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2 Comments Already

John Said,
December 17th, 2013 @11:10 am  

To answer your first question, it will extremely hurt your college application if you do not take the exam at all. Colleges look at this and either think you are lazy or assumed that you did not take it because you thought you would fail, which is what you fear. To your second question, you cannot hide it from a school. As long as you get a 3, which is the average score, you are fine. Taking the AP classes and showing that you have gone into higher level classes each year is what they like to see. Getting a 4 or 5 would make you eligible to receive college credits so you do not need to take some of your classes while in college. For example, instead of being put into a Intro to German class, if you get a 5 you would be able to take a German class with Juniors and Seniors and have the possibility of graduating early, which I do not recommend. I say take it and hope for the best. Go to your teacher for some extra help and if you do not want to do that, they do have tutors specifically for AP Exams that you could look into getting. Hope this helps!

Skylark ? Said,
December 17th, 2013 @12:01 pm  

If you opt not to take the AP exam it will have very little significance to your application to Stanford. Though you are highly encouraged to take the AP exam for every AP course you’ve taken, college admission committees understand the expense involved and will not penalize those who do not take it. $90 isn’t an trivial amount to many students, and if you’re taking multiple AP classes the fees involved can become a substantial expense for a lot of families. Stanford does not accept any credit from AP World History, so even if you earn a perfect 5 you will not receive any quarter units. You are correct that many colleges (especially private ones) do not accept credit for WHAP.

The AP exam is important because it’s standardized and a way of demonstrating how well you’ve mastered the material from the class in comparison to your peers across the country (and around the world) who’ve also taken the class. An AP class still retains its worth even without credit from the exam, though. Stanford and most other high-caliber colleges recommend that their applicants take challenging classes in an array of academic disciplines to broaden their intellectual horizons. Even with the exam, you’ll have hopefully gained knowledge from the class that will benefit you at college and elsewhere in life. The rigors of an WHAP and the writing requirements it entails also help to prepare you for college and to be a more critical thinker. So, you won’t have wasted your time.

Many colleges do require you to submit your score for each AP exam you’ve taken; Stanford does not. This is a direct quote: “As a result, we do not require students to submit AP scores as part of our admission process. AP scores that are reported are acknowledged but rarely play a significant role in the evaluation of an application. Grades earned over the course of a term, or a year, and evaluations from instructors who can comment on classroom engagement provide us the most detailed insight into a student’s readiness for the academic rigors of Stanford.”

If you can afford the exam, I do still think it is worthwhile taking. You have some time to prepare for the exam on your own and to learn more material in class. You’ve done fairly well, and you could still get a respectable score on the exam, despite your doubts. Stanford is so intensely competitive for admission that everyone planning on applying must have a contingency plan. It’s possible that other colleges you’d apply to would accept credit from the exam. The other advantage is that if you’re taking several AP exams and you do well on them, you could qualify to be an AP Scholar or even a National AP Scholar, which would be an impressive accolade.

Good luck to you!

~ skylark : )

This might be helpful to you:
I compiled the most important info about applying to Stanford onto one blog post.

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