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Is finding a space for AP testing going to be even harder this year?


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I e-mailed the small private school where we've done AP testing before, and they got back to me to very politely and apologetically tell me that we couldn't test there this year because they're not allowing any extra people in the buildings right now and don't know whether that will change by spring or not. Which makes perfect sense, but for some reason it hadn't occurred to me that I might run into this particular issue. I guess I need to start e-mailing other schools (sigh), but curious if anyone else has found the same thing or, conversely, if anyone's found a place already that WILL let your kids test? (and if anyone's found one in the metro Atlanta area, please tell me where it is!)

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I am paying more this year in exam fees ($250 each) just to secure spots and be done with worrying about getting a spot for my teens. My husband’s employer already told them that the work from home order is extended to June 2021, and might be further extended. I don’t want the stress of worrying about AP registration so we paid up instead of looking around. We have received the exam codes. Our usual testing center hasn’t open registration for AP exams yet but I won’t be surprised if they up their exam fees as well due to having to limit the number of candidates they can take.

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30 minutes ago, Arcadia said:

I am paying more this year in exam fees ($250 each) just to secure spots and be done with worrying about getting a spot for my teens. My husband’s employer already told them that the work from home order is extended to June 2021, and might be further extended. I don’t want the stress of worrying about AP registration so we paid up instead of looking around. We have received the exam codes. Our usual testing center hasn’t open registration for AP exams yet but I won’t be surprised if they up their exam fees as well due to having to limit the number of candidates they can take.

What do you mean you paid up instead of looking around? Have they changed things so that you don't have to find a school that will give you seat for the test anymore? 

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36 minutes ago, Arcadia said:

I am paying more this year in exam fees ($250 each) just to secure spots and be done with worrying about getting a spot for my teens. My husband’s employer already told them that the work from home order is extended to June 2021, and might be further extended. I don’t want the stress of worrying about AP registration so we paid up instead of looking around. We have received the exam codes. Our usual testing center hasn’t open registration for AP exams yet but I won’t be surprised if they up their exam fees as well due to having to limit the number of candidates they can take.

oh--or are you just saying you found a place and signed up even though it was expensive to make sure you had somewhere?

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5 minutes ago, kokotg said:

oh--or are you just saying you found a place and signed up even though it was expensive to make sure you had somewhere?

Yes. It was more expensive than what we usually pay but I don’t feel the private school is price gouging since they can’t take as many exam candidates due to social distancing requirements (my county is still regarded as a COVID-19 hotspot).

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So far, it looks ok for us. We live in a big county though with a lot of options. 

One thing I didn’t know if others realized was that the fees are refundable this year. I was really glad to see that, because ds is signing up for 6 exams. If they are all online again, he might change his mind about taking them. Makes it a little less annoying to write that check. 

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14 hours ago, Alice said:

So far, it looks ok for us. We live in a big county though with a lot of options. 

One thing I didn’t know if others realized was that the fees are refundable this year. I was really glad to see that, because ds is signing up for 6 exams. If they are all online again, he might change his mind about taking them. Makes it a little less annoying to write that check. 

Good to know!

I also found out last night that they've extended the deadline for adding homeschoolers without paying a late fee...so if I don't find somewhere else I can circle back to my first choice next year when there might be more clarity about what things will look like in May (one way or the other; if they do them online again my 11th grader will be THRILLED 🙂 )

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I just found out that my dd is being allowed to test at the same school which worked with her the last 2 years. She only got in because the counselor vouched very strongly for her, otherwise the AP exams would have been a no-go this year as no other schools in our area are working with home schoolers even without COVID restrictions.

I don't know what the fee is yet. Dd is very much hoping to have the full, in-person exams this time.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, in what may go down as the easiest thing I have done all year, I finally wrote the counselor and got the exam only codes in less than an hour.  I am literally in shock!  I hope this is an encouragement to some.

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The private school DD has registered in the past is still virtual and has no idea when/if they’re going back. DD hadn’t planned on taking any this year anyway, so it doesn’t affect us, but it was about the only school in the area who was willing to allow homeschoolers to test. 

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FYI, homeschoolers specifically have longer to secure a spot than others. The AP guidelines specifically name homeschoolers and say that adding homeschoolers to the final addition of students testing will not incur a late fee like others.

