by Shirley Zheng ’21
The College Board has changed the Advanced Placement (AP) exam registration deadline starting this school year to November 1. AP students only have a little over a month after starting their AP classes to decide if they want to take the exams. In previous years, students had approximately until mid-February to make their decision. The news took many Sherwood AP teachers by surprise.
“I don’t like it because I think it makes students make a commitment to taking the test that later might not turn out to be a good choice for them,” said AP Modern World History teacher Michelle Games. “They may be taking four AP classes, and they realize in May that they might not be able to study for all of those tests, and they might just want to choose to take three, and now they have to pay a big fine for canceling the test.”
The College Board has stated that the earlier deadline will be beneficial for the students. Theoretically, the change will help boost AP students’ chances of passing their exams by creating a more committed and engaging environment in AP classrooms through an early registration deadline. According to statistics from a pilot program by the College Board, schools with early deadlines saw a significant increase in their students’ AP scores, with up to a 20-percent improvement in certain groups.
“It is definitely something that’s really different than what we’re used to, so it is hard to tell what the scores are going to look like this year, but I’m hoping that we can see a slight increase in the scores,” said counselor Kelly Singleton, who has served as Sherwood’s AP coordinator.