AP exams could merit college credits | ParkRecord.com

AP exams could merit college credits

Megan Yeiter , The Park Record

The number of AP exams a high school student passes could save parents more than $10,000 in college tuition, according to Park City High School Counseling Department Chair Dara Smith, who said parents have reported the statistic in the past, which depends on individual college standards.

"The number of Advanced Placement classes offered at a public school of this size is really impressive," Smith said. "It makes a statement about the caliber of educators employed in the PCSD, and the students desire to be challenged with a rigorous curriculum. I couldn’t be prouder to be a part of this educational community."

She said because AP classes are weighted, the courses can raise a student’s Grade Point Average depending on how well they do, adding that some AP courses count as college credits, which enables students to be exempt from certain college courses. Smith said there have been high school students who have graduated with associate degrees.

Last year’s statistics show that 594 Park City High School students were enrolled in at least one AP class in May 2011, Smith said, adding that 1,058 AP exams were administered and 855 of those received passing grades.

"The challenge that is received throughout the whole course and the rigor of content is what benefits them the most. Typically if they are doing well in a challenging and rigorous course, that will give them the necessary information to do well on college ACT and SAT testing."

Smith said students retain information for the exams throughout the year, but really start studying for the exams when they return from Spring Break. She said students form study groups after school, in the evenings or on weekends.

"For all of our juniors who are looking at those rigorous colleges that require the subject test, they are offered in the same week of AP testing in May," she said. "Part of the strategy is if they are really ready and have that information fresh in their brain they say let’s get this all done at the same time, and for other students that would stress them out so they wait until June."

The Park City High School is an official administering site for the exams. The cost per exam is $87. Students will be given a bulletin the week of Feb. 13, and should complete an order form and turn it in to Dara Smith in the counseling department no later than March 2. If students miss the March 2 deadline, they can submit their order form with an additional $15 late fee March 5 9.

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