I have heard that the reason for this is probably that by the final date for late registration, it will be clear if home-based AP testing is happening again. And if so, many more schools may be totally willing to take on homeschoolers when they weren't before.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Add my family to the "still looking" group! 🙂 Is there a list of private schools or places accepting homeschoolers this year? We just moved to the Louisville, KY area and aren't having any luck finding a place for my son to take his exams.  I'm willing to pay more or travel, at this point.  I have searched the college board lists, but then when I contact the schools, they either aren't getting back to me or are saying no.  I asked in the local homeschool FB group, but no one had suggestions.  Are there any "informal" lists online? 

Thanks!

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I live on a state border, and all of our friends in the other state are beginning to panic, too. Our own state has a law on the books that the public schools MUST accept resident kids, and - I'm so thankful ours gave us no issues whatsoever. They're signed up and paid for, no sitting fee, and the school will get back to us when they know the date (I know they're listed on the CollegeBoard website, but our little town school only does 1 thing at a time, LOL, and they have to give the PSAT before they can figure out the AP's). 

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I had no difficulty getting my DD registered for AP exams at the large public in the city where she lives while attending ballet school. She tested through the same school last year; I was holding my breath, worrying that they might have a different policy this year, but it was quick and easy.

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I am striking out everywhere as well.   The local high schools aren't going back in person until January and are flatly not taking outside students for any testing this year.  The private schools that offer the tests we need are open but extremely not interested in accommodating some random kid in the middle of a pandemic.

 

 

 

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As bad as this sounds, I think the Covid numbers continuing to spike big time is going to mean the CB has to do some sort of online testing again this year. They're desperate to maintain their control. They know it's an issue. They're losing masses of colleges going not just test optional, but blind. If they lose AP, it will be pretty bad for them. I think homeschoolers + kids whose schools aren't open are going to be a large enough bloc to avert this crisis. The crappy thing is that we won't know for sure for MONTHS.

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1 hour ago, Farrar said:

As bad as this sounds, I think the Covid numbers continuing to spike big time is going to mean the CB has to do some sort of online testing again this year. They're desperate to maintain their control. They know it's an issue. They're losing masses of colleges going not just test optional, but blind. If they lose AP, it will be pretty bad for them. I think homeschoolers + kids whose schools aren't open are going to be a large enough bloc to avert this crisis. The crappy thing is that we won't know for sure for MONTHS.

Yet they still won’t let us register directly. So we still need a physical school to order exams. 
 

And schools might be going test optional,  but everybody we know is still testing. 

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Three more rejections today.  I called the college board again to see if someone more helpful could provide me with schools using test-only codes in my area.  He could not.  At least, a few people got back to me.  I agree that the tests will probably end up being online again anyway, so I wish they would just let us register directly. 

Feel free to message me any schools in the Midwest that take out-of-district kids.  🙂

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5 hours ago, Roadrunner said:

Yet they still won’t let us register directly. So we still need a physical school to order exams. 
 

And schools might be going test optional,  but everybody we know is still testing. 

The whole system is set up to go through schools. But this is why they extended the deadline for homeschoolers. They know it's a possibility.

In some parts of the country, test sites are nearly impossible to find. On my college counseling groups, lots of IEC and school counselors have students with zero tests. And, even more have students who are gaming the system. Kids who have their 1400, but are going TO for top schools where it's below the middle 50. I'm telling you... the general psychology has not caught up with the reality that's playing out right now. I do think some of the emphasis has shifted to AP exam scores instead. We'll see how it plays out.

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17 minutes ago, Farrar said:

The whole system is set up to go through schools. But this is why they extended the deadline for homeschoolers. They know it's a possibility.

In some parts of the country, test sites are nearly impossible to find. On my college counseling groups, lots of IEC and school counselors have students with zero tests. And, even more have students who are gaming the system. Kids who have their 1400, but are going TO for top schools where it's below the middle 50. I'm telling you... the general psychology has not caught up with the reality that's playing out right now. I do think some of the emphasis has shifted to AP exam scores instead. We'll see how it plays out.

Oh, you think they might later allow homeschoolers to register directly? I hope you are right, but I am not holding my breath. We got denied by two places today citing Covid precautions. I am going to keep looking. 
 

