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AP Exams


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#1
Racer434
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I took the AP exams recently and they aren't everything i hoped for. my scores are
us hist-2
micro econ-2
english lang- 3
psych- 3
world hist-5

i'm considering retaking us hist and micro econ next year as a senior. They are free to me anyway with my income status but i'm wondering if its worth the effort to add on more retake ap tests to my already packed testing schedule next year with more AP and IB tests.

If you have any sort of advice or are familiar with this form of testing at all let me know below.

I figure most runescape players are pretty smart academic wise :)are
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#2
The_Gabe
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Study more?
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#3
Duff
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This probably is irrelevant to your situation, but for all those taking AP Calc tests:

Most of the problems are multi-step problems. Say a problem has three steps, and each consecutive step builds upon the next (aka. answer from step 1 is used in step 2. answer for step 2 is used in step three, and so on). If you know how to do steps 2 and 3 but not one, don't fret! Signify a random number or relevant answer as the answer to step 1 (doesn't even have to be nearly the correct answer). Use this number for steps 2 and 3 and you will get full credit for those parts, even if you final answers are wrong. It's key, though, to show that you are forcing the value of a certain piece of information.

This is especially useful for problems where, for part one, you have absolutely no idea what the answer is. Say you're trying to find out a rate in part 1, which you will use in parts 2 and 3 to get different quantities. If you brain fart and blank out on how to find this rate, just show "so-and-so rate" = 20 cm^2/s (or whatever units are correct) and finish the problem using this rate. Also, write units wherever you can. If you don't know an answer at all, just write the units down. You get credit for that.

Seems obvious, but many people actually don't think that works on the AP tests.

Not bragging, seriously, but just for credibility's sake, I got a 5 on the AP Calc test. Probably doesn't mean much, but I just wanted everyone to know that this isn't coming outta my arse.
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#4
Lenticular_J
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This probably is irrelevant to your situation, but for all those taking AP Calc tests:

Most of the problems are multi-step problems. Say a problem has three steps, and each consecutive step builds upon the next (aka. answer from step 1 is used in step 2. answer for step 2 is used in step three, and so on). If you know how to do steps 2 and 3 but not one, don't fret! Signify a random number or relevant answer as the answer to step 1 (doesn't even have to be nearly the correct answer). Use this number for steps 2 and 3 and you will get full credit for those parts, even if you final answers are wrong. It's key, though, to show that you are forcing the value of a certain piece of information.

This is especially useful for problems where, for part one, you have absolutely no idea what the answer is. Say you're trying to find out a rate in part 1, which you will use in parts 2 and 3 to get different quantities. If you brain fart and blank out on how to find this rate, just show "so-and-so rate" = 20 cm^2/s (or whatever units are correct) and finish the problem using this rate. Also, write units wherever you can. If you don't know an answer at all, just write the units down. You get credit for that.

Seems obvious, but many people actually don't think that works on the AP tests.

Not bragging, seriously, but just for credibility's sake, I got a 5 on the AP Calc test. Probably doesn't mean much, but I just wanted everyone to know that this isn't coming outta my arse.

This is good advice for any of the mathematically-centered tests.

For the rest, you have to learn how to sound smart and use the question to your advantage. I scored a 5 on English (junior year, I assume the same one OP took), 5 on Economics (macro), and 4 on environmental science. English, easy. Economics, not bad, but I had to review pretty hardcore for a while (and I'm very surprised at such a good score). Environmental science amazed me - in my class, we had learned very little actual AP material due to the class being full of seniors considering it "blow-off".

With more subjective tests like those I took, you have to know the basics first, along with advanced theories and whatnot. These tests are to show whether or not you would have the knowledge of an average college student. To be honest, the average college course isn't much harder than a high school class, it's just more independent work than many students are used to. All you have to do is demonstrate your knowledge - even if you don't get the question right, you will get some sort of credit.

