Is Taking the AP Exam Worth It?


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Recently, you may have heard that students taking advanced placement classes at Freehold Boro High School were encouraged to register for the AP exams. They were soon shocked , however, when they learned that College Board’s price had risen to $101 per exam. With the news of this price rise, many AP students are now questioning if taking the AP exam is even worth all the time, effort, and money. Yet, taking the AP exams is worth it despite the downsides. The price, although hefty, is well worth the experience; exam scores help students get into colleges; and the AP experience in general boasts a great deal of benefits for students. 

Firstly, the AP exam is worth taking because the price is reasonable. Yes, on its own, $101 is a lot of money just to take one exam. But once you understand what goes into each test, it makes a lot of sense. College Board is a non-profit organization which means that the money they take from us doesn’t go to them. This money actually goes to paying specialists to create and write exam questions, print each test, and pay the administrators and graders. Plus, states that “College Board provides a fee reduction of $35 per AP Exam, including for AP Seminar and AP Research Exams, for qualifying low-income students.” This shows that if the test becomes personally too expensive, they can deduct the price. Therefore, the AP exam prices are fair and understandable when looking at the reasoning for it.

Also, the AP exam is worth taking because they truly help with getting into colleges. says that “85% of selective colleges and universities report that a student’s AP experience favorably impacts admissions decisions.” This shows how taking AP exams will do a lot in your favor by making you stand out from college admissions. While some believe that a low exam score can jeopardize your chances of getting into college, this is not true. also mentions that “The majority of students who score a 1 or 2 on their first AP Exam are likely to improve their score on a future exam.” This proves that taking the AP exam can only help you and not hurt your chances –  because even if you get a low score, you’ll have a greater chance of scoring higher in the future. Also, AP exam takers have the choice to control which exam scores are visible to the college they apply to. So you don’t have to worry about any low scores that could affect your chances. To sum it up, this all proves just how much taking the AP exam helps get students into a higher learning environment.

Finally, taking the AP exam is worth it because the test itself and preparing for it benefits you. Studying for the AP exam forces you to practice efficient test-taking skills that can be very useful for other important tests and exams that students will face. For me, personally, studying and taking practice tests for the AP exam has taught me many things. For example, I learned to pace myself and not focus too long on one troubling problem, because it would prevent me from answering later questions I did know. I learned how to answer FRQs (free response questions) effectively, being that I had never had an exam with an open-ended question before. All these and more prove that AP exams positively affect each individual student by instilling new critical skills. 

Ultimately, based on not just the facts, but also my personal experience, taking the AP exams is worth it despite the price. Exams teach you important classroom skills, help you get into college, and the price rise is perfectly fair. But at the end of the day, it’s not going to matter what some sophomore advises you to do. It’s up to you to make the right choice and decide what’s best for you and the future you want. I wish you the best, and hope I was able to provide some insight to help you choose what works best for you.