A friend took her kid to NV for testing and said most kids were from California. People who are capable of high scores are going through tremendous length to test. 

I am afraid APs are becoming more important at a time when it’s hard to get those exams for us. The mismatch of grades and scores at our local high school is staggering. Ton of kids with A’s score below 3 on those exams. I do wonder how it all plays out in the end. 

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7 hours ago, Roadrunner said:

Oh, you think they might later allow homeschoolers to register directly? I hope you are right, but I am not holding my breath. We got denied by two places today citing Covid precautions. I am going to keep looking. 
 

A friend took her kid to NV for testing and said most kids were from California. People who are capable of high scores are going through tremendous length to test. 

I am afraid APs are becoming more important at a time when it’s hard to get those exams for us. The mismatch of grades and scores at our local high school is staggering. Ton of kids with A’s score below 3 on those exams. I do wonder how it all plays out in the end. 

I think if the exams go online, they're going to be more likely to admit homeschoolers THEN. And the rules in the CB guide that give homeschoolers more time to find a testing "site" are really about that - about the inevitability of going online. But we'll see.

If dramatically fewer kids take AP's, that's bad for the CB. And with dramatically fewer kids taking the SAT already an inevitability... they're going to cling. It's a weird mix... with SAT/ACT declining now, AP's are seemingly rising in power, but I think everyone is aware of the testing debacles last spring. Some kids got 5's on some exams and unexplainable 1's on others that they thought they aced. Other kids did very little and got 5's. Cheating was rampant. So... we'll have to see.

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11 hours ago, Farrar said:

. And, even more have students who are gaming the system. Kids who have their 1400, but are going TO for top schools where it's below the middle 50. I'm telling you... the general psychology has not caught up with the reality that's playing out right now. 

I have meant to ask you why you mean by that. What sort of “gaming” do you see in the system?

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3 hours ago, Farrar said:

I think if the exams go online, they're going to be more likely to admit homeschoolers THEN. And the rules in the CB guide that give homeschoolers more time to find a testing "site" are really about that - about the inevitability of going online. But we'll see.

They didn’t last year. 😞

Maybe they will this year, but I can’t sit and wait and risk it. 
 

The reason private schools are all saying No is because they plan on opening to justify their $45k + tuition. So they want it keep as close to the outside as possible due to virus risk.

Now if they start within 3 months to vaccinate, who knows, maybe by May we will be in person. It seems to be hard to predict anything. CA infection rates have really subsided. Yet everybody is out and about. So if the lower rates of infection hold (and I know  it’s a big if!) and we have some sort of vaccination going on, schools might just open. People are really fed up with zoom. And then homeschoolers are out of luck with APs. 😞

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47 minutes ago, Roadrunner said:

I have meant to ask you why you mean by that. What sort of “gaming” do you see in the system?

I see folks sending scores to some schools and not others, folks traveling to get testing... nothing bad per se... but some things that reinforce privileges.

42 minutes ago, Roadrunner said:

They didn’t last year. 😞

Maybe they will this year, but I can’t sit and wait and risk it. 
 

The reason private schools are all saying No is because they plan on opening to justify their $45k + tuition. So they want it keep as close to the outside as possible due to virus risk.

Now if they start within 3 months to vaccinate, who knows, maybe by May we will be in person. It seems to be hard to predict anything. CA infection rates have really subsided. Yet everybody is out and about. So if the lower rates of infection hold (and I know  it’s a big if!) and we have some sort of vaccination going on, schools might just open. People are really fed up with zoom. And then homeschoolers are out of luck with APs. 😞

They didn't last year because of the timing though. And because the CB made it harder to get a seat at the last minute. The timing will be different and the CB made it easier for homeschoolers.

Of course, it's a guess. No one can predict the pandemic. It's a mess. I'm not saying you're wrong to be worried or that you shouldn't do whatever you can to secure a spot now. I'm just saying that it's also possible that a more last minute way will open. And that there are more homeschoolers, more all virtual schoolers than ever. And taking them out of the AP's altogether would be bad for the CB's hegemony, something they have a reason to want to avoid if possible. They're also thinking about the lawsuits over the SAT in California having to do with access... It's possible nothing will change. But it's not clear.

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1 hour ago, Farrar said:

I see folks sending scores to some schools and not others, folks traveling to get testing... nothing bad per se... but some things that reinforce privileges.

