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Portola Pilot

The student news site of Portola High School

Portola Pilot

The student news site of Portola High School

Portola Pilot

AP-ush Exams: Early Registration Hurts More Than Helps

With+the+early+registration%2C+students+feel+pressured+by+CollegeBoard+to+spend+their+money+on+an+exam+they+may+not+take.
Shaina Taebi
With the early registration, students feel pressured by CollegeBoard to spend their money on an exam they may not take.

As AP exam registration starts early in the year, students stress over having to make $110 to $150 commitments when they are unsure whether they want to take the exam. AP exam registration should start in the late spring so students can make informed decisions that will not cost them more money in the future. 

Taking an AP exam is an important decision as it may affect college admissions and can be used to receive early college credit, according to CollegeBoard. However, CollegeBoard disincentivizes students who take the time to make their decision and those who change their minds after registration. Currently, canceling an exam and signing up later in the year adds an extra $40 per test. 

“Because of the fact that it costs a lot to refund, I would feel that, ‘I should take it’ even though I don’t want to,” sophomore Rachel Ha said. 

Additionally, moving AP exam registrations to later can help prevent students from refunding or purchasing late exams as they would have more time to think through their decisions thoroughly. Students who have spent more time interacting with the curriculum throughout the year can better understand their skill level and accurately gauge whether they want to take the exam. 

“I’d prefer it if they moved it earlier, one time in the spring, a 100 bucks, 120, if they want to make it that expensive,” junior Ava Hsieh said. “It feels unreasonable to register for an exam two months after you start a class.”  

Some students argue that early registrations are a reminder and motivation that they need to try their best, according to Ha.  

“With the earlier registration date, it makes us feel more prepared, like ‘since I’m going to take the AP exam, I should start to study from now,’ and it gives me a long time to prepare for the test,” Ha said. “But if the registration date was further back in the year, I think it would provide a better assessment of how I’m doing in the class to help determine whether I want to take an AP exam.” 

CollegeBoard argues that moving AP registration up increases AP exam scores and AP exam participation, allowing more students to receive college credit from their exams, according to The Washington Post

“I would feel more comfortable if the exam date was moved, since I was always planning on taking the AP exam either way,” junior Catherine Chang said. “I just needed more time. It sucks that I have to pay the late fee, but it is what it is.” 

Throughout recent years with the new early registration policy, students feel cheated out of their money just for needing more time to make a decision. 

“To be honest, I would feel a little cheated,” Hsieh said. “It feels unreasonable to pay more on top of the 120 dollars in the spring. No fall registration would be better.” 

Ultimately, early AP exam registration hurts more than it helps. The current registration dates push students to make rushed decisions and take tests because of the expensive cost. To prevent students from wasting their money, AP exam registration should be made later. 

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About the Contributors
Stephanie Hwang, Assistant News Editor
Stephanie Hwang is the Assistant News Editor for her first year on Portola Pilot. This year, she hopes to connect with Portola Pilot members and learn all that she can. When she’s not playing indie games or attempting to monopolize the cafeteria’s daily supply of vinegar chips, Stephanie can be found trying to finish all the new books she’s been collecting. Or lamenting about her upcoming tests.
Shaina Taebi, Backpage Editor
Shaina Taebi is the Backpage Editor for her third year in the Portola Pilot. For her final year she is excited to spend class time drawing more editorial cartoons and hopefully writing some interesting stories. Beyond the classroom she is most likely rewatching Hearstopper, screaming along to a Harry Styles song, or getting a headache from oil paint fumes.
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