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The independent student media site of West Linn High School

wlhsNOW

The independent student media site of West Linn High School

wlhsNOW

The problem with the AP exam registration fees

Students have until Oct. 31 to pay their AP exam fees
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Joseph Murphy
Every AP exam has a fee that’s $89. If the student doesn’t pay the money in time, there will be an additional $40 fee.

Every fall, students enroll in Advanced Placement (AP) classes to register for the AP exams. These exams are standardized tests that students must take in order to earn college credit for their classes. The College Board grades tests on a scale from one to five, with a three or higher considered passing. The College Board is a not-for-profit organization that allows students to boost their GPA, earn college credit, and stand out to colleges by administering AP exams.

This school year, there is a new process to register. Students still need to register for their classes through the College Board. However, students at school also had to fill out a form saying what exams they plan to take, the signatures of themselves and a parent or guardian, and the amount they owe the school for the exam. Jennifer Bosket, the Testing Coordinator, helped administer the form. 

“Our goal with doing the paper form was to make sure that parents were involved,” Bosket said. “That’s why we required a parent’s signature. Because in the past, [students] used a Google form, but then some parents weren’t aware of what their students were signing up for. So, it created some challenges that we had to deal with later when parents were paying for the fees.”

The College Board set the price of exams at $98 per exam at schools in the United States, but each individual school sets a fee they will have students pay to take the exam at their school. This year, the fee is $89 per exam. Students have until October 31 to pay the fee for AP exams. If a student doesn’t get the money in on time or decides not to take an exam, they must pay an additional $40 fee. 

With the price of $89 per exam, the cost can add up for students taking more than one AP exam. Not everyone can afford to spend nearly $100 on a test, especially when they only have until the end of October to come up with the money or be charged an extra 40 dollars on top of the already high testing fee. Danielle Golden, junior, is taking three AP exams this year. 

“I didn’t expect [AP exams] to be that expensive,” Golden said. “I did not realize that they add up. Taking three exams is almost three hundred dollars, which is a lot of money, but I guess you would also have to pay for the classes in college, so I’m not sure how it balances out.” 

Students must take the AP exam to be eligible for college credit, which is a big reason students take AP classes. However, some colleges and universities don’t take credit for an AP class unless the student gets a four or even a five on the exam. This places pressure on students, and there isn’t a way to retake an exam if they don’t pass.

Additionally, AP classes are academically rigorous, and without a passing score on an AP exam, it can feel like all the work put in throughout the school year was for nothing, especially for students who wish to go to prestigious schools but do not get a high enough score to receive credit for their work. Lauren Gault, junior, is taking five AP classes. 

I didn’t expect [AP exams] to be that expensive. I did not realize that they add up. Taking three exams is almost three hundred dollars, which is a lot of money, but I guess you would also have to pay for the classes in college, so I’m not sure how it balances out.”

— Danielle Golden

“It definitely racks up [in price] when you are taking so many,” Gault said.  “It’s not that much when it’s one, but when you get to five it’s a lot. I want to take five AP classes next year, too. I can definitely see how [the cost of exams] would be an issue in deciding what classes to take. I would understand it if I didn’t get credit in college, but I’d kinda be like, ‘come on man, I didn’t get anything?’ I would be disappointed but understand.”

The exams that students have to take are standardized tests on paper. They often consist of a multiple choice and written section with a small break in between. Standardized testing isn’t always the best way for students to show their knowledge on a topic, which can lead some people to fail. 

The purpose of AP exams is to show a student’s knowledge of a topic and allow them to receive credit for their work in the class. Registering for AP exams is a process that happens every year for students taking AP classes, and it is important to pay attention to registration to be able to take exams. 

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About the Contributors
Lucy Forest, Academics Editor
In addition to being in journalism, Lucy Forest, juniors, enjoys singing in symphonic choir and reading. In the future, she hopes to get a job in the publishing industry and apply her new skills to her work wherever she ends up.
Joseph Murphy, Web Editor-in-Chief
In addition to being the Web Editor-in-Chief, Joseph Murphy, senior, also enjoys running with the cross country team. Journalism has proved to be Murphy’s main interest due to the fun he has writing about sports and photographing sports games. In the future, Murphy hopes to be a photojournalist for a professional sports team.
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