Earlier AP sign-up assists students

Lily Salvatore

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Photo credit to Alberto G.

Student fills in scantron during A.P. exam.

When I began taking AP classes as a freshman, I was scared. Not only for the workload, but also of the large test that lay between me and the end of school. The test was folded and filed away into the back of my mind as content was shoved into every open slot of memory. It wasn’t until the spring when AP registration took place that the pressure of testing unfolded itself.

The harsh reminder of testing is coming earlier than expected this year. Unlike previous years, The College Board has decided to move the exam registration dates up to November rather than waiting until March.

Although many students are stunned with stress from the news, The College Board states that the frontloading of test registration will help improve our test scores and bolster our success in the classroom.

According to The College Board pilot program, in which 40,000 students registered for their exams during the fall, not only did their scores improve, but their commitment to retaining information did as well.

This mindset differs from that of previous years where students were not really preparing for the exam until the end of the year when its date begins to creep up on them. With an early registration quickly binding commitment to classes, students are more likely to work throughout the year on content since they are aware of their participation in the exam.

Early registration puts a reason behind why students work through the heavy course work and why they put in hour after hour of studying throughout the year. The end goal that students are given by registering at the beginning of school pushes motivation into their work, making it more detailed, thorough and beneficial for their learning experience.

The College Board also states that the early onset promise to engage in test taking proved drastic improvement for some of the most underrepresented groups on the AP student spectrum. Minorities saw their test scores rise by 12 percent, low income students by 20 percent and girls in STEM saw improvement by 14 percent.

Students who have not participated in early registration yet find it difficult to gage their abilities in their classes to determine whether or not taking the exam is best for their academic standings. This is still not to say, though, that throughout the year with the test in front of them as motivation, that they will put in the effort to succeed.

Although intimidating, AP registration in the fall gives students a constant reminder of why they signed up to be in a class of greater academic magnitude. It motivates students to exert greater effort throughout the year with the test serving as a symbol of the culmination of their work.