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Sebastian (a lady)

Annual Search for AP Exam Site Commiseration Thread

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When we moved here I received a letter from the school district saying that homeschooled students are eligible for taking the PSAT/SAT/ACT and AP exams.  Being wary of school districts after having dealt with several over the last eight years I didn't expect too much.  I was pleasantly surprised at how easy setting up the PSAT was (e-mail Mr. X., fill out the electronic form he will send and return it to this e-mail address.  Test is on123 day at abc school.  Bring ID and #2 pencils).  For AP, contact your zoned AP coordinator at 123 456 78900 before February.  I e-mailed her this morning and received a message back within 30 minutes.  "Please follow the link I sent you and fill out the electronic form to register. Contact me in early April for testing site locations.  Have a nice day...".  The form had the payment part incorporated so I am all set.  The great thing was that they listed just about very AP test and those that were not listed you could request and they would set up for you.  I am still recovering from the shock of having a PS making something very accessible, easy and convenient. Now I just need to get over the fact that they charged me $91.00 for it.  I didn't realize AP's were that expensive.  At least my son is looking forward to taking another test (weird kid, I know).

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Well people have been very nice and have called me back and treated me courteously.  But evidently not one public school on Oahu is teaching European History this year.  One school that had taught it recently has switched to an IB format and isn't doing AP courses.

 

I'm now calling private schools.  If my kids end up testing at Punahou, it will make me laugh.

 

 

(Sort of funny, since my morning started out with an email from College Board letting me know my AP European History syllabus was officially approved.)

 

No school in the state offers AP German.  I only found one on the island that offers AP Latin.  Sigh

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All right!  I got a sweet call back from the AP coordinator at Punahou.  They are offering European History and are happy to have my kids join in.  Yep, my kids will be taking their AP exam at one of the most exclusive private schools in the state.  Too funny.

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Well people have been very nice and have called me back and treated me courteously.  But evidently not one public school on Oahu is teaching European History this year.  One school that had taught it recently has switched to an IB format and isn't doing AP courses.

 

I'm now calling private schools.  If my kids end up testing at Punahou, it will make me laugh.

 

 

(Sort of funny, since my morning started out with an email from College Board letting me know my AP European History syllabus was officially approved.)

 

No school in the state offers AP German.  I only found one on the island that offers AP Latin.  Sigh

 

If you can't find an AP German exam location, I'd have your students take the SAT 2 and mention the reason in your school description letter. They've done the most rigorous course possible, it's not your fault that you can't find an exam location. Of course, with your recent history, you'll be in a different state next year so you might find it after all.

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But evidently not one public school on Oahu is teaching European History this year.  

 

What time are AP exams scheduled in Hawaii?  I heard that no matter the time zone, exams are administered at the same time, which means (if I remember correctly) 7am in California.  

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What time are AP exams scheduled in Hawaii? I heard that no matter the time zone, exams are administered at the same time, which means (if I remember correctly) 7am in California.

They still start at a regular morning or afternoon session. When they tested in CA last year they started at the same clock time as the east coast students had. But that means there is a wave of starts across the country as each timezone starts. You don't have west coast kids starting at 7 am while east coast kids start at 10 am.

 

There is a slight exception for Alaska, which does have to start a little earlier.

 

http://professionals.collegeboard.com/testing/ap/about/dates

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We have been in this boat so many times it's just frustrating on an exponential level. AP Java was a four hour drive (three hours there, but the traffic coming home was INSANE thus the fourth hour), and AP German is going to be a huge problem...enough of a problem that we have decided not to do it since we'd have to work it out around the rocket team's trip to D.C.

 

SAT II's?? I have to travel two hours each way for those, and will only do so IF middle ds does indeed decide to apply to Cornell.

 

I do consider it an equal access situation. We have a ton of PS kids who cannot get the AP's they would like. We have kids who would take online classes in order to sit AP's their schools do not offer, but the lack of testing sites, the difficulty in becoming accredited, etc. all means that these students essentially for living in rural areas are blocked from having the opportunity.