Take all the AP tests you can. If your district offers review sessions (my school district had a massive push this year for AP testing, offering many tests free and free review sessions on weekends, and they got hella results I hear), go to them. But the most important part of taking tests is not quite studying, but adapting. You can't read everything on a subject. But you can use what you do know and adapt it to the current situation. If I'd just panicked and given up like the rest of the kids taking the Environmental Science test, I wouldn't have gotten that score. So... Yes.
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#5
Maze
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I got a 2 on my U.S. History test too.

I took it as a Freshman.

#6
Monk
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2 on Calc AB last year.
3 on Calc BC this year, raising AB score to a 4.
5 on Psych this year.


As for advice, I did some review a month in advance. Taking all my notes and just picking out what I felt were the most important parts and focusing on those the most.
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#7
Scorcheddd
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Look at how some classes will affect you at your future school before you fret over a bunch of classes. For example, my future school will only take one U.S. History/U.S. government credit, so having both of those is kind of irrelevant unless you're planning on history. Likewise, the English Language test (Most take Junior Year) counts and an English 101 test, while English Literature counts as a credit only if you're planning on going into English as a major.

If you're going to retake US History then don't go for AP Government unless your vying for a top position like valedictorian of your class. That test changes A LOT each year. I took it my junior year and got a 2, senior year and got a 4.

Also, the same thing that was said about calculus above also works for economics, although instead of Micro, I'd suggest macro as many higher level Econ books start with that to help with a foundation (and it's supposedly easier to grasp as a whole.)

Ultimately it comes down to which type of school you want to go to. If you think that you're at Ivy level, then by all means, take every AP and etc that you possibly can. If you're not though (and most of us aren't) then don't fret about going into the lower classes as a GPA booster. Look at how each will affect you.

#8
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I took nine AP tests and got a 4 or 5 on all of them. Many of these subjects I bought the Princeton review study guides and just did the practice multiple choice exams. Extremely helpful. It's been a few years since I've taken them. I made up so much stuff on many of the exams. I had a little fun a few times. Once, I had really no idea how to do a physics problem, so I winged it. It was fun because I for once got to use the formula E=MC2, which I hadn't done before nor since then. Funny thing was, I think I was actually at least on the right track. o_O

AP exams that I took:
US History-4
Calculus BC-5
Government-5
Psychology-5
Statistics-4
English Lit-4
English Lang-4
Physics-4
Chemistry-4
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#9
Flyingjj
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Edit: Double post, no idea how that happened...
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#10
Hawks
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4 on Calc AB, 5 on Bio, 5 on Lit/Comp

Very happy with that, and I figured that that's worth 15 credit hours at the school I want to go to. Taking AP Stats next year.

#11
InfiniteLove
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Physics 5
Lit 4
Comp 3
Calc 5
Bio 5
US 2
WH 3

#12
Kalphite
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US History - 5 (Sophomore)
Computer Science - 5 (Junior)
English Lang/Comp - 4 (Junior)

Of these, US History was probably the most difficult, but aside from normal class review and the teacher's afterschool study sessions the only studying I really did for it was a lot of cramming the two weeks before. Computer Science was really easy for someone who understands Java; I barely had to study for that outside of classwork. English...I did worst on that one, but it was probably the easiest actually; I just probably didn't do so hot on the argumentative essay. There's no real way to prepare for it though.

Next year I'm taking AP Physics, Chemistry, BC Calc, and English Literature/Composition, though I'm not going to take the test for English cause the credits are redundant with the Language one I already took at all the schools I'm looking at.

#13
magekillr
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AP exams are overrated. Just take the courses in college. It's a good refresher, and unless you come in with around 30 or so credits you'll be on a 4-year plan anyway. Besides, if you take the courses in college and do well, they boost your GPA.

#14
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I'm just curious - how are these rated? 2 our of how much? What is the maximum score? :P

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#15
Monk
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Max score is a 5.
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#16
Hawks
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5 - extremely well qualified
4 - well qualified
3 - qualified
2 - possibly qualified
1 - no recommendation

From the back of the AP score report. Most schools give you credit for a 4 or 5, and depending on the subject you can get credit for a 3 or be placed in a higher class/get a test out option.

