AP exam registration policy tests students’s patience

Students to register for exams in fall, effective November 2019

Neha Ajjampore, Visual Content Director

In the beginning of the year, Edficiency was introduced to schedule Lancer Blocks. In mid-April, early-release Thursdays officially met their demise. Recently, the class of 2020 disrupted the status quo with their senior color (it’s tie-dye, which is technically more of a pattern than a color). So it is safe to say that things are changing — not necessarily for better or worse, just simply changing.

At least, that was the general consensus until one more change was confirmed: starting next year, AP registration will be moved to November, rather than the usual February.

Now, this is a bad thing. This is a very bad thing. And here’s why.

School starts in September, and term 1 ends in early November. For students with first semester AP classes, this should be enough time and experience in the class to choose whether or not to take the AP exam. But what about AP classes that run second semester? Students will not be able to assess their performance in class and use that as a basis for their decision. Instead, they will have to predict their abilities in that class and prematurely sign up for the exam — which will most likely lead to regrets, especially for classes like AP Physics 1, of which the exam is notoriously difficult. It’s no easy feat to drop nearly $100 on a test you know nothing about.

At this point, one may argue, what’s the big deal? Students can always drop out of the exam if they feel they are not ready to take it. This is true; you have until before the first day of AP weeks (this year, it was May 6) to cancel their exam. However, this comes with a price: a cancellation fee of $15. So students are refunded only a portion of the money they paid. While this may not seem like much to some, it could very well be a significant amount for others. Furthermore, this penalty fee adds up quickly for those taking multiple exams.

With this in mind, it’s clear that the new policy to register for AP exams in the fall is, quite frankly, ridiculous. Students should not be rushed when it comes to decisions that will impact their post-secondary lives. Rather, they should be allowed to gauge their abilities within a particular subject before choosing whether or not to take a college-level exam on that subject.