 

In a three county area covering more than 27 school districts, the only AP exams that students from this area have access to are AP Calc AB, Physics, English, and Spanish. The school that used to offer chemistry, dropped that two years ago. Our local school only offers AP Calc AB every other year in a rotation with Physics. Those are the only two AP's for the entire district!!! If you were out of sync with the rotation when it began, then you were a plumb out of luck student who couldn't even get both. These schools know this stuff matters for kids desperately in need of merit aid, kids trying to get into certain majors, certain programs, and kids who NEED some challenge. NOPE....all cuts made in favor of more remedial coursework. There is nothing left for the better students.

 

:banghead:  :banghead: :banghead:  :banghead:  :banghead:  

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We have been in this boat so many times it's just frustrating on an exponential level. AP Java was a four hour drive (three hours there, but the traffic coming home was INSANE thus the fourth hour), and AP German is going to be a huge problem...enough of a problem that we have decided not to do it since we'd have to work it out around the rocket team's trip to D.C.

 

SAT II's?? I have to travel two hours each way for those, and will only do so IF middle ds does indeed decide to apply to Cornell.

 

I do consider it an equal access situation. We have a ton of PS kids who cannot get the AP's they would like. We have kids who would take online classes in order to sit AP's their schools do not offer, but the lack of testing sites, the difficulty in becoming accredited, etc. all means that these students essentially for living in rural areas are blocked from having the opportunity.

 

In a three county area covering more than 27 school districts, the only AP exams that students from this area have access to are AP Calc AB, Physics, English, and Spanish. The school that used to offer chemistry, dropped that two years ago. Our local school only offers AP Calc AB every other year in a rotation with Physics. Those are the only two AP's for the entire district!!! If you were out of sync with the rotation when it began, then you were a plumb out of luck student who couldn't even get both. These schools know this stuff matters for kids desperately in need of merit aid, kids trying to get into certain majors, certain programs, and kids who NEED some challenge. NOPE....all cuts made in favor of more remedial coursework. There is nothing left for the better students.

 

:banghead:  :banghead: :banghead:  :banghead:  :banghead:  

 

I interviewed a student a couple years ago.  He'd taken AP Physics B before his senior year, with the plan to take AP Chem his senior year.  However only 16 students signed up, so they didn't offer the AP Chem course.  16!  In my mind, that is a huge number of students wanting AP, and more than enough for a solid section.  When I was in high school and AP was much newer, a section of AP might have been around 10 students in a seminar style class.  

 

 

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I am trying to find 6 AP exams hopefully at only two schools. So far I've been told that one public school does not accept outside students, and the five other schools I called have not returned phone calls. i wish AP exams were like signing up for the SAT, at least a student would be assured a slot to take a test. Back to the phone....

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I interviewed a student a couple years ago. He'd taken AP Physics B before his senior year, with the plan to take AP Chem his senior year. However only 16 students signed up, so they didn't offer the AP Chem course. 16! In my mind, that is a huge number of students wanting AP, and more than enough for a solid section. When I was in high school and AP was much newer, a section of AP might have been around 10 students in a seminar style class.

But when teacher allotments are based in 34 kids/teacher, running a class for 16 kids isn't going to happen.

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But when teacher allotments are based in 34 kids/teacher, running a class for 16 kids isn't going to happen.

This is true.

 

And we all know that the smart kids will find a way right. If they really want to do AP Chem they can study on their own and just take the test. Oh right, they can't because there won't be a lab facity to use and their school won't offer the exam if they aren't offering the course. So the 16 kids willing and able to tackle this can pack sand. [sarcasm off]

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Well, in my Los Angeles suburb, this is turning out to be harder than I expected.  The public schools don't want to have anything to do with us--in many cases, can't even be bothered to respond to emails or phone calls.   Some of the private schools are a bit friendlier, but the smaller ones often don't offer much in the way of AP classes and are not interested in going out of their way for an outside student (I can't say I blame them for that).   I'm getting nervous and starting to fantasize about a visit to grandparents in another state, if their local schools turn out to be more accommodating.  

