以下内容均摘抄自《8 First Choices》，作者： Joyce Slayton Mitchell
Advanced Placement Tests大学先修课程测试
Advanced Placement (AP) tests are given in May. These tests are designed to measure your mastery of college-level work in specific courses. Even though most students take an AP exam at the end of an AP course, that is, a prescribed curriculum for a college-level course administered by the College Board, students can also take the exam without taking the course. For example, many competitive high schools offer a strong enough curriculum in English and U.S history that students do well on the AP exams. The point of the exam is to earn college credits. For some students that means saving a year’s tuition because they start college with thirty college credits, giving them advanced standing. Students who speak a second language, or if English is their second language, often take an AP test in their other language - Spanish, Russian, Chinese, Hebrew, or whatever their language is - without taking the AP course. As the scores are your own, you don’t have to send them to the colleges, and if you have the money for each exam, many of you should go ahead and see how well you do.
AP exams are scored from 1 to 5, a 5 being the highest score. Many students record a 3 and above (or 4 and 5 if applying to the most selective colleges) on their transcript for added documentation of their academic achievement. Senior scores on these tests have have no impact on the college admissions process because the test is given after all admissions decisions have been made. Enrolling and doing well in an AP course, however, will show up on your transcript, and a junior AP score of 4 or 5 is a strong academic credential for your college application. There is nothing that helps more in the admissions decision than doing well in AP or International Baccalaureate (IB) courses, which are by definition the most rigorous offered at your high school. But remember- the key words here are “doing well”.
Taking APs for how they will look on your transcript is not a sound principle for curriculum decisions. Many students are crying their eyes out in October of their senior year over the impossible AP calculus or AP biology course. Or they begged to get into AP European history because they wanted an AP on their transcript but are now getting a C- or D in the work. Qualifying for one course isn’t the only question at hand; the balance of your whole course load also must be considered. Of course you could do an AP or two if that’s all you had to do, but how likely is that? You have a lot more on your plate, right? Listen to your teacher recommendations before you sign up for APs. Look at your exam score in the last course, not just the final grade, which also reflects homework and discussion or participation grades. And never base a decision on how it looks to others.