Not the end all be all

AP test scores may not have that much impact on the college admissions process

For+most+students+taking+AP+classes%2C+studying+takes+up+a+lot+of+time+during+the+day+as+the+test+approaches.+However%2C+all+of+this+hard+work+may+not+lead+to+the+best+results+when+applying+to+colleges.
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Not the end all be all

For most students taking AP classes, studying takes up a lot of time during the day as the test approaches. However, all of this hard work may not lead to the best results when applying to colleges.

For most students taking AP classes, studying takes up a lot of time during the day as the test approaches. However, all of this hard work may not lead to the best results when applying to colleges.

Photo by Max Feldman

For most students taking AP classes, studying takes up a lot of time during the day as the test approaches. However, all of this hard work may not lead to the best results when applying to colleges.

Photo by Max Feldman

Photo by Max Feldman

For most students taking AP classes, studying takes up a lot of time during the day as the test approaches. However, all of this hard work may not lead to the best results when applying to colleges.

Max Feldman, Co-Business Manager

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Sweaty, uncomfortable bodies crammed into a library, or even better, a steamy gym. AP tests have never been pleasant, and they never will be, but maybe the stressing over them can be taken down a notch.

For one thing, AP classes and tests aren’t all that important during the admissions process. Taking as many AP classes as possible will not always win admittance to a prestigious college, according to Matt McGann, an admissions officer for MIT.

In MIT’s case, “we do not admit students solely because of their AP courses/scores. There is no minimum or recommended number of AP courses. AP scores are not part of an admission formula,” McGann said. “College admissions isn’t a game of whoever has the most APs, wins.”

Yes, there will always be that kid who is taking six AP classes and getting A’s in all of them, but that is certainly not a path to emulate. According to Julie Gyarmaty, AP environmental science teacher, students should adjust their schedules to fit what they can handle.

“A high school student should do high school work. Students who want to challenge themselves should have opportunities to challenge themselves, but I don’t believe that AP classes are necessarily for every student,” Gyarmaty said. “If these classes are stressing students out that much, I think [the student] should work at a high school level, not try to work at a college level.”

One of the most important things to keep in mind when cutting down on APs is to choose classes that relate to a future career path. Don’t just pick classes willy-nilly, because colleges will only care about the scores on AP tests relating to your major.

Obviously that score can be used for college credit, but some students, like Anish Meka, junior, worry about how that score will impact the admissions process. Getting “a bad score in a field that you want to go into may negatively impact you in a way,” Meka said. “Colleges may see that the score shows you are not prepared for college level classes for whatever field you are going into.”

Ultimately, every college admissions program is different, but the overall trend is changing. According to mitadmissions.org, more colleges are now looking for more passion about a certain subject, rather than loads of AP classes. So before you sign up for every AP class possible, think about what you can handle, and whether it will make a difference in the long run.

 

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