By Krisha Patel
Starting in 2019, the College Board has added new fees to its Advanced Placement (AP) exams and asked students to sign up for those exams months in advance. These changes have stirred controversy among teachers, counselors, parents, and students. This change is unfair to students taking AP classes because they are being asked to sign up for AP exams near the beginning of the school year when they have barely been exposed to the class material. The March registration deadline was convenient because students would be in the class for more than half of the year before having to decide whether they wanted to take the AP exam or not. This year, however, the registration deadline for AP exams is November 4, three days after the end of the first marking period.
Usually, when students are conflicted about whether they should take an AP exam, they ask their teachers; however, the early registration makes it hard for teachers to determine if a student is competent to do well on the exam. In addition to the $94 fee, the College Board has decided to add a $40 late fee for missing the November deadline and a $40 cancellation fee for those who register but then opt not to take the exam.
These changes seem to be an added stress to students, especially to seniors, who don’t know at this point what college they will be going to and whether their college will accept certain AP test scores. All colleges vary on what scores they will accept for each exam. Previously, seniors would be able to register up until March. At this point, seniors are more likely to have an idea of where they are going for college and could check if that college accepts certain AP scores and register for exams accordingly. However, since the exam registration deadline is moved up, some AP test scores would essentially be useless for seniors if their college doesn’t accept it. Overall, it would be more beneficial if the College Board decided to change their registration deadlines back so students could have a better understanding of whether they should take the exam or not.