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Test Prep: AP Exams

Fri, Apr 27, 2012 @ 12:08 PM

What's Your "AP"titude?

MAP Examany high school students fret over standardized testing (“Which test will 'look' better?” “How many times should I take a particular test and when should I take them?”). But with so much focus on the SAT, ACT, and SAT Subject Tests, some students may overlook Advanced Placement (AP) exams. As AP exams often follow an AP course, they give a concrete test score while also showing a college admissions committee that a student is capable of taking college-level coursework. Don’t let the AP exams stress you out! The expert counselors at IvyWise are here to explain all you need to know about the APs so you can walk into the exam room with confidence.

What are AP Exams?

In Advanced Placement (AP) classes, students are given the opportunity to study college-level work in 34 different curricular areas. While AP exams are not required for college admissions, they are an increasingly common factor in representing academic dedication and intellectual challenge. Colleges are looking for highly motivated students who challenge themselves in increasingly difficult courses. We recommend that freshmen create a four-year academic plan with long-term goals in mind. You don’t need to have all of the answers now, and of course your plan should be flexible as your interests develop. While mapping out your plan, keep in mind that if you are considering the most selective colleges, you will need to take the most advanced courses available at your grade level that match your interests.

Who Can/Should Take an AP Exam?

As college admission becomes more competitive, more students are taking and scoring well on AP exams than ever before. In fact according to the College Board, which administers the test, more students are scoring at least a 3 (out of a possible 5) on AP exams today than the total number of students who took an AP exam ten years ago! Of students from the class of 2011, 18.1 percent took at least one AP exam, up from 16.9 percent just the year before. The College Board anticipates that these numbers will continue to grow. Some students are even opting to self-study for the exams if their school does not offer AP courses or if they were not recommended for/placed into a course – anyone can take an AP exam, regardless of whether you took the class in school or studied the topic on your own!

Check back next week as we tell you when and why you should take an AP Exam.

Our counselors can help you decide which tests to take and when to take them, while our tutors can prepare you to meet your testing goals. Contact us today for more information!

Sarah Shanahan

Written by Sarah Shanahan

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