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Should I Take AP Tests if I Took the Courses?

There are actually both good reason to take AP tests and to skip them. Here's some expert advice on why you should and the times when it may be best not to.

Will ZuberbuhlerWill Zuberbuhler
Former CEO
Triumph College Prep

In short, the answer is, “yes.” However, there’s a lot of debate out there about the answer to this question. Here are some good reasons why you should take AP exams:

  • You can earn college credit since 90% of the colleges in the United States offer credit for qualifying scores. Check with the colleges and universities to which you are applying.
  • You could receive an AP Scholar Award. These are awarded to students who score a 3 or higher on three or more AP exams and are great to add to your college admission application. Visit the College Board for more information on the AP Scholar Award.
  • It could help you determine how well prepared you are for college. If you score a 3 or higher on an AP exam, you should enter similar college-level courses with confidence you otherwise may not have.

Some reasons why you may not want to take an AP exam, or at least wait to take it, include:

  • It may be too expensive for you. Each exam will cost you $87. There are fee reductions for students with financial need that can bring down the cost to $57 per exam. To learn more visit the College Board.
  • Trust your gut. If you took the AP course and found it especially challenging, you may not think you're ready for the test. The exams are offered each May. Colleges and universities that you apply to do see all of your AP exam scores. That being said, even a poor AP exam score will at least show the school you were challenging yourself with college-level courses during high school.

If you decide to take your AP tests, check out the tag “study tips” to help you get ready for the big day!

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