CON: Here’s an AP Problem!!!

As more colleges decide to deny AP scores for college credit, students are left wondering if the rigorous courses are worth taking.

Gloria Kim

As more colleges decide to deny AP scores for college credit, students are left wondering if the rigorous courses are worth taking.

The greatest reason many high school students put themselves through rigorous Advanced Placement classes is to get college credit for the future; however, when a prestigious Ivy League school like Dartmouth College decides to stop giving college credit, there seems to be no reason to take such a time-consuming and challenging class that one will eventually have to retake.

Dartmouth College reached an agreement that starting from the Class of 2018, it will no longer give credit for AP scores, but only acknowledge the fact that a student has taken the exam. Is simply receiving acknowledgement worth the immense stress and pressure, numerous tests and all-nighters? AP classes, as taxing as they are, need to be more rewarding, such as granting a student the opportunity to skip certain required college courses, because without it, students have little incentive to work hard in the classes. The number of students who have taken AP tests nearly doubled in the past decade from 471,404 to 954,070 students. However, with the new policy being initiated, that growing trend will come to a standstill, and eventually a drastic decline. Hakan Tell, committee chair member of Dartmouth, emphasizes that although the school will recognize that students have taken the AP courses and exams, the admissions committee does not believe the scores indicate that students have already mastered the college-level course material.

If more and more colleges follow Dartmouth’s policies to discredit AP scores, students should reconsider taking these classes. Clearly, they should not have to go through the trouble of persevering through AP classes for the sole purpose of becoming “better-prepared,” because it is not worth the amount of work an AP class requires.

It is unfair that AP students, who put in admirable extensive effort in their studies to distinguish themselves above their peers, will ultimately start out at the same place as that of non-AP students in college. Since its establishment in the 1950s, the AP program has provided a different route for students who wanted to excel and be ahead of the rest of the student body. They could attain credit for college courses and potentially graduate early as a reward for their hard work and perseverence in high school. Without tangible benefit, there is little reason students will challenge themselves to take AP courses. Students need to realize they should not take a class they will eventually take again in the future, especially considering the preposterous amount of work AP classes entail. In that sense, students should instead wait to take those courses in college.

Without the benefit of being able to skip  those advanced level subjects in higher education institutions, the immense workload, as well as the stress and time that must be sacrificed, is far too great for a student to even consider enrolling in an Advanced Placement course.