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    AP test scheduling heads up

    My daughter is a sophomore and will be ready for some AP exams this coming year. The few months I have been pondering AP vs community college, it the availability of access to an AP testing location has been a big question mark. I have a few observations/words of warning from my experiences the last couple of months.

    1. The college board is a major pain to deal with...not much of a surprise, but here’s why...
    a. They wouldn’t tell me who MIGHT offer tests to outside students until mid-January. It really turned out to be more late January in my book
    b. When calling the lady was incredibly hard to understand and would/could only search by name of town, not by geographical region like Metro Detroit or Michigan or within 50 miles of ____
    c. They also would not indicate who has previously ordered a specific exam or any indication of what exams a school might offer
    d. Email wasn’t much better, but was understandable. It took almost a week for a response
    e. One of the contacts didn’t even offer AP exams to ANYONE even their own students.
    f. The dates on their website are very misleading . Their website says to call by March 15th to locate someone to take your student, but it turns out that is the school drop dead order date and most place their order earlier than that.

    2. I have had moderate success locating a spot for next year. My home district will test outside students if they live in the district and she was the one who told be their registration period ended last night. However, she said they had a meeting about me this morning and said they would manually open it up for an hour for me this morning. She seemed rather relieved that I was calling about next year ;-). I am fortunate that they offer 24 different exams, but unfortunately AP Latin is not among those available. They order close to 1000 every year and were not willing for any price to order and proctor an exam for a class they don’t teach. I did find one lady that was willing to at least consider ordering Latin for me...a Catholic charter school in Detroit. They offer Latin, but not AP Level. She didn’t know that they could order exams for classes they don’t offer and seemed moderately open to the idea. I think I may have to cast my net a bit wider for AP Latin. I wish there were a list of schools that offer the class to know where to start.

    3. A big thing that I found out while researching this year is that the college board is changing their order dates for the upcoming school year from March 15th to November 15th. I don’t see yet when their window to contact for outside testing will be open. If their misinformation about March 15th is any indication, I would advise finding a school and getting an order in by the end of October. My district said to start checking the website in the fall for the announcement, but that I didn’t have to call back to register. My guess is things will be a bit crazy in the fall.

    Let me know if you have any ideas on how to track down AP Latin...I would drive most anywhere ;-)
    Dorinda

    DD 15 - 10th with MPOA(Biology, Novel, Material Logic/Rhetoric ), Lukeion (Greek3, Latin 3)
    DS 13 - 8A with MPOA(Third Form and composition)
    DS 10 - 5M
    DS 5 - K with AAR3

    #2
    Hi Dorinda,

    With all you have been through to track this down, sharing is an excellent idea. At the very least, you will get heaps of sympathy from us. <smile>

    Running around, tracking down exactly what your child needs for her education, making perfectly reasonable requests for an advanced student.... I have NO IDEA what that feels like!

    [As an aside, I used to say that my face was a certain DoD principal's dartboard target practice from about 2009-2011, ha, ha.]



    You have worked through the majority of the process for using AP to showcase your daughter's knowledge and to give her those "sacred" AP letters on her transcript. I do remember reading on this very forum that the AP tests need to be in the queue to order as early as October for outside test takers, but can't recall who mentioned it, so I don't think that date is new everywhere. It might be school district specific. A big take away for the forum might be that the homeschool parent needs to begin working on this issue no later than 10th grade so that 11th and 12th will go smoothly for using the AP system.

    That said, other than continuing to cold call schools likely to offer AP Latin to request, is there another way you can showcase her Latin knowledge? You probably know this, but the two AP testing weeks are packed with tests. The tests are national: each test is offered in a very tight window nationally to prevent leaked content. If your daughter's AP lineup is language and humanities heavy, she could run into the issue of having tests scheduled close together, but in far geographies. Or not, but that is also a consideration while you are tracking down each test she may be interested in taking.

    As you know, the AP tests really serve two major functions: to showcase content knowledge and to gain college credit (1 semester, usually). *IF* the latter really isn't your concern (and be aware that most colleges require their own language placement tests for foreign language placement if there is a continuing language requirement), and only the former is the true goal, there are other ways to do that. College admissions officers happily review "creative" ways of showing a student's interests and strengths.

    So, in addition to providing the forum with all your hard earned knowledge on how to navigate the AP bureaucracy above (and what you have provided will he invaluable to someone, mark my words!), maybe we can also help you to brainstorm an alternate option for taking the actual AP Latin test. The Latin folks at HLS might also be able to provide some insight.

    How many levels of the NLE will she have taken? That seems like a good start. Also there is a SAT II Latin test. Top schools often *require* SAT II tests to show various knowledge. Perfect scores of 800 are very helpful on application packages.

