The Student News Site of Marion High School

The Vox Online

The Student News Site of Marion High School

The Vox Online

The Student News Site of Marion High School

The Vox Online

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February 21, 2024
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Things to know about AP exams

By: Sam Williams [Opinion Editor]

Advanced Placement (AP) courses are very beneficial to a student for several reasons: they can raise your GPA, they are impressive on a transcript, and they can get you college credit if you score well. With final grades nearly set in stone for classes this year, the most important part of these benefits right now are the National AP Exams.

May is the month for AP exams. Every year the College Board tests students who choose to take the exam over all the material learned throughout the year and their ability to apply the knowledge. Each exam is composed of two parts: multiple choice and free-response. The multiple-choice section is very much like the reading section of ITED and ACT. The free-response, however, is easily the more daunting of the two. The test-taker is typically given a passage or another prompt and they are told to write an essay in response to the prompt. These two tests are graded separately, and then weighted to give a final score.
Every exam is composed differently in terms of how much the multiple-choice section counts versus the essay. The AP English exams, for example, are weighted 45:55. That is, multiple choice constitutes 45% of your grade while the free response is 55%. The AP Calculus exam is weighted in equal parts, with the multiple choice and free response both being worth 50% of your grade. Knowing how much each section of the test is worth can help relieve a little bit of stress on the student.
After completing the exam, it is graded by professionals and given a 1-5 score. In order to receive college credit for the test, you need to get a grade that is accepted by the college. For example, University of Iowa usually only accepts scores between 3-5 for credit, with the higher score sometimes giving you more credit hours. Sometimes, however, schools won’t even accept certain AP exams. It’s important to do research on what exams your school doesn’t accept and what scores they require before you take a test.
AP classes are a very great thing to take and are encouraged by many colleges. However, before investing around $100 in taking an AP exam, you should do research on how colleges you are going to or want to go to deal with test scores.
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