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Well, in my Los Angeles suburb, this is turning out to be harder than I expected.  The public schools don't want to have anything to do with us--in many cases, can't even be bothered to respond to emails or phone calls.   Some of the private schools are a bit friendlier, but the smaller ones often don't offer much in the way of AP classes and are not interested in going out of their way for an outside student (I can't say I blame them for that).   I'm getting nervous and starting to fantasize about a visit to grandparents in another state, if their local schools turn out to be more accommodating.  

 

I wish I could give everyone a magic wand or fairy dust to make this go easier.

 

I don't identify myself as a homeschooler right off the bat.  I try to call the guidance office and ask for the Advanced Placement coordinator.  Or I say that I have some questions about registration for Advanced Placement exams.  That typically that gets me to the coordinator before other people can say no.

 

If the coordinator does say no, ask them for a referral.  When you call the person you're referred to, say that Mr. XYZ referred you.  If they say no, ask for another referral.  This is how I ended up talking to the state AP coordinator, who told me to use her name with the dean of one of the most expensive private schools in the state.

 

Don't be afraid to ask the prestigious private schools.  The no won't mean any more than from a small school.

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I can see the future of WTM AP test-takers . . . like medical tourism, but . . . testing tourism. Home school family that lives in a testing-generous location puts up a Bed and Breakfast just for SAT and AP weekends . . . haha! :)

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I wish I could give everyone a magic wand or fairy dust to make this go easier.

 

I don't identify myself as a homeschooler right off the bat.  

 

Ooh, I like your strategies.  I'm going to keep these in mind.  I also like the fairy dust idea.  

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Also if test registration in your area is handled by a private contractor, contact them directly. They may be able to fit your kids in. We did this with one test in San Diego.

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I'm wondering whether a donation to a private school might also be a good idea?  

 

When I was calling around last year, I made it clear that I realized we would be ready to pay for the cost of the exam, even if the school normally paid exam fees for their students.  I also asked if there was an additional charge for students who weren't registered at the school.

 

At one school I paid the exam fee.  For the test arranged through the outside test registration service, I paid about $30 extra.  But I think that there was a bit of a premium for all of the students whose schools registered through that service, because they had to cover the cost of the contractor.

 

 

Unrelated, but one school had been a little iffy and said that they might be able to help us if I couldn't find anywhere else.  This was for US Government, which is a really high demand test (and therefore had few open seats).  When I emailed that counselor back, one of the things I included in my email was that neither student needed any test accommodations and that both had taken standardized exams in a school setting in the past.  I may have mentioned that they would be testing under the homeschool CB code.  Basically I tried to think of concerns that I might have about a stranger coming in on test day.  I tried to keep in mind that this was a really important test for their kids too and that they might have concerns about an unknown student coming in and possibly creating a situation that would negatively affect their students.

 

I also sent a follow up email after the exam thanking the counselor who had been our point of contact and telling her how much we appreciated the help.  I wasn't sure if I'd need to ask them for help again the next year.

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Unrelated, but one school had been a little iffy and said that they might be able to help us if I couldn't find anywhere else.  This was for US Government, which is a really high demand test (and therefore had few open seats).  When I emailed that counselor back, one of the things I included in my email was that neither student needed any test accommodations and that both had taken standardized exams in a school setting in the past.  I may have mentioned that they would be testing under the homeschool CB code.  Basically I tried to think of concerns that I might have about a stranger coming in on test day.  I tried to keep in mind that this was a really important test for their kids too and that they might have concerns about an unknown student coming in and possibly creating a situation that would negatively affect their students.

 

I also sent a follow up email after the exam thanking the counselor who had been our point of contact and telling her how much we appreciated the help.  I wasn't sure if I'd need to ask them for help again the next year.

 

You ARE good.  And it's benefit not only to you, but to other homeschoolers who will be in the same boat in the future.  

 

It's unfair, but we homeschoolers are often at the mercy of the reputations created by the previous generation of homeschoolers.  I've heard (second hand) of a teacher that now refuses to teach homeschoolers because she was once inundated with special needs kids whom she wasn't prepared to supervise.  

 

Thank you for being a good homeschooling citizen!

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Just curious if anyone has had success finding a seat in the Bay Area for AP Latin and AP Spanish.

 

It didn't really cross my mind to think beyond AP preparation. Now finding a seat seems to be just as important. This really sucks for homeschoolers.