    Your daughter's entire transcript will be evaluated as a whole by admissions officers. They will see all of her work in Latin, Greek, etc. So, by all means, continue to track down the AP Latin test if possible. But, I'd like to encourage you in the knowledge that colleges themselves are far more generous when looking at the *entirety* of a student's high school years when evaluating if the student will be successful at that school.





    Jen



    DS, 26 yrs, graduated from MIT (Aerospace), recently completed the design and execution of unhackable military software... in his spare time.

    DS, 24 yrs, graduated from SIU's School of Business, ENGAGED!

    DD, 21 yrs, Senior in Education at The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC

    DS, 11 yrs, 6M: complete!

    All homeschooled.

    Comment


      #3
      Honestly we don’t plan to take any APs at this point, even though I know it will make placement harder for Dd.
      Bean

      DD- 9M with subs

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by bean View Post
        Honestly we don’t plan to take any APs at this point, even though I know it will make placement harder for Dd.
        Bean, might you share your thinking on this?

        We're planning on some sort of combination of APs and SAT subject tests to meet requirements for our "benchmark" schools -- not necessarily schools to which we'll apply, but the ones I'm using to come up with my own checklist of high school "requirements" (assuming that a 4-year-college continues to seem a likely choice for after high school). But it is all very vague right now; we're calling my older one 7th grade this year.

        PS: this is the first year I've really begun to see the negatives of AP testing for some college-directed children even if you have a suitable testing site. It is incredibly time-consuming to prepare for the exams and the material covered isn't always what one would choose to focus on.
        Last edited by serendipitous journey; 03-03-2019, 12:49 PM.
        Ana, mama to
        ds A, 13yo
        ds N, 8yo

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by serendipitous journey View Post

          Bean, might you share your thinking on this?

          We're planning on some sort of combination of APs and SAT subject tests to meet requirements for our "benchmark" schools -- not necessarily schools to which we'll apply, but the ones I'm using to come up with my own checklist of high school "requirements" (assuming that a 4-year-college continues to seem a likely choice for after high school). But it is all very vague right now; we're calling my older one 7th grade this year.

          PS: this is the first year I've really begun to see the negatives of AP testing for some college-directed children even if you have a suitable testing site. It is incredibly time-consuming to prepare for the exams and the material covered isn't always what one would choose to focus on.
          Your PS is a large part of it. Other reasons is that the colleges dd has in mind (although this may change, of course) either allow for alternate placement testing or only selectively accept AP credits anyway. Some of the smaller schools on the list "get" things like working though MIT Open Courseware. And dd wants to maximize the homeschool-ness of her high school experience.

          Since my daughter-in-law is a biology teacher at very large public high school, dd could take the AP Bio exam there next year... but as a Freshman, I'm not sure that would be wise, anyhow. Unless she takes a dual credit biology course later, she'd be 4 years out from her intro class by the time college rolls around.

          Anyhow, given all of that, I'm not willing to play the game. She will take some SAT subject tests, could possibly do a few dual credits, and has her eye on an "away" school for junior and senior year (which may come to nothing, but she's visited and it does seem to be her "people". She's kind of lonely with her siblings grown up and gone.)
          Last edited by bean; 03-03-2019, 02:57 PM.
          Bean

          DD- 9M with subs

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by bean View Post

            Your PS is a large part of it. Other reasons is that the colleges dd has in mind (although this may change, of course) either allow for alternate placement testing or only selectively accept AP credits anyway. Some of the smaller schools on the list "get" things like working though MIT Open Courseware. And dd wants to maximize the homeschool-ness of her high school experience.


            Anyhow, given all of that, I'm not willing to play the game. She will take some SAT subject tests, could possibly do a few dual credits, and has her eye on an "away" school for junior and senior year (which may come to nothing, but she's visited and it does seem to be her "people". She's kind of lonely with her siblings grown up and gone.)
            Bean and Ana,

            I do agree that AP is very much a game. I have many issues with how the college board is run. The point of this post was to alert you that the “rules” of the game are changing (forcing you to commit much earlier in the year) and that finding people to play with you (finding a place to take the test) can be much more difficult than it should be depending on where you live and what test you are looking for. To date, my daughter hasn’t taken any AP classes, but I didn’t really want to bother with them if she can’t find a spot to take the exam. I am not sure that most of them are worthwhile anyway...many sound like there is a lot of busywork involved. I am actually leaning toward CLEP as a way to give her something concrete to work toward that can be taken any time during the year. It isn’t as widely accepted as AP, but my daughter really needs a goal and a firm date. I wish our first couple years of high school could have been more “homeschool-y” but with three younger kids the online classes have kept her on track. Next year I think she may drop back to Greek online and take chemistry dual enrollment at the community college during the winter semester. I really want a hands on lab component that isn’t in my kitchen, but I am out of ideas. I am looking for a Latin tutor. She’ll take that online if I can’t find the right person. The online class load has been heavier than I like this year, and I want to be able to go visit some colleges with her this fall.

            bean, What schools do you feel understand working through things like MIT open courseware? My son would be the one more interested in that aspect.



