Early sign-ups underway for AP tests

Counselor hopes to sign up students by Oct. 31 although official sign-up deadline is Nov. 14

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Early sign-ups underway for AP tests

Students are signing up for AP tests.

Students are signing up for AP tests.

Students are signing up for AP tests.

Students are signing up for AP tests.

By Arien Roman-Rojas, Staff Writer

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AP Exam sign-up deadlines are happening early this year. 

Research has shown that students have a higher success rate on the AP exam if they sign up early. Because of this, the deadline to sign up has gone up from the springtime, to Nov. 14.

“They found that kids weren’t necessarily more committed to taking the test if they were in the class longer,” said Jennifer Hare, counselor and College Board testing coordinator. “In fact it was a little bit different. If they signed up in the fall, they were more likely to say, ‘No I’m doing this, I want to do this.’ ” 

AP classes, students and teachers say, require a level of grit and dedication that other courses don’t. Many, like junior Abdulla Ahmed, take more than one class for the learning opportunity.

 “I think it’s good to learn the process of how classes are run at the college level, in a little more intense setting compared to a high school class,” he said.

Out of  the 586 students who enrolled in AP courses last year, 222 took the exam. Many of the students who took AP courses took more than one course exam. 

One hurdle to taking the exam is the cost. Students must pay a fee of $98. AP does offer fee reductions for students with financial need.

“There are ways to qualify, if you’re on free and reduced lunch, you can get it for a reduced rate, but the tests are expensive,” Hare said.

Another reason students don’t take the exams is because simply taking the tests doesn’t guarantee credit. Students must earn a three or higher to quality for college credits.

“If you take the exam and you do well on it you can get credit so you don’t have to take those classes in college,” said Samira Laytimi, who will be taking the exam in spring for AP Literature and Composition.

 The new dual credit classes through the University of Kansas, however, allow students to earn credits based on their grades in the class rather than a single exam.

“ I think that you are probably going to see a lot more of the KU classes coming in and taking away from the AP [classes],” Hare said.

If you put in all that work, if you’re feeling up to it, I think you should really take advantage of that learning opportunity.”

— Tracy Murray, AP European History teacher

AP teachers said they work hard to make sure students are ready on test day.

“Having that opportunity to sit for an exam that’s content specific, that is comprehensive, and to have prepared for it, to know you can get through it, is important, too,” said Tracy Murray, the AP European History teacher. “If you put in all that work, if you’re feeling up to it, I think you should really take advantage of that learning opportunity.”

Each exam is content specific, so Murray recommends students planning to take an exam listen, ask and work outside of class with their teachers. 

“Find those resources to help you feel really strong for it,” she said.

Hare reminds students that registration for the exams is early this year. She would like everybody who is taking the exams to register by Oct. 31, although the official cutoff is Nov. 14. Pay $98 to the school in order to take the exam. As always, tests will be in the spring.