PRO: 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.

Near the end of each school year, students are given the option to take a rigorous, comprehensive test known as the Advanced Placement test, or AP exam. Although thousands of students take the difficult year-long AP class and corresponding exam to receive recognition for their hard work, Dartmouth College, along with other universities, recently stated that it will not be transferring Advanced Placement scores for college credit. This has raised the question of whether taking these higher-level courses and exams are worthwhile. While they may not receive college credit, students should still grasp the opportunity to challenge and distinguish themselves among top-tier students by proving their competency with a college-level course load.

The common belief is that now, there are fewer benefits from taking these advanced courses. However, college administrations are aware of the difficulty of college-leveled classes and plan to still provide some sort of advantage to students who prioritize education and persevere in the demanding courses. With the ability to excel in the highest-level courses in  school, students eager to challenge themselves will differentiate themselves from the rest of the applicants. In addition, Dartmouth hopes to utilize these scores to place students into appropriate courses. Aside from the benefit of standing out from the rest of the crowd, students should want to take these tests for the scholastic appeal of acquiring new knowledge. In modern society, advancement is the key in every field, whether it be science or fashion, and in order to keep up with the pace of society, students should adopt a naturally curious mindset.

Furthermore, although the AP credits earned in high school may save a semester or more in college, the AP course work differs from the actual classes in college to such an extent that when 208 students in Dartmouth who received 5’s on their AP exams were given a college level test, only 20 of them passed.  Teachers also observed that those students who earned a 5 performed at the same caliber as those who received less than a 5 on the AP exam, thereby supporting the notion that exemplary performance on the AP exam does not guarantee a better understanding of the material than those who received lower scores.

The AP test is not solely a test to examine the amount of knowledge acquired in the span of a year. Rather, it is a test of perseverance to oneself. In addition, college administration may utilize the scores as a source to see whether the student is a high achiever or if they opt for lower leveled classes. Aside from Dartmouth, more colleges are beginning to pursue similar academic systems of
not weighing AP tests as heavily, as seen in Yale University and Stanford University. Therefore, students should always challenges themselves, especially in the extremely competitive modern world of academics, and persevere in order to be set apart as ambitious.