They didn't last year because of the timing though. And because the CB made it harder to get a seat at the last minute. The timing will be different and the CB made it easier for homeschoolers.

Of course, it's a guess. No one can predict the pandemic. It's a mess. I'm not saying you're wrong to be worried or that you shouldn't do whatever you can to secure a spot now. I'm just saying that it's also possible that a more last minute way will open. And that there are more homeschoolers, more all virtual schoolers than ever. And taking them out of the AP's altogether would be bad for the CB's hegemony, something they have a reason to want to avoid if possible. They're also thinking about the lawsuits over the SAT in California having to do with access... It's possible nothing will change. But it's not clear.

See, I don’t see it that way at all. In fact locally the only kids who have ever made into tippy top schools are always minorities and/or first generation. And the funny thing is they are not necessarily economically disadvantaged. In fact they get admitted with much lower scores and accomplishments than the rest. So kids who aren’t minorities and have college educated parents have to prove themselves above and beyond. They are simply left with no choice but to travel and take those tests. It’s a nightmare. These kids feel test optional doesn’t apply to them because they are held to a higher standard. 

UCs have made a decision that racial quota system is more important than individual excellence. We will see results in a decade of that policy. But it’s not just UCs. The kids who were getting in with low scores because of their backgrounds will get in now with no scores. Kids who already were expected to produce tippy top scores just to level the field for themselves will have to produce again. Otherwise, they lose. 

And also, we are making assumptions here that if you have money, you can pull off any SAT score as you wish. I wish that was the case. There is an aptitude ceiling to those scores and even with increases if you study, you hit a ceiling at some point. 
 

 

but back to APs. Still no luck here. 

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6 hours ago, Farrar said:

I think if the exams go online, they're going to be more likely to admit homeschoolers THEN. And the rules in the CB guide that give homeschoolers more time to find a testing "site" are really about that - about the inevitability of going online. But we'll see.

If dramatically fewer kids take AP's, that's bad for the CB. And with dramatically fewer kids taking the SAT already an inevitability... they're going to cling. It's a weird mix... with SAT/ACT declining now, AP's are seemingly rising in power, but I think everyone is aware of the testing debacles last spring. Some kids got 5's on some exams and unexplainable 1's on others that they thought they aced. Other kids did very little and got 5's. Cheating was rampant. So... we'll have to see.

Yeah. I have a dd who got a 3 on an AP that she should have easily gotten a 5 on ( and based on practice multiple choice tests would have .)She does have strong SATs, but would be hurt if there is more emphasis on her AP. It’s very mixed up this year. I honestly can’t even guess at many of her possible acceptances. I’m glad she really likes and is already into her safety.  This is definitely a good year to choose a safety school you love and hold the other schools very very lightly.

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I am a bit concerned with this test blind push because, already, these scores counted more for homeschoolers and for scholarships.  My kids need scholarships.  We also don’t have the money for razzle dazzle ec’s And live in a state with no access to the ones at the high school. For us, our one area to shine is disappearing. ( I know it will all be ok and my kids will do fine, it’s just disappointing.)

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46 minutes ago, Roadrunner said:

See, I don’t see it that way at all. In fact locally the only kids who have ever made into tippy top schools are always minorities and/or first generation. And the funny thing is they are not necessarily economically disadvantaged. In fact they get admitted with much lower scores and accomplishments than the rest. So kids who aren’t minorities and have college educated parents have to prove themselves above and beyond. They are simply left with no choice but to travel and take those tests. It’s a nightmare. These kids feel test optional doesn’t apply to them because they are held to a higher standard. 

UCs have made a decision that racial quota system is more important than individual excellence. We will see results in a decade of that policy. But it’s not just UCs. The kids who were getting in with low scores because of their backgrounds will get in now with no scores. Kids who already were expected to produce tippy top scores just to level the field for themselves will have to produce again. Otherwise, they lose. 

And also, we are making assumptions here that if you have money, you can pull off any SAT score as you wish. I wish that was the case. There is an aptitude ceiling to those scores and even with increases if you study, you hit a ceiling at some point. 
 

 

but back to APs. Still no luck here. 