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Just curious if anyone has had success finding a seat in the Bay Area for AP Latin and AP Spanish.

 

It didn't really cross my mind to think beyond AP preparation. Now finding a seat seems to be just as important. This really sucks for homeschoolers.

Did you start with the AP Course Ledger page? That will at least help you figure out which schools offer the courses

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Did you start with the AP Course Ledger page? That will at least help you figure out which schools offer the courses

Oh, ok, I can do that. It's a start. I typed in Lowell in San Francisco after trying other schools that do not offer Latin. Unfortunately the school's website says it may not always offer an AP Latin class if there isn't enough interest. Even I can't imagine who would want to take AP Latin in the Bay Area.

 

I have enough time, maybe another couple of years, but time goes by quickly and it would be heartbreaking to be prepared for the test but have no seat.

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Oh, ok, I can do that. It's a start. I typed in Lowell in San Francisco after trying other schools that do not offer Latin. Unfortunately the school's website says it may not always offer an AP Latin class if there isn't enough interest. Even I can't imagine who would want to take AP Latin in the Bay Area.

 

I have enough time, maybe another couple of years, but time goes by quickly and it would be heartbreaking to be prepared for the test but have no seat.

I totally understand. There is only one school in Hawaii that does AP Latin. I think they will let my kids test next year.

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Okay, my smug little self has just been shaken out of complacency.

 

There is a new AP coordinator at the high school and I have just been informed that ds may register for AP Biology exam with his fellow high school classmates, but we will have to wait to see if there are any seats left over for the other four tests. :svengo:

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Noooooooooo :eek:

 

Can you believe it?

 

I have worked in the counseling center at the school before. I know they are short on help and I may just march myself over there and make my lovely presence known again. :tongue_smilie:

 

Sailor Dude's wonderful counselor for whom all things were possible, was promoted to the district's administrative offices. That girl could get anything done and I could really use her about now.

 

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Can you believe it?

 

I have worked in the counseling center at the school before. I know they are short on help and I may just march myself over there and make my lovely presence known again. :tongue_smilie:

 

Sailor Dude's wonderful counselor for whom all things were possible, was promoted to the district's administrative offices. That girl could get anything done and I could really use her about now.

 

 

I wouldn't hesitate to contact the counselor who was promoted and ask if there is anything she could do to help.

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I thought this was going to be relatively easy as we live in an area with a huge PS that offers every AP.  They said they won't accept any homeschoolers.  :confused1:

So, if we are fortunate, we will be going 2 or 3 different places.

 

I just don't get this.  Why are some schools so against helping out homeschoolers in any way?  I'm so sorry you are facing this.  I am hoping we have better luck.  I am trying to plan now for next year.

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New here. Just wanted to say I have the same problem. For three years I've contacted schools in my town even out of state who said they can't accommodate my daughter. It's frustrating. There was one school last year that would take her but they wanted me to pay $500 per exam since I was an outsider. No way! Hopefully I'll get better luck this year or else I'm going to have to explain to college admissions why my daughter took an AP course but not the exam.

 

Also does anyone know if the fee waiver applies to homeschool students?

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New here. Just wanted to say I have the same problem. For three years I've contacted schools in my town even out of state who said they can't accommodate my daughter. It's frustrating. There was one school last year that would take her but they wanted me to pay $500 per exam since I was an outsider. No way! Hopefully I'll get better luck this year or else I'm going to have to explain to college admissions why my daughter took an AP course but not the exam.

 

Also does anyone know if the fee waiver applies to homeschool students?

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I posted this in another thread but thought I'd post in this mega thread too.....

 

Our local school doesn't offer the Latin exam so I offered to pay for proctoring. I have to pay $60 for proctoring the Latin exam plus $91 for each exam.  He plans to take English Lang, Calc AB and Latin.

 

Over the years I have tried to build a decent relationship with the school with ds taking the AMC, PSAT there.  I contacted the school early in January, a week after classes started.

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Okay, my smug little self has just been shaken out of complacency.

