Senior Strategies: Load Up on AP Tests Senior Year?

Andy Wang
Andy Wang

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A common dilemma that each high school senior faces around this time of the year is senior year AP testing. With the last chance to boost GPA or show dedication to your studies, the pressure is on. You’ll need to decide whether you should be taking more AP tests their last year of high school. 

Regarding this issue, there are three common schools of thought, all of which have reasonable logic behind them.

  • One school of thought: taking absolutely no AP tests,
  • Another is taking all of the currently-enrolled class exams possible,
  • And the other, handpicking the ones that your potential colleges will give credit for.

In the grand scheme of senior year AP testing and college admission, AP tests will have either no effect on ones college career or will help the applicant get out of a lot of requirements dependent of the school.

No AP Tests:

This is the approach that most students want to take to for senior year AP testing, but it only has merits in certain scenarios. The most rationale reason for a student to take no AP tests outside of just suffering from major senioritis is that none of the potential AP tests the student can take will help them get college credit. If this is the case and the AP tests won’t even get the students elective credit, then it may be the wise decision for the student to forego senior year AP testing.

All the AP Tests:

The opposite of the first approach, this approach is usually when a student thinks that all the AP tests he or she can take will help them in some shape or form in school. While this is the approach that covers all a student’s bases, it may not be the most efficient method when it comes to senior year AP testing and can result in wasting money on unnecessary tests.

Selecting Relevant AP Tests:

This is the most common approach that ends up getting taken by students under the assumption that the student knows which school or which set of schools he or she is picking from. By looking at the schools’ requirements, students can figure out if their AP tests actually help them with requirements for the school. Given that most schools will have released their decisions before the March 23rd deadline to sign up for AP tests, students should have time to research the school they got admitted to and figure out which tests they should take to get credit for.

One of the biggest proponents for taking AP tests the first few years of high school was that it looked to report good AP scores for college admission. Now that the admission is drawing to a close, senior year AP testing is a whole new ball game that is a lot more strategic than previous years. When deciding which approach to take, each student should make sure they have thought over each AP test, its potential benefits, and ultimately decide which ones are worth it if any at all.

Questions? Let us know!