College Admissions Guidance

Blog posts about college admissions topics such as essays, extracurriculars,  planning, mental health, etc.

Advanced Placements (AP) testing! Why bother? Why NOT bother too much either?

academics boost future planning Sep 23, 2021
What is the purpose of AP credits?
AP courses give you the experience of an introductory level college or university class while you're in high school. You might also get post-secondary credit for the class if you pass the AP exam and if it meets your post-secondary institution's admission requirements.
 
5 Benefits of Taking AP Classes in High School
  • Prep for college. AP classes can be as challenging as introductory college courses. ...
  • Rise to the top of the pile. ...
  • Strengthen your transcript. ...
  • Study what you love. ...
  • Get a head start on college reqs (and save some tuition dollars)

Do colleges really accept AP credits?


Not all schools will accept AP courses as college credit, and that may be a consideration for you. If they do accept AP courses, they may require you to have gotten certain scores on your AP Test in order to accept the class. They may even require different scores for different types of classes.

Is reporting AP scores optional?
Yes. Remember, AP scores are not a required element. Ever. While admissions officers are happy to get their hands on AP scores, they know it is up to the student to share them. If a student doesn't share their score on an AP exam, that's their prerogative.

Do AP scores automatically sent to colleges?
Yes. Your score report includes all your scores from all the AP Exams you took in the past. Your entire score history will be sent to your designated college, university, or scholarship program unless you choose to withhold or cancel any of your scores.


Can I take the AP test without taking classes?
Yes. It is recommended that the student taking the AP course before taking an AP Exam—but it's not required. ... To prepare for the exam without taking the course, you should study the skills and content outlined in the course and exam description for your subject, which you can find on the specific course page. Check out the list of free AP courses on edX in the attached document. The link to Wyzant.com points to AP Tutors.


How do I register independently for AP Exams?Begin by visiting the College Board's AP Services page in January of the year you want to undergo testing. You can also call AP services at 888-225-5437 or email them at [email protected] to connect with an AP Coordinator. This individual will contact you with information on nearby testing center locations and dates. Additionally, he or she will order your exam materials for testing day. When talking to your AP Coordinator, be sure to let her know that you’re looking to register for the exam(s) independently. Homeschooled students should confirm that they will be using the state homeschool code provided by the coordinator on exam day. You should also inform the Coordinator of any testing accommodations that have been granted to you. Be sure to bring your Student Accommodation Letter to the testing center on the day of the exam to confirm you are eligible for accommodations. After your AP Coordinator finds you a testing center, take time to confirm that you can sit for each of your desired exams at that location. In some cases, you might need to visit more than one center to undergo all of your testings.

Can I self-study for an AP exam?
you take an AP class in your high school, take the AP exam in that subject, and, permitting you to pass, receive college credit. To self-study, an exam, simply cross out “take an AP class in your high school” and replace it with “read through an AP review book on your own.” Simple, right?


When should you start self-studying for an AP exam?
When should I start studying for AP Exams? Many students start shifting to AP prep mode 1 to 3 months before test day, usually ramping up by spring break. The goal is to give yourself enough time to get used to AP question types, take a few practice tests, review content, and hone your test-taking strategy.

How do I plan the self-study discipline for an AP exam?
You'll find self-studying much easier if you're armed with a plan. Here are my six steps to self-study success:
Figure out what you need to learn.Make a schedule.Find a variety of high-quality materials.Take notes and self-assess as you learn.Register for the test.Prep for the exam and review what you've learned!

What is the hardest AP class?
Physics C was rated as the hardest AP class you can take, with an average review of 8.1 / 10 (higher score = harder).
  • Physics C – Electricity and Magnetism (8.1)
  • English Literature (7.7)
  • Physics C – Mechanics (7.3)
  • Chemistry (7.2)
  • Physics 1 (7)
  • Physics 2 (6.8)
  • European History (6.3)
  • Biology (6.2)
Is micro harder than macro?
At the entry level, microeconomics is more difficult than macroeconomics because it requires at least some minimal understanding of calculus-level mathematical concepts. By contrast, entry-level macroeconomics can be understood with little more than logic and algebra.

Should I take AP microeconomics or macroeconomics first?
Taking into account all of the above, most economics students are better off studying microeconomics first and then progressing on to macroeconomics. That way, the principles of economics can be learned on an individual level, before being applied to the wider society and world.