AP Exams are taken each May by students to show their mastery of particular subjects to potential colleges. Doing well on these tests can lead to college credit and merit-based scholarships at certain schools. Students who take AP exams and score well are 62% more likely to graduate from college in four years or less. This can equal more than $50,000 in a family’s pocket through scholarships and financial savings.
Receiving college credit by doing well on AP Exams not only means a student can enter into school taking more advanced classes, but can also put him on the road to graduate sooner. Many students who receive advanced placement graduate in less than four years or complete a master’s program in less time. This means accelerating through the required course credits needed for graduation, meaning less tuition money out of pocket. With the average loan payment of a student graduating today at over $300 a month, this can equal thousands in savings each year.
It is important to develop a plan for using these AP credits advantageously once a student goes through the work of obtaining them. By working with an advisor, a student can effectively put these credits to work for them and achieve these college goals.
So What Can A Student Do to Open These Doors?
The potential financial rewards that AP Exams can bring through college credits is substantial, but how can one best work towards receiving them? Most students only get one shot at a passing score so it is important to plan ahead and prepare well for these rigorous exams. The first step is taking and doing well in an AP class. Getting an “A” in this class will go a long way with college admissions.
Pairing AP Exam preparation with SAT Subject Test preparation can help a student kill two birds with one stone. Both are rigorous tests that require advanced understanding of concepts and can benefit from similar preparation plans. These 2-3 hour exams will be some of the longest any student takes during his high school career and it is important to be prepared for this. If you are only used to running a short sprint, you have to prepare for a marathon!
How Competitive Are These Tests?
The AP Exams are taken by the top students around the country, so there is stiff competition! On some exams, like Chemistry, less than 30% of test takers receive a 4 or 5 score which is needed to gain credit at many schools. Each school has its own criteria so it is important to look at a student’s specific college and goals to see the type of score he needs to achieve.
One of the best ways to gauge the amount of preparation a student needs to consider when thinking about AP Exams is taking a practice test. Revolution Prep has these tests to send or a student can get one from their Revolution Prep advisor. This helps a student understand the type of score they could expect if they took it today and the amount of time they need to put into preparation to get the score he wants. Revolution Prep’s Advisors review a student’s academic goals, past test history, class schedule and workload, and make recommendations on how to best plan for the AP Exams.