Overpriced Exams Worth the Cost?



Jasmine Hildred, Reporter

2019 AP exams take place over two weeks during mid-May. These exams provide a helpful glimpse into college-level courses and offer college credit for high test scores, but at an expensive price.

Each regular AP exam costs $98, and AP Seminar and international exams cost over $100. For students who are taking multiple AP classes per year, the cost can exceed $200 even with financial aid. Also in addition to the cost, there is still no guarantee that you’ll pass the exam.

“I don’t think it’s fair that the exams are so expensive. Taking the exams are supposed to help us get into the college we want, not have us go bankrupt before we even get in,” junior Abena Owusu said.

The AP exams test students on a year’s worth of material. The exams are scored on a scale of one to five points. In order to receive the college credit for that class, they must pass with at least a 3 or higher.

“This is my second time taking the AP exams and learning from experience I’ve already started preparing for the exam because there’s a lot of information to go over,” junior Nelly Doltaire said.

One way to help students make paying for the exams more affordable is granting them a discounted price for those who are taking three or more exams. Some kids have a full schedule worth of AP classes. This can help students take all of the exams they want instead of having to choose between just two.

Recently, some top colleges have started to reject AP credit because they feel as though AP courses are not equivalent to college-level courses. Students in AP classes have to learn and retain large amounts of information in such a fast pace to take a college-level test leading to the students feeling overwhelmed and end up not doing their best.  

“This is the time of the semester when I start stressing out between studying for the SAT, AP exams, and maintaining my grades. I can’t wait till all of this is over,” junior Brianna Penaloza said.