AP Exams: Are they worth the cost?


Photo by Shevani Tewari

AP prep books stack up as students increasingly take more every year.

Rachel Freedman, Opinions Writer

Half a year of Netflix. Seven hundred fifty packs of Ramen noodles. Those are both equivalent to the cost of one AP exam, or 98 dollars, which is an astronomical price for a single packet of paper. A significant amount of students take multiple exams, multiplying the exam fee to hundreds of dollars. For example, taking seven AP exams adds up to a total exam fee of 686 dollars. This does not even include the cost of buying review books and other necessary preparation materials.

The high cost of exams causes a great financial burden for low-income students and limits the number of AP exams they can take. If the price was reduced, the financial stress would be alleviated for hundreds of low-income students, and it would benefit all students. However, considering all the administrative work and costs of hiring test writers, graders, and more, it would be very difficult to lower the price of AP exams.

Though it may be difficult to comprehend at first, but AP exams at their current price are actually a bargain. AP exams are a definitely less expensive alternative to the college course they represent. By taking AP exams, you can earn college credits, eventually reducing your future tuition. Although the tests do cost a decent amount, it doesn’t compare to the price that you would have to pay in college. Many colleges accept scores of three or higher on certain exams, allowing students to skip classes you would take during the first semester of college and potentially graduate early, saving money in the long run.

In the end, spending the 98 dollars per test in high school will end up saving you money in the long run. You will not have to pay for the class and test in college which can cost thousands of dollars. In addition, financial aid is available for those who cannot afford the cost. Although it seems like a lot now, the price you pay for AP exams is more reasonable than the price in college.