But you're in California, right? See, the UC's are hyper-competitive and they emphasize first gen and minority acceptances. That's an unusual mix. More schools give lip service to those and the schools that do a good job with them usually aren't hyper competitive, so even if they're competitive, you end up with a wider mix of privilege and minority/first gen students. Anything that involves travel to get access is definitely a function of privilege. Anything that involves research hours to get right (like figuring out which schools to send tests to and when) is also a function of privilege, though less so. But any time you've got families using IEC's to do that labor on their behalf and give tips like that then that's strongly a function of privilege. I get what you're saying, but the reality is that for the competition pool, the white kid with professional parents who are just getting by and carrying credit card debt to extend their middle class lifestyle are going to lose out to the white kid with professional parents who are pulling in 7 figure salaries or 6 figure salaries and invested in real estate at the right time or whatever.

I'm definitely not making the assumption that if you have money, you can get the SAT score you want. But I also can't ignore that it helps a lot more than many would like to admit. For kids who are privileged in a variety of ways, the schools like the UC's that are going test blind literally can't use those measures to produce, like you're saying. Maybe AP scores will replace... but maybe not. They aren't even available to a lot of students so they can't form a universal measuring stick. Not to mention that they are not all equally difficult and everyone knows it. The UC's and the other test blind schools like WSU and CUA are going to have to be holistic in their evaluations.

Look, I get that it's weird and unprecedented. And I hate that we're all reading the tea leaves. Like, if you look at some TO policies this year - like Georgetown's - it's clear that they want your tests. If you look at others - like Dickinson's - it's clear they don't even want to see it. Most schools are in the middle. But AO's are saying pretty clearly at many, many schools that they are working hard to make this equitable if you apply without tests.

What that means for privilege and what it can get you is really unclear. In the privilege wins column - the complexity of this year and next means I think more families will hire college counselors, more time on research will pay off more highly, more ability to buy experiences and access to experiences like competitions and summer programs may be weighed more heavily in a holistic application, and money is always a factor - the more you've got, the better for getting in somewhere full pay. But in the privilege doesn't win category - holistic admissions means more ability to take into account all of the above. So. We'll see.

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Also, tl;dr... California warps one's view of college admissions by having such a hyper competitive environment. It's harder in California. It's just harder.

And I really really hope you find your AP seats. I hope everyone does. Every state should guarantee access for homeschoolers. It's cruddy that they don't.

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20 minutes ago, freesia said:

I am a bit concerned with this test blind push because, already, these scores counted more for homeschoolers and for scholarships.  My kids need scholarships.  We also don’t have the money for razzle dazzle ec’s And live in a state with no access to the ones at the high school. For us, our one area to shine is disappearing. ( I know it will all be ok and my kids will do fine, it’s just disappointing.)

Many are going TO for merit as well. But not all and a lot of places are being cagey, which is even worse.

It's folks in your position that I feel the worst for.

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4 minutes ago, Farrar said:

Also, tl;dr... California warps one's view of college admissions by having such a hyper competitive environment. It's harder in California. It's just harder.

And I really really hope you find your AP seats. I hope everyone does. Every state should guarantee access for homeschoolers. It's cruddy that they don't.

It is hyper competitive and it was race blind and it emphasized test scores. And yet they still managed to accept underprivileged kids that showed promise. It’s only changing now mostly because they are upset over percentage of Asian kids being accepted versus Latinos. White kids are unlikely to be affected because they proportionally seem to make up the “right” percentage of income if class according to UCs. 🙄 (Eye roll that this is even an issue). So we will see what happens in the next 10-15 years after these policies are firmly in place.

I don’t think you get what I am saying. If you are a minority and your parents don’t have a college education, you are the one who is privileged in the eyes of admission. We it bares out when we look at local high school admissions picture.  You can get away by going test optional and still get in if you are a minority. But if you have the same family income but don’t check the right racial box and you happen to have one parent with a college degree, your odds are already lower, so you have to sit and study and somehow get a score to even the playing field. And the crazy thing is, none of those things have to do with individual merit. 
 

And we honestly only know one PS family (Asian and a millionaire) who hired a college counselor or paid for SAT tutoring. Those things might be done in the top 5% of the income bracket especially in large cities, but that still leaves the majority middle class irregardless of race struggling to pay astronomical mortgages and without ability to shell out $$$ for tutoring. You and I are really not mixing in the same circles. 

