This year for the first time ever, members of the senior class of 2017 can opt out of taking their AP exams.
Some seniors came up with reasons why they would opt out. One of the primary reasons to do so would be if you got into a school Early Decision, meaning you will be attending next year for sure, and the school you are going to does not offer credit for that AP exam. Another reason that arose was if you knew your major and you wanted to retake the class anyways in college to build a stronger foundation in the subject.
Mark Herwig ’17 says, “I’m not going to opt out because I’m not sure what my major is. For me, I want to get credit for as many classes which may help me fulfill requirements.” Herwig will take all of his AP exams including Physics C: Electricity & Magnetism, Calculus BC, Microeconomics, and Macroeconomics.
For other students that got in Early Decision, taking exams still may be a good idea. Sean Lau argues, “I’m going to continue to take my AP exams because they’re relevant to what I want to study in college.”
Reetom Ghosh ’17 elaborates, “I’m taking all of my AP exams because I chose my classes in such a way that they relate to my intended major.” For him, Computer Science, Physics C: Mechanics, and Calculus BC are all subjects he is interested in studying.
Statistics and Economics relate to Ghosh’s potential future major. He adds, however, “exemption is a great idea because ‘senioritis’ is hitting [seniors] really hard.” Another student, who prefers to remain anonymous adds, “I feel like many seniors are being lazy and opting out when it’s not in their best interest to do so.”
Perhaps this student is right, but ultimately people may have different reasons for why they choose to opt out of an exam. For some students, it may be to enjoy a stress-free end to senior year, for others it may be due to a lack of college credit availability, or simply because they want to get practice in that subject before college.
Another reason is that exams are $93 and are 3 hours long. If students want to do well on one exam in particular, it may be in their best interest to not take a different exam and save valuable money and time.
Baasil Ebrahim ’17 has a more strong opinion on the subject. A future freshman at Johns Hopkins, he questions, “Why would I pay 93 dollars to sit in the gym for 4 hours for an exam that no matter what score I get I would get zero credit for college?” As a result, he is opting out of the AP Literature exam.
Whatever the reason, the general consensus among both seniors and juniors is that it was a great decision by the administration and allows more freedom to students. One junior looks forward to this option next year. Cameron Burton says, “I think it’s great because I don’t have to take as many exams next year.”