Those Last and Final Tests (Should I Take the AP Exam?)

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Alas, AP season has once again arrived. As a senior, I understand why many students are wondering why they have to take the upcoming AP exams. Most competitive and rigorous students are taking many (the most) AP classes they have ever taken in their high school career, or many have taken the minimum number. College admissions or rejections season is now over, college admissions officers no longer will look at your scores nor will you be able to find out until the month right you before you embark on your new journey to that university, so many are wondering: WHY?

AP tests have a variety of uses, though some diminished by the lack of admissions use.

1. AP test can give you college credit. We’ve all heard of that before, but since it was so far away, we considered it mainly a tool for college admissions. Now that we are on the precipice of that new chapter in our lives, it is important to consider studying for the AP exams. Passing the AP exams with a 3 or higher if your college requires it, is imperative when attempting to offset those expensive college tuition fees and textbook prices. Who doesn’t love saving money, right? The couple thousand dollars that would have been used to spend on classes at the U could be spent traveling in Europe, purchasing your first new car, or saved in an account. Poor freshman college students will need every cent they can scrounge up in the next few years.

2. Graduate earlier. That sounds nice, doesn’t it? Graduating before the rest of your peer, saving a semester or a year’s tuition (and meal plans, textbook fees, dorming fees, etc.), and starting your life early. That sounds absolutely great. AP exams can exempt you from some GE (general education) classes, and can put you in those specialized classes you need to jump start your career. Not to mention, you can bypass the large auditorium class filled with other freshman alike. It adds a little bit of gloating factor into it.

3. Studying for the AP exam sounds like a tedious, well-repeated, and pointless thing to do, but as we near the end of our last year in high school, it is important not to completely slack off. Studying the material covered throughout the year comprehensively will help refresh and maintain the information you worked oh-so-hard on throughout the year. It’ll also make you remember something for the time you start college so you don’t seem like a complete fool. Stay ahead of the curve, my friends.

4. This may seem like a pointless and stupid reason. It kind of is, but it is a perk. When you take those AP exams, you can get up later at the scheduled time, or leave early to have lunch and celebrate with your friends. That would be a great way to end your senior year. Many teachers also (along with their departments), offer refreshment parties before or after the examination to celebrate the year of grueling tests and cramming of information.

5. Another added perk is the period in class after all the examinations have been taken. As the exams are taken early in May, the rest of the month (and June) are spent watching “educational” movies, having free time, and bonding with classmates you may never see again after that year. Doing nothing in class or watching movies during class time is always a fun thing to do.

AP exams can seem like a great hassle, but they have many benefits too. Who knows? That one credit you got for that one AP exam could transfer with you if you decide to attend a different college. It has an illusion of being pointless, but if the occasion arises, it could exempt you from that one class you never knew it could.

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