AP scores, the scores for advanced placement tests, were recently released. The score is between one and five, with one giving minimal-to-no credit and five being a perfect score. A perfect score is defined as being extremely well qualified, a score of four being well qualified, a score of three being qualified and so on. Many colleges use the score you receive towards college class credit. This allows you to be exempt from certain courses, either elective or required general education classes. Many colleges accept threes or above, some even twos, but most people are still unhappy when they receive a qualifying score. Why? I mean, they have the score to receive college credit, why be disappointed?
But maybe it isn't; maybe being disappointed with a two or three is totally reasonable. AP tests cost money, a lot of money, and if you're only passing by the skin of your teeth, you have a right to be upset. To put this into perspective, think about how many students enroll in AP courses at their high school.
Now, think about how many classes there are in each school. What about the number of teachers required? On the subject of teachers, not all of them teach the same way. This is the first way we as students are set up to do either really well or really bad on the AP test. Teachers all teach in different ways, some better than others, therefore we as AP students may be learning the same required material, but some may be learning it briefly while others go into more depth because of the teachers' priorities.
Personally, I had some fabulous AP teachers but I also had a few that were less than sub-par. I had one class where I was challenged every test but not in the day to day class. My teacher focused on being relatable to her students and forming relationships rather than giving us the necessary information, whether we liked to take those notes or not.
It's the classes like those where you should be extremely satisfied with your three. You worked hard all by yourself, since you knew the teacher wasn't going to set you up for absolute success to pass the AP test with flying colors.
I'm here to say that an AP test does not decide how well-qualified you are in a subject. It is a combination of the effort you gave, the teacher you were assigned and your ability to work under pressure. If you asked for help, studied hard and stressed yourself and then came out with a three, good for you. You might have passed by the bare minimum, but you passed all by yourself. Sure, you had help along the way, but at the end of each day, it was your brain that retained information and your studying habits that lead you to success.
Congratulations to everyone who took AP tests and received scores they wanted, and for those who studied hard but wished they did better, I'm sure you did just fine. Don't be too hard on yourselves.
Lead Image Credit: Alex Jones via Unsplash