AP Testing: Potentially Beneficial But Less Popular


Courtesy of: noahwagner55

With Advanced Placement (AP) testing beginning in early May, students across the nation are preparing for their exams.

AP testing occurs between Monday, May 7 to Friday, May 18 during school hours. The tests are administered by College Board and are ordered and paid for by each high school or high school district. Like most years, Cam High’s AP testing will be held at the Ventura County Office of Education (VCOE).

According to College Board’s website, successfully passing AP courses in high school can earn students college credit for the future. Despite this fact, Cam High’s AP test purchase numbers dropped this year. “[The number of AP tests purchased] was lower than any year at this school in a long time,” said Mrs. Karen Chadwick, Associate Principal of Cam High.

Many teachers at Cam High are wondering about the reason for the decreased numbers of purchased AP exams. Mrs. Heidi Kuehn, German 4AP teacher at Cam High, said, “Perhaps the students don’t feel confident that they would get the scores that they would need to get credit.”

Because of this, reminders were sent out to teachers to encourage their students to sign up for exams and the deadline to pay for AP tests was changed from Fri. March 16 to Wed. March 21.

In order to purchase AP tests, students at Cam High must fill out a field trip form and pay the testing fees at the Bookkeeper window. Each exam is $99; however, each added AP exam purchased by a student or family comes at a reduced cost of due to a district grant.

“The grant is a three year grant. Once it’s gone, it’s back up to the $99,” said Chadwick. This means that while the grant is being provided to the school district, a student’s second exam will have a cost of $71, decreasing by $10 for each additional exam, up to five exams. The sixth and seventh exams will cost an additional $31 each. 2018 is the second year of the grant, so by 2020, the prices of AP tests will return to $99 per AP test, regardless of how many a student buys.

Students who receive reduced lunches, also known as District Fee Reduction, will receive a reduced price for their AP exams, starting at $25 for one exam. The price rises $10 for each extra exam, for up to three exams. After that, each additional exam is $5; for example, five exams would total to $55.

As the testing dates in May nears, students at Cam High are beginning to review for the AP test, or tests, they’re taking.

Marty Maccallum, junior, for example, is taking the AP United States History test and class amidst being a player on the varsity boys’ volleyball team and juggling six other classes. Along with other students, Maccallum is getting ready for the exam in May. “[I’m] ready to do a lot of work and [I’m] trying to learn out of class, too,” he said.

Taylor Brown, a Cam High graduate who took and passed two AP exams during high school, felt that taking AP tests and classes helped her gain valuable skills for the future. “The bigger workload with AP classes did help me prepare for college… but learning time management is very important. Don’t put all your energy into one thing,” said Brown, “If you can handle honors classes, you should try to take AP classes because you might end up passing the AP tests and get college credit.”