’s knowledge, only reflecting specific structures and types of questions.

“The outcome depends on whether or not [the student] studies,” Annamaraju said.

Shearon sees a flaw in the AP standardized testing in general, describing it as a “one-size-fits-all measurement” and finding more importance in how students use “the information in everyday life.”

Ferguson, however, credits the College Board tests as “good indicators of knowledge and whether or not you deserve credit.”

However, he also expressed concern for those who are knowledgeable about a subject but also struggle with test-taking.

An additional complication came in 2019, when the College Board decided to move up AP registration from early spring to the fall. 

Ferguson sees this as a sensible decision.

“By registering early, [students] know what exams [they] are taking and need to properly study for,” he said. “Also, it gives the College Board more time to prepare the logistics, tests, and other minor details.”

However, Annamaraju questions the value of the earlier registration window.

“By making the registration period shorter, students don’t really experience the difficulties of the course and may sign up in a rush,” she said.