            Dorinda

            DD 15 - 10th with MPOA(Biology, Novel, Material Logic/Rhetoric ), Lukeion (Greek3, Latin 3)
            DS 13 - 8A with MPOA(Third Form and composition)
            DS 10 - 5M
            DS 5 - K with AAR3

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Mom2mthj View Post

              3. A big thing that I found out while researching this year is that the college board is changing their order dates for the upcoming school year from March 15th to November 15th. I don’t see yet when their window to contact for outside testing will be open. If their misinformation about March 15th is any indication, I would advise finding a school and getting an order in by the end of October. My district said to start checking the website in the fall for the announcement, but that I didn’t have to call back to register. My guess is things will be a bit crazy in the fall.
              We have our calculus students register to take the AP Calculus exam in their local district every year. They have always registered by January, but this year we learned that they need to register by October fall 2019 to take the AP test spring 2020. So I don't think that is unique to Dorinda's district in MI. Be aware everyone! And get those registration requests in when local schools begin in August!

              Sorry for your pain, Dorinda. I feel for you. The College Board is a money-making enterprise with a pretense of preparing students for college.
              Cindy Davis
              Science and Math teacher at Highlands Latin School - Indianapolis
              ds-25 college graduate: autodidact, working to pay the bills
              ds-23 college graduate: 1st year med school
              dd-21 college senior: Nursing

              Comment


                #8
                bean, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts & experience. It is really helping me understand my own reactions and think about what will be best for our family. And: the MIT OpenCourseWare is an amazing opportunity; it is good to know that some of the institutions are recognizing this.


                Originally posted by Mom2mthj View Post
                Bean and Ana,

                I do agree that AP is very much a game. I have many issues with how the college board is run. The point of this post was to alert you that the “rules” of the game are changing (forcing you to commit much earlier in the year) and that finding people to play with you (finding a place to take the test) can be much more difficult than it should be depending on where you live and what test you are looking for. ...
                Mom 2mthj, I ought to have started my first post with a thanks to you for bringing these issues up! These things very much affect when we would start approaching local schools for help: thank goodness they seem very willing to help us, so far. But I am embarassed to realize that I've been planning for AP Latin but not considering whether the test is already offered by a school, and whether the school is willing to proctor a one-off. I ought to research this soonest.

                It is fortunate that many colleges are realizing the limitations of the AP system. We ourselves intend to use it mainly for college entrance purposes, and ideally also to help master and cement material we value.

                In case it is of interest to anybody else, I'll share where I am right now on this. FWIW, my older is a very idiosyncratic fellow who thinks very well academically AND is emotionally very "young". I want to keep open the option of applying to "competitive" schools if he wishes. My plan was to have him take the AP Latin exam when he is ready for it, which is an easy one to prep for because AP Latin will eventually be the next level of Latin with our online provider. I also plan for him to sit the SAT II Math 2 subject exam when he is ready and then the AP Calculus BC exam when he is ready. And then in my ideal world there would be one AP science and perhaps AP economics or AP music theory -- his piano teacher believes the Music Theory content is good, and there might be the opportunity for him to sit in a B&M class to prepare, which would be great experience.

                We think we can self-study for everything except the Latin and the Music Theory. He has online Latin (and, the good Lord willing, online Greek starting next year) and neither of us want him to take more online courses if we can work around it.

                On the other hand, my plans never seem to survive long. I'm just so grateful for this opportunity to learn & reflect!
                Ana, mama to
                ds A, 13yo
                ds N, 8yo

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by serendipitous journey View Post
                  bean, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts & experience. It is really helping me understand my own reactions and think about what will be best for our family. And: the MIT OpenCourseWare is an amazing opportunity; it is good to know that some of the institutions are recognizing this.
                  I wouldn't plan anything around colleges recognizing MIT OCW... I just know that one school that fits my dds wish list does.
                  Bean

                  DD- 9M with subs

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by bean View Post

                    I wouldn't plan anything around colleges recognizing MIT OCW... I just know that one school that fits my dds wish list does.
                    Well, that's too bad! and thank you for the heads-up.
                    Ana, mama to
                    ds A, 13yo
                    ds N, 8yo

                    Comment

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