AP Exams: Are They Worth It?

For students and schools new to AP, the thought of taking an extensive end-of-year exam can be daunting. Often, students can be quite intimidated by the process involved in preparing for the exams, not to mention the cost involved for the students. Are AP exams still worth the investment?

In 2016, AP exam fees are $92 per exam. This is expensive (especially when students are considering multiple exams), but there are several ways that students might look at the cost differently. First, for students who qualify, fee reductions (https://professionals.collegeboard.com/testing/waivers/guidelines/ap) are available to reduce the cost of the exam, and some districts and schools also provide financial support for students. Mentors might also want to encourage students to think of the long-term costs that can be saved by receiving college credit for their course. In-state tuition and fees for a three-credit course at the University of Iowa is about $1,100, which means that passing just one AP exam and receiving college credit saves over $1,000. When students receive credit for multiple AP courses, this can really add up. Those savings could allow students to do many things, including:

  • Take a semester off to complete an internship
  • Study abroad
  • Graduate and enter the workforce early

Despite the financial costs, students may still express concerns about preparing for the AP exam in order to do well. The Iowa Online AP Academy (IOAPA) helps support student preparation for AP exams by providing online AP Exam Review sessions to all IOAPA students free of charge. These sessions offer diagnostics, review modules, and practice questions in order to reinforce what students have learned in their AP courses. IOAPA mentors and site coordinators can also support students interested in AP exams by providing them access to study materials, encouraging them to take practice exams, and offering opportunities for study prior to the exam. More ideas and suggestions for support can be found in this post.

Want to learn more about IOAPA? Visit our website at belinblank.org/ioapa.

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