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Do you have to take the AP exam? Should you?

We plan 3-4 APs 12th grade, same as this year - want to keep rigor appreciably the same. Do seniors take the AP exam at the end of the year? Should they?

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Seniors should take the AP exam if they think they will do well and can apply the credits towards their degree.  If money isn't an issue and they know the material well, then they should probably take the exam even if they don't think they'll need it for their degree since they may need it anyway (change of major or college).  

 

 

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You don't have to take the exam,  but taking the AP exam can get college credit and save tuition and let the student be placed in the next level class. Just taking the class doesn't get you credit.

Edited by regentrude
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DS has AP Econ and AP lit on his transcript this year (actually I put "Economics with AP exam" since I didn't get a syllabus approved). I felt like he should take the tests since they're on his transcript, even though he probably already has more DE and AP credits than he'll be able to use most places he's applied (and most of them are LAC with no/very loose core requirements, so placing out of non-major classes isn't really factor either). BUT the only place I've found so far that will let him sit for exams doesn't offer AP Econ (and he's not feeling super confident about it), so I agreed to not look much harder for somewhere else to take the exam as long as he keeps up with doing Econ as if he were still planning to take it. ETA: I'll take the "with AP exam" part off of his final transcript, too, but I would be shocked if any of his colleges cared much one way or the other)

Edited by kokotg
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Next year we’ll have to decide early in fall, too. 

Planning on them, yes. I was thinking maybe he wouldn’t for Physics C, because for any STEM degree he probably wouldn’t take the credits but would just be taking it for preparation. But kids do change their minds about majors, so maybe even then it would be a good idea. I’m pretty sure, though, that they choose whether to take the credits or not directly on enrollment. I’m not sure if you can backtrack year or two later and take the credits.

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We're thinking AP Calc BC/AP Physics C/AP Eng Lit - if he takes them, should he prep for them as well as he's prepped for all the others these first 3 years? (He's only a Jr now - I'm just wondering outloud). I guess yes, if we think he'll get college credit. But not getting all 4s & 5s won't affect him after acceptance, I suppose?

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DD will most likely take the AP exams for any APs she takes as she wants to get college credit and it is supporting documentation for her final transcript. She will not have three or four though.....her college application process will be much different as she will be applying for a BFA which requires auditions and more so I can't load her down with numerous APs! 😉

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2 hours ago, mirabillis said:

We're thinking AP Calc BC/AP Physics C/AP Eng Lit - if he takes them, should he prep for them as well as he's prepped for all the others these first 3 years? (He's only a Jr now - I'm just wondering outloud). I guess yes, if we think he'll get college credit. But not getting all 4s & 5s won't affect him after acceptance, I suppose?

No, not getting good scores on the AP test won't affect anything.

Are these courses he is passionate about? Are they courses that are relevant for his major? My answer would depend on his plans and on the quality of the corresponding course at the university he is planning to attend. If he needs to progress further in a  math heavy field, choosing to take the entire math sequence at the university might be a good idea if it is a tough school and a waste of time if it's an easy one. Same for physics: at some schools, the level of course will be comparable, at others, it will be more rigorous. Having the AP exam might get him bumped into an honors section. If he just needs to get out of requirements but won't continue the studies in these fields, absolutely get the AP and get the requirement out of the way.

But I am not a big fan of APs and we didn't do any, just had the kids take courses at the university.

Edited by regentrude

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My kids don't take AP exams for their 12th grade AP classes if their colleges won't award credit for the class.  Luckily, my kids have all known where they would be heading to college before they needed to register for the AP exams.  Thanks to the latest money grab by the College Board, most of next year's seniors won't have the option to wait and see.

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My daughter only ended up taking two exams of the four AP courses she took her senior year.  The ones she didn't take, AP Chemistry and AP Calculus, were courses that she knew she would want to take again at the university level since she is a science major. So, it largely depends on whether the courses are required for their intended major.  

Of course, you don't have to take the credit for them, so if your child loves taking the AP exams - go for it! 😁

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We are doing AP Calc and AP English Lang. Dd is done with all her course work except one final for English. Otherwise all she has to do now is prep for the AP exams. It is definitely keeping her focused and the rigor up before senioritis can kick in. Also the school she is accepted to requires four passing AP scores and right now she has three. 

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We're finished with AP math and sciences.

DD knows she will do AP Eng. Lit.  We're trying to decide on the others (Gov't, Econ, Psych and German).  Unfortunately, we know we have to decide much earlier (which is a real pain).  We were hoping to see how things go and once she has a better idea of which school she'd be going to deciding on CLEP or AP at that point.  Her math courses won't be altered (she's taking two not sure if it's DiffyQ or Linear Algebra or Discrete Math), but I also wanted her to have a bit of an easier load after this year, and have some more "fun" electives.  We are absolutely done with science.  I don't think any of the APs we might do are necessarily difficult ones, but it's more the whole process of preparing and studying.  

I think we are both burned out on APs at the moment (I do think she's going to crush all of them this year! About 4 weeks to test days!)

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My dd won't take any APs this year mainly because she's already taken all the ones she wants already.  So it might look like a step down after last year (AP physics C, APUSH, AP calc, AP lang & comp), but she's continuing to take advanced challenging classes.  

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