Numbers of Students Taking AP Exams Leap with College Board’s New Policy

Changes in AP registration dates are credited with increasing the number of Central students who signed up for exams by 50 percent.

By Emily Hearn

Between the 2018-2019 school year and the 2019-2020 school year, Central High School saw a 50% increase in the amount of AP exams that were ordered. The difference of 45 exams ordered is being credited to the change in registration dates for exams. Beginning this year, the College Board has changed the AP Exam registration dates to the fall.  With the earlier registration, College Board claims, “students are more engaged and less likely to give up – meaning they are more likely to earn a score that will translate into college credit.”

However, many students aren’t so fond of  the change. “It gives students less time to think about the benefits and downsides of taking the test,” Megan Weber, an AP English and AP Physics student says.  Megan claims that the 50% increase of exams is due to students panicking and signing up for the test, without truly thinking about it. 

“Schools that implement fall registration see higher participation and better scores,” College Board claims. Central High has 127 students slated to take an exam this May and by July will know whether scores increase as much as the 50% increase the participation of the exam did. 

Advanced Placement exams, depending on the university and the obtained score, can offer college credit, allowing students to skip introductory courses in college. Therefore, the $94 cost can seem miniscule compared to how much a single college credit hour costs. In the past, Advanced Placement Exam registration has taken place in early March. This allowed students to get a feel for the class and make a decision with two thirds of the course’s knowledge behind them.

Photo: Study by MC Quinn on Flickr