Why Are Numbers Low for AP Tests?

Get Ahead with AP – AP Students | College Board

For numerous students attending Cal High, one of the most stressful parts of the year would be preparing for AP tests of all subjects. AP exams–or Advanced Placement exams–are tests based on the curriculum learned in an Advanced Placement course. These exams fuel the nightmares of all AP students as they last several hours and are made up of two sections (multiple choice and free-response). With the deadline past for purchasing AP tests it has become apparent that a significantly less amount of students are taking it.

One major reason for the decrease in AP tests purchased this year is the highly priced cancellation fee; the $40 cancellation fee creates a greater sense if commitment and unwillingness to take the tests. It becomes a more sensible option to minimize the risk of paying more money on a test that a student may already be skeptical about taking. When a student is meant to finalize their decision to take a test without having complete knowledge of the complexity and difficulties the class will provide, it is likely that several people will opt out and decide against taking it. The cancellation fee enhances the students’ doubts and uncertainties about devoting time on a test they may not feel strongly about; the initial price is large enough without the added amount.

Another great factor in this decrease of purchases is the turbulent adjustment to in-person learning and regaining footing after such as drastic change. A junior at Cal High sheds light on why she decided against taking one of the AP tests: “I’m still struggling a bit with this class and don’t feel confident enough to take the test. After online learning it’s been a weird change and I’m scared the money spent will just go down the drain”(Anonymous). With students still getting reacquainted with learning in-person, the added stress of an AP test is unnecessary and troubling. Several other students on campus have shared similar concerns revolving around their confidence on a course after losing many of their study habits and work ethics.

With the fairly recent return to school it is understandable why several students have decided against taking a test that may add more stress. It is important that students, both taking the AP tests and not, put their mental well-being before anything else. While many students may not be taking an AP test this year, once they become readjusted to life back at school, many will gain confidence in their academic abilities once more.