The Fall of AP Exams

Jeslyn Cho, reporter


The sun is rising earlier, groundhogs have officially come out of their holes, and West Tech students are…studying. The beginning of the third quarter marks the fastening pace of AP classes.

As exams are set to take place in May, more and more students are feeling pressured to score a 5 on their advanced placement test. West Career and Technical Academy, a school recognized for academic prestige, offers 21 AP courses to its students. But, looking at our nation’s academic trends, this stressful environment may soon change.

In 2018, eight Washington schools made headlines after deciding to move away from the AP curriculum, and this number has only increased over time. The quality of American education has always been under debate, and many critics believe the AP curriculum is too rigid.

Essentially, educators spend months teaching students to pass a test they’ve never seen before. Spending an entire school year studying for a single test, makes it hard for students to expand their creativity and learn things in depth. Many independent schools have moved away from advanced placement courses to create their own unique curriculums.

Not to mention, the AP environment has been strictly criticized for being elitist. Sophomore Sabdy Cordon said, “I have to pay over $100 to take my AP exams. And then, I have to pay an additional fee to even submit it to colleges.”

AP College Board prides itself in being a nonprofit organization, yet there lies irony in the $840 million of revenue it generates each year. The company contradicts its purpose of making education accessible to all students.

Advanced placement courses are heavily emphasized at WCTA to boost GPAs and possibly get a better shot at college. But, due to College Board’s recent scandals over the years, and the curriculum’s rigid structure, AP exams may disappear from American education in the future.


Source: https://www.nais.org/magazine/independent-school/spring-2019/trend-lines-revisiting-the-advanced-placement-debate/#:~:text=The%20rationale%20for%20many%20of,for%20their%20school%20and%20students


WCTA students prepare to take AP exams during May, but academic trends show that these courses are losing relevance in the United States.

Photo Credit: Jeslyn Cho

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