 

There is a new AP coordinator at the high school and I have just been informed that ds may register for AP Biology exam with his fellow high school classmates, but we will have to wait to see if there are any seats left over for the other four tests. :svengo:

 

The very kind vice principle from another high school in our district returned my call promptly and explained how the testing was working in our district this year. All the district high school students register, then at a meeting during spring break, they figure out the total seating and shuffle between schools if there are shortages. Then anything that is left open can be filled by homeschoolers or students from other districts. He at least had the courtesy to encourage not to wait on our district, but to keep calling other districts and private schools.

 

There is a very nice high school a little further down the road than ours that is in another district. They were happy to take my money for Statistics and Literature and very sorry they couldn't help me with the others.

 

That just leaves finding a place for both economics tests.

 

What offends me is being a taxpayer in my area and supporting our local district and then having to pay more in another district. Our district voted to have a fund to reduce the cost of AP testing, which is $57 instead of $91.

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This thread is both activating a nightmarish anxiety about AP exams and making me SO thankful that we had such an easy time finding a site for dd this year. I hope and pray the current coordinator at that school doesn't change jobs until my kids are finished with all of this! She was so nice and accommodating, it was a relief after reading here.

 

Hope those of you having issues are able to find a friendly host site soon!!

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This thread is both activating a nightmarish anxiety about AP exams and making me SO thankful that we had such an easy time finding a site for dd this year. I hope and pray the current coordinator at that school doesn't change jobs until my kids are finished with all of this! She was so nice and accommodating, it was a relief after reading here.

 

Hope those of you having issues are able to find a friendly host site soon!!

 

I guess what I have learned is that it would be a good idea to call as early as possible to confirm that the school's policy hasn't changed. I have had one or more kids at our high school for eight years, so this blew me away. I nearly cried on the counseling secretary's shoes when she accepted my check at the out of district school.

 

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We just scored seats for both economics tests at a different high school, but in the same generous district.

 

Now we just need to register for the AP Bio test at the high school in the district where we live, pay taxes, and have supported every budget increase they have asked for. You know the district where I volunteered for 9 years like a mad woman, teaching umpteen art literacy classes, working with low performing readers and advanced readers, going on field trips like the art museum for an AP, no less, and volunteering in the counseling department.  I feel like the "backwards" cousin. Yeah. I am not bitter.

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This has been quite a roller coaster ride, but ds is in! Our local school district doesn't allow homeschoolers to take APs. I called several others getting the same response. I was told the large school district nearby had the same policy, but contacted each high school independently and 1 out of 4 said yes. However, he backed out when ds needed accommodations. A local Catholic school said maybe, but was in the process of a principal change and wouldn't make guarantees. I expanded my search to every school that gives APs within 2 hours and struck out. 

 

The new principal at the Catholic high school said yes in October, but when I tried to contact her in January, I got no response. I thought they must have changed their mind. I left a couple of messages, sent an email. Finally, I got an email this week from someone else at the school with a registration form, the price for a proctor (I'd offered to pay extra), and all the information I needed. He's in! Now I have a precedent too :).

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This has been quite a roller coaster ride, but ds is in! Our local school district doesn't allow homeschoolers to take APs. I called several others getting the same response. I was told the large school district nearby had the same policy, but contacted each high school independently and 1 out of 4 said yes. However, he backed out when ds needed accommodations. A local Catholic school said maybe, but was in the process of a principal change and wouldn't make guarantees. I expanded my search to every school that gives APs within 2 hours and struck out. 

 

The new principal at the Catholic high school said yes in October, but when I tried to contact her in January, I got no response. I thought they must have changed their mind. I left a couple of messages, sent an email. Finally, I got an email this week from someone else at the school with a registration form, the price for a proctor (I'd offered to pay extra), and all the information I needed. He's in! Now I have a precedent too :).

 

I am so glad to hear this. You must be relieved. 

 

 

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When the Catholic school didn't respond, we honestly gave up. Ds said he didn't care. AP Lang is only accepted for elective credit at the college he is going to anyway and he is a senior, already admitted, already has the scholarships in hand. It just seemed a waste not to get to finish after all that work.

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If you're in San Diego county, Mt. Carmel High offers an extensive array of AP courses, and they're open to homeschoolers. Registration is online so very convenient, as well. You just need to email the contact person for a student ID. Info is on their website (would link but I'm on my phone).

