ï»¿Testing/Schmesting Part 2: SAT Subject Tests by Marjorie Hansen Shaevitz
Before we deal with AP Tests, let’s do a review of what Advanced Placement (AP) courses are all about, especially how they differ from other regular high school courses? College Board, the organization that develops and offers SAT and Subject Tests, is also responsible for developing the 30 courses and exams called Advanced Placement that are offered at high schools in the United States and other parts of the world. The current AP courses and exams are: WHAT AP COURSES ARE AVAILABLE Art History Biology Calculus AB Calculus BC Chemistry Computer Science A Macroeconomics Microeconomics Environmental Science European History Comparative Government & Politics US Government & Politics Human Geography Music Theory Physics B Physics C Psychology Statistics Studio Art US History World History Chinese Language & Culture English Language English Literature French Language German Language Japanese Language & Culture Latin: Vergil Spanish Language Spanish Literature HOW AP COURSES ARE SCORED For each course, there is a two to three hour exam that is offered every year in May. The tests are scored numerical scale of 1 to 5. 5 equals “Extremely well qualified,” 4 equals “Well qualified,” 3 equals “Qualified,” 2 equals “Possibly qualified,” and 1 equals “No recommendation to receive college credit or advanced placement.” AP courses generally demand more of students than regular courses. When you take an AP course, you usually read more, write more papers, solve more problems, and analyze and evaluate more material. According to The College Board, AP courses are like college courses. WHY TAKE AP COURSES? So if AP courses are more demanding and difficult, why would you want to take them? The answer is simple: colleges and universities want you to take the most rigorous courses offered by your high school, and AP courses are the epitome of that. The more AP courses you take and the better you do on the AP tests, the more colleges and universities will consider you a serious free imvu credits candidate. This is particularly true of more selective colleges such as the Ivy Leagues. Another reason is that many colleges will give you college credit for some of AP courses for which you have received a score of 3 or above, and/or war thunder aimbot free imvu credits hack in some their college courses. HOW MANY AP COURSES SHOULD YOU TAKE? How many AP courses you can take is often determined by what your high school offers. Some high schools only offer a handful of AP courses, while others offer all thirty. Many schools have a selection process that determines which students are eligible for AP classes depending on what kinds of courses they have taken in the past and the grades they get in those courses. Also know that you can take AP classes on-line through such groups as the Brigham Young University Online Independent Study courses ( and the University of California College Prep Open Access online courses ( Little Known Fact: You don’t have to take official AP courses in order to take AP tests. A “C” OR “B” IN AN AP CLASS OR AN “A” OR “B” IN A REGULAR CLASS? Should you take an AP class in a subject that you’re not strong in and get a C or B, or take a regular class and get an A or B? Frankly, there’s no totally right answer to this question. Many colleges will say to get an A in the AP course, period, but others will not be as demanding, appreciating that you are pushing yourself to take a harder class. If you’re planning to apply to a selective college, you should try to avoid getting a C in any class. Perhaps this is a solution: if you think you’re going to struggle to get a good grade in a particular AP class, it might be best to take a regular class, but then take an AP class in a subject area that is one of your strong suits. WHAT ARE AP SCHOLAR AWARDS? Many students are not aware that there are awards given to students who take a number of AP tests and score well. And they’re even more clueless that college admissions offices pay a lot of attention to these awards. To be an AP Scholar, you must have taken 3 or more AP exams and received 3 or higher scores on the tests. If you’ve received at least a 3.25 on all AP exams and grades of 3 or higher on four or more of these exams, you will be AP Scholar with Honor. AP Scholar with Distinction awards are given to students who receive an average grade of at least 3.5 on all AP exams and a grade of 3 or higher on 5 or more of the exams. AP State Scholar goes to one male and one female student in each state with grades of 3 or higher on the greatest number of AP exams taken with the highest average grades on all exams. Finally, National AP Scholar is granted to students in the U.S. who receive an average grade of at least 4 on all AP exams taken and grades of 4 or higher on 8 or more of the exams. Whew! Did you know about all of this? BOTTOM LINE FOR AP’S So here’s the bottom line if you’re applying to selective colleges or universities. Take as many AP courses as you can handle, and get A’s and also get 4’s or 5’s on the AP exams. But if you’re not applying to selective colleges, don’t sweat it. The vast majority of students who apply to Steam wallet hack selective colleges take a few AP classes, get good grades, pass the AP exams with 3’s or 4’s and are just fine. Copyright (c) 2010 Marjorie Hansen Shaevitz
Marjorie Hansen Shaevitz is founder/director of and has been involved with college admissions since her days as Director of Re-entry Programs for the University of California, San Diego Extension. The Student deserves to have the best, most up-to-date admissions information..