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Ugh, I get you. In California is it is indeed very selective for admissions on things other than scores and grades, because the student pool of higher achievers is simply too large. I’m sorry you’re running into this. Racking up APs is probably not as good a strategy for many students as going outside the box on class selection or area of study (like pursuing a narrower and deeper interest in extracurricular and electives) that makes the application stand out. It’s a disaster and I don’t see that system being fixed any time soon.

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Not to mention the requirements this year keep changing.  We just sent Dickenson the SAT scores, now they are test blind.  Macalaster absolutely was NOT doing zoom interviews, then I was texting with SIL and found out that dnephew was online doing a Macalaster interview.  Unless you check each week, it's hard to know what you even do need to do.  Ugh.

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17 minutes ago, TAFKAPastry said:

Ugh, I get you. In California is it is indeed very selective for admissions on things other than scores and grades, because the student pool of higher achievers is simply too large. I’m sorry you’re running into this. Racking up APs is probably not as good a strategy for many students as going outside the box on class selection or area of study (like pursuing a narrower and deeper interest in extracurricular and electives) that makes the application stand out. It’s a disaster and I don’t see that system being fixed any time soon.

 

I think unless you are some sort of a genius, it’s hard to truly stand out. Those scores can at least show competence if nothing else. And at least give a fighting chance in a pool of mostly PS students who all have 10+ APs. 

I think it’s especially beneficial for those of us with many  home taught courses to have some standardized validation, specifically for CA schools. AP courses are a good way to do that in the absence of SATs. 
 

 

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I think that some of this must be regional, or else I just got very lucky.  Last year the mom of a student told me that her kid did whatever testing he wanted to at one of the elite private schools in town.  This school doesn't have an umbrella program and I have no idea how she got clued in to them or why they do this, but they seem willing to let homeschoolers test there for AP, PSAT, pre-ACT - if you're a high schooler and can get your info in to them early in the year, they'll order you a test (and, presumably, charge you for the test but she said that there isn't a proctoring fee).  I don't know if it bumps up their numbers (how many AP tests did you give this year?) or if they just do it as community serivce.  But, they offered a pSAT spot (we're not using it this fall - schedule-wise, it doesn't work), sent the AP code for us to register, and said that we were welcome to do the pre-ACT with them in the spring, assuming that things stay open.  But, here school started back just a week late (students could choose virtual or live, and we know people who have done each), private schools are all open, sports are happening, and numbers are trending down after a modest bump right after things opened/started.  I think that most people are just doing whatever they would normally have done, testing-wise.  My kid and another friend are playing school sports at different schools and they don't seem to have encountered any issues with being allowed on campus.  Everywhere that we go is limiting unnecessary people (limiting the number of spectators at events, not allowing people to wander buildings, etc) but there don't seem to be many limits on people being there with an approved purpose.  

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33 minutes ago, Farrar said:

I do understand what’s being said here, but this is like being envious of someone’s zero dollar EFC.

I was going to let this go, but this is insulting. 
If you want to help the disadvantaged, look at incomes not race. And I am saying this as a mother of very brown children. I refuse to have my kids being put in the racial box or any other box for that matter. They are individuals and what they get should be solely based on merit. 
 

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1 minute ago, Roadrunner said:

I was going to let this go, but this is insulting. 
If you want to help the disadvantaged, look at incomes not race. And I am saying this as a mother of very brown children. I refuse to have my kids being put in the racial box or any other box for that matter. They are individuals and what they get should be solely based on merit. 
 

The idea that somehow having more money and resources means one is not relatively privileged in the process is also insulting though. None of these solutions will solve everything. It's about so many axes of privilege and disadvantage. But acting like woe is the poor high achieving financially secure kids with educated parents... I'm sorry, I just don't buy it. 

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34 minutes ago, Farrar said:

The idea that somehow having more money and resources means one is not relatively privileged in the process is also insulting though. None of these solutions will solve everything. It's about so many axes of privilege and disadvantage. But acting like woe is the poor high achieving financially secure kids with educated parents... I'm sorry, I just don't buy it. 

Actually no, it’s not. I trust that you believe this, but having arrived to this country with one suitcase (both me and my husband), and having worked any imaginable job, trust me, it’s not all about so many axes of privilege and disadvantage. 

