College Board Plans to Move AP Registration Earlier to Raise Test Scores


Karen Abdelmalek

Students purchasing AP tests on March 7, 2019. From left to right Gabrielle Domingo, Victoria Paniagua, and Adrian Wasylewski.

College Board conducted a pilot program where 40,000 students registered for the AP test in Nov. to test the effectiveness of policy changes.

The study found there was an increase in students who passed with a three or higher, and white and Asian students in the program did 5% better than their counterparts. Other minority groups did 12% better in terms of pass rate. College Board changed the AP registration deadline from March to Nov. and are charging a $40 late fee.

Students of low income did 20% better while medium to high-income students saw a 4% increase. The last graph College Board provides shows that male Science, Technology, Math, and Engineering (STEM) student scores increased by 5% while female STEM students did better by 14%.

Participating teachers said, “Students are more engaged. Once they are committed, they got to follow through with it.” The argument is that if students register earlier, they will be more committed to taking the AP test. 

However, there are some people who oppose these new measures. Jennifer Wander, a high school counselor, created a petition to stop College Board’s new changes. According to the petition “when the College Board piloted these changes, low-income students failed the exam in greater numbers.”

It should be noted that no source is given for the claim, and College Board’s full study is not available. In addition, Wander wrote, “[College Board] made $200 million last year and paid their CEO $1.4 million. They are going to make at least $40 million more every year with this new policy, which is supposed to go into effect next school year.” Wander argues College Board pushed the new changes to make more money rather than benefit students.

Despite the new changes, College Board has made it clear that the test date, the cost, and the deadline of payments will continue to be on June 15.