Image from Pexels

Image from Pexels

There is a crowd of students outside the exam venue, or perhaps the exam room. The proctor comes out with a list in his or her hand, and the students line up and hand their student ids over to the proctor. The students will eventually trickle into the room and choose a seat. The room looks gloomy and bleak, with silence hanging in the air. Once the proctor confirms that everyone is there, it is time to begin the AP exam.

AP exams are standardized exams that are focused on seeing how much a student have learned within a given year. With a scaled score of between 1 and 5, 4 and 5 would give you credit for courses in college. However, you may still be able to take AP classes without taking the AP exam. Most of the time, students take the AP exam for a chance to get credit for a class in college and not have to take it in the future. So why would one consider not taking the exam after a whole year in a difficult class? Here are three reasons why:

1. Your college might not take credit.

Studying for hours and actually getting a 5 on an AP can be one of the best feelings ever. Until you realize that your college does not even accept credit for that 5! All your studying has basically gone to waste! Therefore, before actually registering for classes, it is a good idea to look into colleges that you are applying to and check their regulations with AP classes along with what classes each AP exam gives credit for. Usually, it is graduate school that does not accept credit, but it is always good to check beforehand! So for anyone who is planning on going to graduate school, check several graduate school websites. For example, I have to apply to pharmacy school next year, and the pharmacy school of my choice requires students to take two semesters of general chemistry and two semesters of general biology regardless of receiving a 4 or 5 on the AP exam(s).

2. You just wanted to learn the material.

Some students take classes for the fun of it. They want to learn something new. For example, when I was taking AP Psychology in high school, I had a couple of friends who took the class for fun since they thought psychology was interesting. They also did not want to take the college prep course because AP Psychology would go much more in depth. However, they did not want to take the exam because they were bad at test taking and they did not see a good reason in paying for the test. Also, there are some subjects that are only taught as an AP class, such as AP European History. There is no college prep European History. If someone really likes history and wanted to learn the history of Europe, this is the only class that person could take.

3. You wanted the bonus point for your GPA.

It is a known fact that a boosted GPA can give you a GPA above 4.0. However, people do not know how can you actually “boost” your GPA. Simply, you take AP classes and you get an additional point to your overall points for each AP class you take. For example, if I got an A in an AP class, instead of a 4 (which is an usual A), it would be a 5. Because of this boost, taking AP classes can be very tempting. However, there are several factors like how many booster points your school lets you have, or if it actually shows on your transcript or not. However (bold), there are actually some schools that require for you to take the AP exam if you want the additional point so remember to take that into consideration as well!

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