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The Student Newspaper of Hopkins School

College Board Changes AP Policy

Juan Lopez '22 Assistant News Editor
The College Board decides not only the content of Advanced Placement (AP) exams, but also the fees and registration deadlines.
The changes to the AP exam registration process for the 2019-2020 school year is shifting the way Hopkins students and teachers prepare for the exams.

The new deadline for registration is November 15. Previously, the deadline was February 19. Any change between the new November date and March 13, 2020 adds a $40 fee per exam on top of the original $94 per exam. The change in the deadline to November forces students to make their decisions with less information. Jeremy Cheng ’22 says “Last year I had much more time to think about taking the AP exam; with that extra time, I was able to decide to take the exam based on how well I understood the material. This year I registered to take an AP exam for Physics. However, based on how I comprehend the material of the class I am then going to decide to either pay the fee and cancel it or take the exam.”

The College Board claims the new changes to the registration deadlines and costs create a more organized process. Administrative Assistant to the Dean of Academics Elaine Plante disagrees, “Right now it does not seem that way. I am basically doing everything I have done in the spring, now in the fall and adding in the online piece.”

AP Mathematics teacher David McCord says “Many students feel like taking it in September but, for seniors, in April, with college acceptances in hand and maybe the AP not even acknowledged by their future school, some begin to feel less inclined to take it. They can still back out, but now it costs them $40.”

The registration and fee changes also create challenges for students new to AP exams. Sam Mason ’22 explains, “Being this is my first year taking an AP class, it is difficult for me to decide whether or not to take the exam this early in the year. I am not sure what to expect and making the deadline earlier does not help at all.” Plante echoes Mason’s concerns, “I have gotten a few [AP exam registrations] but I think it is hard for the students to make these decisions now.”

Nick Wilkinson ’21 says “The earlier deadline doesn’t play a role in my decision at all. I 100% know I want to take it. It’s a no brainer to take the AP exams. It doesn’t make any difference to my preparation. If anything, I think it even makes it easier because there is more time for me to prepare.”

Colleges vary in what AP Exams they take for credit or placement, and most seniors will not find out what college they will attend until after the AP Exam registration deadline passes. Serena Ta ’20 believes “the College Board only changed the registration date to suck money out of us. Their ‘non-profit’ setup doesn’t fool me. They’re exploiting us of value by quantifying our worth, and vacuuming up our bank accounts in the process.”

Plante remains optimistic that the new registration model will lead to some positive changes: “My hope is that in May this is all easier because I won’t have to keep track of the AP Booklets and there will be less to do, like complete my own rosters.” Plante adds, “The most important thing is remembering the due dates for this year and that I need the paper registration forms and online registration.”

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Juan Lopez
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