AP Test Cost Questioned by Students


Designed by Rocco Pedroza

By now, students who are enrolled in their high-level Advanced Placement (AP) classes have either paid the initial AP test cost or emailed Isabelle Salazar to cancel their test. The deadline for AP test registration came on Nov. 1. The concern that students face is whether to pay the $94 per test fees or to not take the test at all. This issue is especially common in AP level juniors, who are experiencing what is known as the most difficult year of high school.
Based on a study from ChalkBeat, an educational news organization, the amount of students taking AP tests in the past 20 years has increased by nearly 70%. Head counselor of the College and Career Center Tara Miller believes this increase in popularity is due to the opportunities that come from passing the test.
“If a student scores a three, four, or five, they will receive college credit,” Miller said. Basically, you will save time and money in college.”
The average three-hour course at UT costs about $1,449. Spending the $94 on an AP test is a 93.5% discount on taking the actual course. Although the test is 100% optional, Miller encourages students to challenge themselves by continuing with their AP subjects and taking the test.
“The AP exams that we provide are very much in line with the core curriculum at universities,” Miller said.
Junior Ethan Smith is in two AP classes, and he plans on taking both of the AP tests. He has confidence in his ability to succeed and get the college credit.
“Both of [my] teachers are doing a good job of teaching based on the test, so I think I’ll pass,” Smith said. “I do think it is worth [taking the tests] to earn college credit and save a lot of money later on.”
Junior Nicolas Anderson is committed to succeeding in his three AP classes. If so, he could save an average of He plans to take two of the three AP tests because he finds the exams to be quite expensive.
“I feel like some students have to pay to much, so they should reduce the prices of AP exams,” Anderson said.
Junior Clarke Hendrix also finds himself in three AP classes. Hendrix expects to pay close to $300 for his exams. Like most students, he finds the tests to be pricey.
“The tests can only help you, they can’t hurt you. That is, in terms of college,” Hendrix said. “But the cost does.”
Junior Stephanie Do is testing her limits in her six AP classes. Do would like to take all six exams to acquire any possible college credit. To her, the most important part of the AP class is the procedure of the exams.
“It is a bit of a waste to be in the class for the entire year that is basically trying to prepare you for the test, and you just don’t take it,” Do said. “I don’t understand why [one] would go through the stress of taking an AP class when you’re not pushing yourself to take the AP test at the end of the year.”
Junior Isla Ferguson is in four AP classes, and she plans to test in all of them. However, she believes that the College Board’s AP test program is an unbalanced system that separates students due to the hefty price.
“It is almost like society is set up to where they don’t want the lower class to have power and be educated,” Ferguson said. “They are putting these financial barriers in place in order to keep [less wealthy students] subservient.”