Changing Courses

While many changes in AP have been made in an effort to improve scores, they have lead to concerns and controversies among parents, teachers, and students.

Many students have feared the prospect of student debt since they were freshman. They have also been bombarded with ways to cut costs from filling out scholarships early to making sure you have good grades to being involved in many activitiesAnother way that is advertised to cut college costs is to take AP classes. 

Advanced Placement classes are college level classes that high school students can take to potentially earn college credit. By taking these classes you can earn a higher weighted GPA and add to your achievements on college applications but won’t necessarily earn you college credits. 

 In order to receive college credit, you have to get a 3 or higher on a test with a scale of 1-5, 5 being an equivalent of an A or A+. While your grade in the class can help indicate your score, having a good grade does not help you earn credit. But even if you earn a good score on the test you can receive a limited amount of credit or no credit or all depending on the college you attend.  

Students at Papillion La Vista High School have to opportunity to dual enroll with University of Nebraska Omaha. They can earn college credit based on their grade in the class but even then there are school’s that don’t accept dual enrollment. 

Many schools today accept AP credits, but you often have to get a 4 or higher on the AP test. Getting a 4 (or the equivalent of a B to A-) seems simple enough until you realize that AP tests cover an entire year’s worth of content.  

This may be one of many reasons why AP test scores are so low. The average AP score in AP World History was a 2.78, which wasn’t even considered to be a passing score. In AP U.S. Government and Politics the average score was a 2.7, and for Comparative Government it was a 3.12. 

In an attempt to inflate the scores of the students, they have introduced some changes. They include a curriculum change in AP World History, in which the College Board spilt the course into two parts, a modern section and an ancient one, both being a year long. Currently, our school is teaching the modern section which begins during the dark ages, and includes a brief section about the history before that period. The ancient course will be released next year. 

Another addition to AP World History is the newer resources for teachers. Now teachers are given more information as to what questions will appear on the AP test and tell the teachers more about the information that will be on the test. 

stressful change is the moving of the test registration deadline. Now students have to register for their AP exams in November and deposit $40even though the total cost of the test is still $92There has been some controversy over this since many kids are still nervous about registering for AP tests even in March.  

While signing up early can make people more committed, it makes people more nervous about registering in the first place. There also has been controversy over the deposit of $40 as if someone would not like to take the test after registering, they would lose that $40. While signing up early can make people more committed, it makes people more nervous about registering in the first place. 

I, for one, am anxious about registering for AP tests in November. It is a big time commitment that could save you thousands of dollars or lose 100 dollars. I am especially nervous because one of my AP classes starts in second semester and I will have to register before I’ve even been in my class.  

While these changes may be able to improve scores, they have made their fair share of controversy. Even though they are made in an attempt to help the students earn better scores we still don’t know if these changes will accomplish the College Boar’s goals. All students can do now is what they think is best for them, and hope these changes work in their favor.