October 1, 2019, by

Make Sure You are Signed Up!


Although the timeline may vary depending on the school you attend, many students planning on taking Advanced Placement (AP) exams in the spring of 2020 need to be signed up for those exams by mid-November 2019.  Typically, students do not sign up themselves, but instead their schools sign them up and order the tests for their students.  This year the deadline is earlier than in past years so check with your school to confirm the date by which they need to have ordered an exam for you.

You can check the College Board’s website for information about ordering AP exams

In the wake of the announcement earlier this year that eight independent schools in the Washington, DC area were eliminating Advanced Placement courses, you might be wondering why take an AP Test?  There are several compelling reasons listed below.  It’s important to remember, however, that decisions about AP exams should be considered in the context of your overall course load, how many other exams you are preparing for, whether your class is aligned with an AP test, and whether a particular test will help you with college admissions or credit.  It is not the case that more exams are always better!  With those qualifications stated, here are some reasons students elect to take AP tests:


1. College Credit

Advanced Placement courses are college level classes that students can take in high school.  Many colleges will allow you to obtain college credit for an AP class if you get a 3 or above on the culminating exam.  Some colleges will allow you to skip introductory courses and start higher level classes if you have a qualifying score on an AP exam.  This allows you to dive into classes where your passion lies earlier on in college.

To find out if a school you are interested in will award college credit for a qualifying score, check out the College Board’s website.


2. Admissions

Colleges like to see that students have challenged themselves in high school by taking rigorous classes.  Taking an Advanced Placement course and doing well on the exam shows colleges that you are capable of doing college level work and that you are willing to push yourself academically. Of course, Honors, Advanced or IB classes will also show colleges that you are challenging yourself.

Some colleges will allow you to use AP scores in lieu of SAT Subject test scores in their admissions requirements.  Georgetown University, for example, recently made a change to their admissions policy allowing students to submit AP scores in lieu of the three recommended subject test scores.

Frequently Asked Questions:


Can I take an AP exam even if I’m not enrolled in an AP class?

Yes, although not all high school courses are aligned with AP exams. You should ask your teacher if your course aligns well with an AP exam. Some students taking rigorous classes in U.S. History, Literature or Biology, for example, will have all the information they need to do well on an A.P. exam. However, they will need to familiarize themselves with the format of the exams because they differ from other tests taken in high school.  The College Board offers sample exams and questions on their website.  Talk with your teacher to see if he or she thinks you will be prepared to take an exam.  You can also contact Marks Education for additional materials and assistance with taking a baseline test to determine your readiness for the test.


What can I do if my school does not offer AP classes or exams?

You need to find a school and coordinator who will administer the exam and ask them to sign you up.  To find out more on this process, check out the College Board’s website.


Still have Questions?  

Contact Marks Education for more information on AP courses and how our tutors can help you prepare.

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