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We just scored seats for both economics tests at a different high school, but in the same generous district.

 

Now we just need to register for the AP Bio test at the high school in the district where we live, pay taxes, and have supported every budget increase they have asked for. You know the district where I volunteered for 9 years like a mad woman, teaching umpteen art literacy classes, working with low performing readers and advanced readers, going on field trips like the art museum for an AP, no less, and volunteering in the counseling department.  I feel like the "backwards" cousin. Yeah. I am not bitter.

Lisa, I feel your pain.

 

On top of which dh has tutored there for free in mathematics, and I have volunteered with the band booster program, and they get our tax dollars, and we've arranged for other 4-H leaders to do volunteerism on their campuses, and campaigned for millage to get vital repairs made, and.....

 

But nah, though I was going to pay for the use of the room, the proctor, the test, and anything else they wanted, nope. They weren't above calling two weeks later to ask if I was helping with this year's band dinner benefit!

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If you're in San Diego county, Mt. Carmel High offers an extensive array of AP courses, and they're open to homeschoolers. Registration is online so very convenient, as well. You just need to email the contact person for a student ID. Info is on their website (would link but I'm on my phone).

Thank you! I suppose we could drive down there from the Bay Area, never been to the SD zoo. Take the AP tests, celebrate at the zoo!

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Thank you! I suppose we could drive down there from the Bay Area, never been to the SD zoo. Take the AP tests, celebrate at the zoo!

 

The zoo is amazing.  If you have time, hit both sites (the one at Balboa Park and the big Safari Park out near Encinitas).  USS Midway is pretty awesome too.

 

I think that Mount Carmel used the same AP Test Registration service that we went through last year.  It was pretty easy.  I paid a little extra for the test, but I thought it was a modest fee, considering.  Ironically the test the kids sat for with them wasn't actually a course offered at the school where the test was held.  So all of the students were from somewhere else.  

 

The only possible caution is that last year there were wild fires during the AP test week.  The second test actually ended up postponed for a couple weeks because the district had to close for two days.  I didn't know that the test would be postponed until about 9pm the night before.  We had a hotel reservation up in that part of the county, because I didn't want to fight am rush hour to get up there.  We ended up eating the cost of the hotel room because of the timing.

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I want you all to know that in the twilight of my homeschooling years, I am so paranoid about finding seats for the 2015-2016 exams that I already have written commitments for three of the four I am looking for. I am waiting for word on the last one and the one most difficult to find. I have set up my computer reminders so that I do not miss the widely varying registration dates with 3 different schools. :tongue_smilie:

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I want you all to know that in the twilight of my homeschooling years, I am so paranoid about finding seats for the 2015-2016 exams that I already have written commitments for three of the four I am looking for. I am waiting for word on the last one and the one most difficult to find. I have set up my computer reminders so that I do not miss the widely varying registration dates with 3 different schools. :tongue_smilie:

How do you get written commitments? Did you specifically ask for them and the wording that should be used? Any tips?

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How do you get written commitments? Did you specifically ask for them and the wording that should be used? Any tips?

 

I don't think I'd call it a formal agreement, but I emailed both schools that ds tested with this week, thanked them for their help, and asked them if if was okay if I contacted them next January because we would be looking for seats in X,Y,and Z.

 

I received responses saying they would be happy to have Sailor Dude test with them next year. I'll respond in January using those email messages when I ask to register.

 

For the third school, I sent an email to the AP coordinator and explained our situation. Since we have not tested there before, I let her know that ds has taken several AP exams, understands the process, and needs no accommodations. I also explained that he has schools to take his other tests at, but that almost no schools in the metropolitan area offer the Comparative Government and Politics course except theirs. I also offered references including the AP Biology teacher from our high school or that ds sails with several of their sailors. Yep, I pretty much begged. :D  I made phone calls for the other schools when I initially contacted them earlier this year, but for this school, because I was contacting the coordinator during the testing, I decided on email. I figured she had enough on her plate and didn't need the call. I hope to hear from her next week after the dust settles from the exams. If I don't, I will call.

 

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