AP - Advance Placement Exams
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AP - Advance Placement Exams

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  • Written by UnivAdmitHelp
  • Category: Insights & Information
  • Published on 04 Dec 2019

The cost of Higher Education has always been a cause of concern for parents as well as the students. If while trying to reduce the cost, we can also arrive at an economy of time, who could complain?

The Advanced Placement Program (AP) offered by the College Board (the same people who organise the SAT’s) is one such magic tool. Seemingly magical, because it could buy you time. By covering some topics before joining the actual course, students not only send out a signal of their competence and dedication, they also cover precious ground. Their time in college can then be optimized towards more valuable rewards. However, it is not easy. The AP's require preparation and a lot of rigour.  

AP offers a system in which you can take university-level courses and exams while still in class 11 & 12. It is designed to connect students directly to a wide variety of university majors and careers across the US and Canada. 

    • The subjects range from the Arts to Calculus, Computer Science to Social Science. These are often covered in your school topics, so don’t fear them!
    • The exams cost approximately ₹10,000/- each
    • The preparation is rigorous, material is available on the likes of Amazon and Flipkart.
    • There are many AP centres in India but all subjects are not available everywhere.
    • The exams are held in May every year. Strategically speaking, it might be a good time for ICSE and CBSE students as it’s a lean time when not much else is going on.
    • Registrations however, close early - sometime in November. 
    • Late registrations are still available for a fee, so do check with your centre.

What does it really offer a prospective student?

Often, university charges include a pack of subjects in their tuition fees. Extra subjects cost more. If you have covered some basics already with AP, which (check beforehand) your college gives you credit for, you have essentially bought yourself time, and thus saved money - remember, living costs are a beast. When you take an AP exam like Calculus AB, you have the liberty to choose something else in the package. If you choose wisely and work hard enough, you can even join directly at Sophomore Year. In some cases, students have covered all of the first year credits in AP so they are eligible for the next level on the day of joining college.

Questions and doubts

You might ask, if I’m headed to a prestigious college to study Art History, why would I want to give the exams before I even go to college. “The whole thing should be done online in such a case” makes for a good argument. However, the answer lies in the finer nuances. Taking the AP’s entails choosing the right subjects: 

  • The exam should give you an extra advantage with credit while joining the college
  • It should kick-start your journey of learning
  • Many courses have a lot of time dedicated to orientation. If you could cover subjects covered there, you have basically covered the orientation year and moved directly to Sophomore year (second year) as in certain cases. 

How to AP

Two-part registration process:

  • Register for an account on College Board using exam “join codes” provided by the test center.
  • Student must pay test center directly for exams.
  • Student will receive admission ticket from test center once seat is confirmed.

When is AP

Registration deadlines: Early November 2019 for May 2020 exams

Late Registrations available at many centres for a surcharge.

Exam dates are only in May, and require advance registration.

What after AP

American colleges and universities may grant placement and course credit to students who obtain high scores on the examinations.


Again, in short:

Why Take AP Exams?

  • To stand out to universities. AP shows that you’ve mastered university-level knowledge and skills while still in high school. Nearly all universities in the U.S., as well as many in Canada, recognize qualifying AP Exam scores of 3 or higher on a scale of 5 for credit and/or advanced placement. Many universities in 70 countries and territories throughout Europe, Asia, Middle East, and Latin America also use AP toward admissions and recognize AP as a standardized measure of academic achievement.
  • AP in U.K. Admissions
    Because of your combined AP Exam and SAT test scores at while in high school, you can receive an unconditional offer from universities like Oxford upon admission. This helps you to reduce the waiting time for results in August, as in the case of A-level students, who have to see if they met Oxford’s conditions or not.
    Students can apply to universities in the U.K. via UCAS with their AP results. 
  • To save money. Many universities give credit or advanced placement for qualifying AP Exam scores of 3 or higher. For example, if you get a score of 4 on the AP English Language and Composition Exam, then you may be eligible to skip your university’s English Language 101 course. The more classes you can skip with qualifying AP Exam scores, the more money you could save on tuition. 
  • To save time. If you can skip an introductory course by earning a qualifying AP Exam scores, then you can take another class instead that will count toward your degree. Use the time you save to take on a double major, an internship, or an on-campus job—or even graduate early.


Planning ahead for May 2020 AP Exams?

AP is changing its registration timeline. Students must register by Oct-Nov 2019 for May 2020 exams. Check back here starting August 2019 for updates. Preview the May 2020 AP Exam schedule (not all exams are offered in India.)



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