AP Exam season is here

AP Exams are administered from May 2 to May 13 by the College Board, the
same company who designs and administers the SATs.

College Board

AP Exams are administered from May 2 to May 13 by the College Board, the same company who designs and administers the SATs.

   It’s that time of the year. The weather is getting warmer; the end of the school year is getting closer. But, before the celebrations begin, many juniors and seniors have one final obstacle.

   AP Exams are the culminating tests for all Advanced Placement courses run by the College Board, the same company that administers the SAT. AP courses are the highest level classes offered at many high schools as they are seen as the equivalent to a college course. They help students stand out on college applications, earn college credit and placement, and boost students’ GPAs. 

   But, college credit and placement can not be earned without taking the AP Exam. Exams take during the first two weeks of May — towards the end of the school year. All exams (excluding courses in the AP Capstone program and AP Art and Design program) consist of a multiple choice section and a free response section, lasting for two to three hours. They are scored out of five, with a three or higher typically being awarded college credit. For most AP classes, the entire year is spent preparing for this single test. 

   Historically speaking, Eastern typically scores higher than the national average on the majority of AP Exams taken. Teachers are sure to build in review time in their lesson plans, and students put in the work outside of school.

   “I think my teachers did a good job in preparing me,” senior Dara Hammel said. Hammel is taking four exams this year and will be attending Washington University in St. Louis in the fall. “I’m especially ready for English, Microeconomics, and Spanish this year.” 

   For juniors, nerves are high; many are experiencing their first ever AP Exam season, and the scores they receive can impact their college admissions. For seniors, there is a little less pressure. AP Exams fall after the May 1st deadline of making a college decision, so these exams have no impact in the admissions process; they can only save them from taking a few less courses in college. 

   Seniors Valora Wong and Vikram Meyyappen are feeling the difference in this AP Exam season. 

   “I don’t care as much as I did last year because [the scores] aren’t used in admissions,” Meyyappen said. He is the Valedictorian for the Class of 2022 and will be attending Princeton University — after he finishes his four exams for this year.

   “I don’t have a ton of motivation to study, but my teachers prepared me well enough that I don’t have to do much outside prep,” Wong said. Wong will be attending New York University and is taking five exams this year. 

   “I really only care about Calc BC this year because I don’t want to take it in college again,” she said. Placing out of difficult college courses such as Calculus is one of the main reasons to take AP Exams.  

   While AP credits received from earning a three or higher on the AP Exam are taken at almost every college or university in America, there are other ways for Eastern students to earn college credits. Eastern offers dual enrollment with Camden County Community College for select courses. These credits will transfer to most in-state colleges or universities, and many public schools will also accept them.

   Senior Jaclyn Nyce took advantage of this opportunity. She will be taking one exam this year and is attending Pennsylvania State University in the fall.

   “I need to take Biology to get the dual credit. I did dual credit through Camden County for most of my AP courses instead of signing up for the exam. It was cheaper and the credits will still transfer, and it saves me the stress of studying for the exam,” Nyce said. 

   The next two weeks at Eastern will see high stress levels amongst the AP students. Keep in mind the students who have worked towards this exam for the past eight months when you walk by the Media Center during passing periods, as exams are being held here at 8am and 12pm almost everyday until May 13th.