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AP Exam = Stress?

Now that AP (Advanced Placement) tests are imminent, the stress level of high school students (and by extension—their parents) is noticeably increasing. Not only are students taking multiple tests in a few short weeks, students are also in the last month of a long school year, and the pressures of thinking that college admissions officers will be scrutinizing their every action as a reason to admit them or “reject” them may be haunting them.

First, since admissions officers routinely tell me that the AP exam scores are not a factor in the admissions process, despite being reported in the application, then I advise students to think through which exams they believe they could perform at their highest ability. Then, a student can concentrate their preparation efforts strategically and maximize their performance.

Also, “gaining the college credit” is not a guarantee, as each university has their own policies, and some colleges, like Harvard University, are debating their policy to award college credit for AP exam scores starting with the incoming Class of 2024. Harvard officials want students to have a full “Harvard College” undergraduate education, so are debating how to and even if college credit will be awarded for AP exam scores.

Lastly, if a student does not take the AP exam, they can still gain the extra GPA point for their “weighted” GPA, since they’ll complete the AP class by the end of the school year.

Stress can be resolved with the antidote of facts. So, stay mindful, then concentration will arise naturally, and students will perform as well as possible on the exam.