From the 3rd to the 20th of May, AISB students have taken AP exams. Specifically the AP Human Geography, AP Biology, AP Psychology, AP French, AP German, AP Calculus, and the AP English Language and Composition were taken. Most 10th graders took an AP exam, half of the 11th graders sat for an exam, and 10 of the 12th graders took at least one AP exam. Why are there so many more students interested in the AP exams?
“AP” stands for “advanced placement” and are courses that are taken in high school but are courses that are considered college level. Therefore, taking the class in high school can exempt you from taking it in university, on the condition of scoring high enough.
Mohamed Toure said that he took the exam because of the “academic rigour, to show universities that I’m taking the hardest classes, and that I’m capable.” This is a pretty common occurrence. Students take AP exams so that they can prove to universities that they’re capable. Looking at their score, universities can use these scores as a reflection of the student. There are also people that take AP exams because they’re required for university. I’ve taken four AP exams because they were required for universities I wanted to apply to. In the end I got accepted to a university that didn’t require any, but at first I was planning to go to the University of Maastricht or Erasmus in Rotterdam, and they did require three or four AP exams.
Melinda Loupeda stated another reason AP exams are useful, “Taking the AP exam and getting a 4 or higher would exempt me from taking the course in university.”Taking the AP exam and scoring a 3, 4 or 5, you’re possibly exempted from taking the course in university. Ultimately, the university decides what the minimum acceptable passing score is.
There are also students such as Karima Hadid that “took the exam to measure my education level. I’d like to see my level.” The AP exams is also a good way to measure if you’re ready for university. Since they’re exams that are equivalent to college content, it’s a good way to measure yourself. Karima is planning to go to Turkey where AP courses aren’t even needed but she wants to know how prepared she is before actually going to know she’s ready.
The most common theme that students articulated revolves around university, whether it is to show academic rigour, get admitted, or be exempt of the courses they have to take in the future. Interestingly, students also believe the exams to be biased. The exams are largely based on U.S. scenarios and for people in West Africa some of these questions would make absolutely no sense. “But in the end, if these exams help us get into university we can’t complain,” articulated Mohamed and Melinda.