AP Exams: Are they worth it?


Illustration by Sahar

Sehar Suleman, Writer

“I have gotten a lot more stressed out because of the exams, and I haven’t been taking care of my mental health,” said senior Nashmia Sultana. “[AP exams] can be beneficial, but then again, the cost could definitely be cheaper.” 

Every year in May, AP exams are organized at high schools across the nation in order to evaluate how well students have learned the concepts and skills of an AP course. 

While there are multiple benefits to AP exams–such as obtaining college credit or advanced placement for passing scores–studying for AP exams can be stressful for students, and the cost can be very expensive. 

“There’s a lot of pressure to live up to the $100 that you put in,” said Vista del Lago sophomore Jovia Low. “But I would still take them (AP exams) because it’s great to save time in college with the college credit, and it also shows your proficiency in the course for colleges to see.”

AP exams are scored on a scale of one to five. Most US colleges offer college credit or advanced placement for scores of three and above. 

“The mean score for the 2021 AP exams was 2.80. More than 60% of all exams taken earned a score of 3 or higher,” according to CollegeBoard. 

While most do end up passing the AP exam, students have the opportunity to retake the AP exam next year if they don’t receive a passing score for a subject. 

“I think if you have a good work ethic and the right mindset it’s good to challenge yourself, but it can cause a lot of unnecessary stress,” said Low. “But if you’re able to manage your time and the work it can be a great learning experience once you push yourself.”

Despite the expensive cost and added stress of AP exams, most are in agreement that the exams can be a beneficial experience.