Pressure on You and Your Wallet: AP Tests

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It seems these days that AP is becoming less like an option and more like an obligation. Taking away the alternative of an honors level in some of its history and English classes, Verona High School seems to be pushing kids into AP, which might be beneficial to the school system and to students who can receive college credit for that course, but there are definite negatives.

One of these is being forced to pay $87 per AP test that you take.

According to a report by the College Board, “more than 60 percent of students considered to have AP potential didn’t take the exam” in 2011. This statistic could largely be due to the fact that taking the test costs money that some students simply cannot afford.

On a “College Confidential” forum, students expressed their negative feelings about the pricey tests. “Why does the College Board need 87 dollars per test? Surely it can’t cost anywhere near that much to manufacture and send out one test. How do they expect people taking 4+, or even 2+ to afford all this?… With the combination of all the classes my sister and I are taking, we’re gonna have to pay 500+ dollars,” posted one distressed student.

However some schools trying to take action to deal with this.

“You can only get AP credit if you get a 3 or higher, but the school reimburses you for the test cost if you do,” says Pequannock Township High School senior Jess Estrella. This is a good incentive for students who take an AP class but might struggle financially to do well on it, because they will receive some money back.

AP classes are a good way for students to challenge themselves, and the AP test is a great way for students to get college credit. However, the expenses for the tests could prevent some students who could really benefit from them from taking them.