For $79 earning 4 credits without paying $500 a credit hour is definitely worth it. Doesn't matter if you've got less than 30 AP credits, it's still a good idea. And it looks nice.

#17
magekillr
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5 - extremely well qualified
4 - well qualified
3 - qualified
2 - possibly qualified
1 - no recommendation

From the back of the AP score report. Most schools give you credit for a 4 or 5, and depending on the subject you can get credit for a 3 or be placed in a higher class/get a test out option.

For $79 earning 4 credits without paying $500 a credit hour is definitely worth it. Doesn't matter if you've got less than 30 AP credits, it's still a good idea. And it looks nice.


If you're a full-time student you don't pay by credit hour, you pay by semester. This means you pay the same price if you take 12 credits or 18. I think taking the classes are a good idea, perhaps even taking the test. But he's asking if he should retake these tests, and I think it's a waste of time and money. I don't know anyone who came in with AP credit and took less than four years to graduate. It's advantageous if you want to take fewer credits per semester in the beginning, but that's really the only advantage. If you really wanted and your high school offered enough courses, it's conceivable that you could graduate in three years instead of four, but I don't know anyone personally who took this route. Most people who could have done that if they wanted didn't: they wanted to enjoy their college experience. Also, as an engineer, I needed 136 credits rather than the traditional 120. Due to that structure, it wasn't possible to graduate in three years due to prerequisites.

#18
Racer434
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thanks for the advice everyone :), and ya i know in hindsight i should have studied more lol
"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." - Confucius


"choosing your path is the true trial", "the most honorable dilemma"

#19
Flyingjj
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5 - extremely well qualified
4 - well qualified
3 - qualified
2 - possibly qualified
1 - no recommendation

From the back of the AP score report. Most schools give you credit for a 4 or 5, and depending on the subject you can get credit for a 3 or be placed in a higher class/get a test out option.

For $79 earning 4 credits without paying $500 a credit hour is definitely worth it. Doesn't matter if you've got less than 30 AP credits, it's still a good idea. And it looks nice.


If you're a full-time student you don't pay by credit hour, you pay by semester. This means you pay the same price if you take 12 credits or 18. I think taking the classes are a good idea, perhaps even taking the test. But he's asking if he should retake these tests, and I think it's a waste of time and money. I don't know anyone who came in with AP credit and took less than four years to graduate. It's advantageous if you want to take fewer credits per semester in the beginning, but that's really the only advantage. If you really wanted and your high school offered enough courses, it's conceivable that you could graduate in three years instead of four, but I don't know anyone personally who took this route. Most people who could have done that if they wanted didn't: they wanted to enjoy their college experience. Also, as an engineer, I needed 136 credits rather than the traditional 120. Due to that structure, it wasn't possible to graduate in three years due to prerequisites.

I did have the option to graduate a year early thanks to my AP courses, but as you said, I chose not to to stay in college another year for the experience. But, I do think AP is worth it because instead of taking intro classes, I've gotten to take more classes that I actually want to take.
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#20
das1330
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Honestly, you probably just don't understand the tests well that is, how they are written, what they cover, and how to attack them. Thusfar I have taken 15 tests, got all 5's on them (many without a teacher) and none are difficult if you find the right prep book/study topics and use them effectively.

Regarding whether or not to retake the exams, it depends on where you are planning on going to college, and what you plan on doing there. If the school takes AP credit, retaking the exams would be a good idea as it would be less work then learning an entirely new one, but on the other hand if it was difficult the first time around you might want to look for exams you are naturally more interested in.

If you're curious, I have taken:

This year (junior):
Language & Comp
Macroeconomics (self-studied)
Microeconomics (self-studied)
chemistry
Biology
psychology
Euopean History (self-studied)
Art History (self-studied)

Last year
US History
Calculus BC (self-studied calc AB)
US government (self)
Physics C- mech (self)
Physics C- E&M (self)

Freshman:
Computer Science A (self)


If you have any questions about any AP material at all, feel free to PM me - I know quite a bit about all the tests above, plus a few more I'm planning on taking next year, and I might be able to help pick out study books.




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