Should College Board Change the AP Registration Date?

Dylan Vanek, Co-News-Editor

Advanced Placement (AP) test registration usually takes place in April, a month before the test is administered in May. However, the College Board has decided to move AP test registration to October rather than April during the 2019-20 school year. Moving the test registration date earlier will not benefit students because it will make them commit to taking a test even if they do not know if they will be ready.  

Moving the exam-taking decision toward the start of the AP course will benefit students and boost the learning culture in AP classrooms,” according to the College Board website. “When students commit to the exam from day one, they invest themselves in their classes.”

However, the College Board does not take into account that some students self-study for AP exams if their schools do not offer the course they would like to take. Most students who self-study might decide at the last moment that they are not ready for the test based on their preparation.

“I self-studied for two AP exams last year, and I did not even make my decision that I was going to take the exams until the registration date,” junior David Jang said. “I think that moving up the registration date is not fair to the students who want to self-study for AP tests that our school doesn’t offer.”

If AP registration were kept in April, students who are debating whether to self-study for the test will be given time to make the decision if they are prepared for the test rather than waste money to register for the test in October.

Furthermore, students taking AP classes are unsure if their teacher will properly prepare them for the exam. In addition, some students who initially sign-up to take the class may also be unsure if they want to take the test in May based on their engagement and performance in the class.

According to the statistics presented on the College Board’s website, around 44% of all students in California failed the AP test they took, meaning that they received a “one” or “two” out of “five” on the exam. This high fail rate points to the fact that their teachers were either unable to properly prepare them for the AP test or that students did not take the initiative to engage or participate in the class, therefore causing them to fail.

Despite what is said, an obvious motive for the College Board’s decision to move the registration earlier is financial gain. By moving the registration date up, it forces students to sign up for a test and pay 94 dollars even if they are unsure they want to take it. Since each test is expensive, the College Board will make a tidy profit by forcing students who are unsure if they are going to take the test to register.

The College Board is one of the most profitable non-profit companies in the world with a net worth of 44 million dollars and its CEO earning 1.3 million yearly according to public records. They are very focused on profiting, which could point to the possibility that they moved up registration for their own financial gain.

In conclusion, the College Board should not move up the AP test registration to October because it is not benefiting the entire student population and is only motivated by their greed for profit.