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5 minutes ago, Roadrunner said:

Actually no, it’s not. I trust that you believe this, but having arrived to this country with one suitcase (both me and my husband), and having worked any imaginable job, trust me, it’s not all about so many axes of privilege and disadvantage. 

I'm sorry, but I deeply disagree. There are genuinely different types of privilege and disadvantage in the world. I grew up in poverty, but with parents who had education and grandparents who were not in poverty. I had a lot less money than lots of people, but more access to information and support than lots of people. As a female, I faced certain barriers, but as someone who is white, I didn't face many others. I cannot see it as a simple issue. The solutions by colleges are difficult to get right and the end goals they're looking for aren't even all the same - the mission of the UC's is not the mission of Harvard or the mission of dozens of other schools. The SAT or AP exams are not a meritocracy.  They measure one particular thing and disadvantage smart kids who aren't neurotypical or even kids with medical issues and we know that getting access to accommodations is not evenly distributed because healthcare and psychological testing access is not evenly distributed. Even if everyone had equal access to testing (which, as this thread established, is already a huge issue), the test has never been the only measure that universities evaluate. They've always relied on other factors like GPA, course rigor, EC's, awards, etc.

This whole thing... literally everywhere nationwide except California kids with more money and more education access are at a massive, massive advantage over kids who don't have those things. And in California, they just have an advantage instead of a massive one.

It sucks to face the idea that you can't send your kid to a relatively affordable quality in state university no matter how smart and deserving your kid is. I can't either, though it's because there isn't one at all.

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17 minutes ago, Farrar said:

I'm sorry, but I deeply disagree. There are genuinely different types of privilege and disadvantage in the world. I grew up in poverty, but with parents who had education and grandparents who were not in poverty. I had a lot less money than lots of people, but more access to information and support than lots of people. As a female, I faced certain barriers, but as someone who is white, I didn't face many others. I cannot see it as a simple issue. The solutions by colleges are difficult to get right and the end goals they're looking for aren't even all the same - the mission of the UC's is not the mission of Harvard or the mission of dozens of other schools. The SAT or AP exams are not a meritocracy.  They measure one particular thing and disadvantage smart kids who aren't neurotypical or even kids with medical issues and we know that getting access to accommodations is not evenly distributed because healthcare and psychological testing access is not evenly distributed. Even if everyone had equal access to testing (which, as this thread established, is already a huge issue), the test has never been the only measure that universities evaluate. They've always relied on other factors like GPA, course rigor, EC's, awards, etc.

This whole thing... literally everywhere nationwide except California kids with more money and more education access are at a massive, massive advantage over kids who don't have those things. And in California, they just have an advantage instead of a massive one.

It sucks to face the idea that you can't send your kid to a relatively affordable quality in state university no matter how smart and deserving your kid is. I can't either, though it's because there isn't one at 

Good luck making everybody the equal size of a square. And maybe then once we get a utopia we can have national exams, because no, APs don’t measure subject knowledge. It’s all privilege they measure. 
 

And my kids are  most likely the right shade of brown for UCs. They aren’t our choice anyway, hence my need for AP exam sites. 
UCs have guaranteed admission for CC transfers. It’s actually really affordable and fairly straightforward for those who don’t mind CC for couple of years and a great back up for those of us who can’t get what we really want. 

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11 minutes ago, Roadrunner said:

Good luck making everybody the equal size of a square. And maybe then once we get a utopia we can have national exams, because no, APs don’t measure subject knowledge. It’s all privilege they measure. 
 

And my kids are  most likely the right shade of brown for UCs. They aren’t our choice anyway, hence my need for AP exam sites. 
UCs have guaranteed admission for CC transfers. It’s actually really affordable and fairly straightforward for those who don’t mind CC for couple of years and a great back up for those of us who can’t get what we really want. 

I don't know how you can get from my post about it being complex and impossible to measure all equally for all that somehow I'm trying to fit everyone into a square.

I think we're talking past each other. I agree that AP's are a measure of privilege.

American education is a mess. Of course admission to schools is going to be a mess too as a reflection. If you're looking beyond Cali, there are options, as you know. AP's aren't the only way to get into them. But regardless, they may help and I really hope you find the seats.

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