Greetings Students and Families, This is the second blog in my series on AP Exams.
Let’s talk about this year’s changes:
Multiple AP Exam Dates and Formats
So here we are and the College Board has made some changes for the AP 2021 exams—in response to many school districts throughout the US having changed their start date for the 2020-21 academic year. The instructional challenges this past year continued to be a challenge – the College Board has implemented changes in format and timing for May 2021.
For the 2021 AP exam cycle—there are significant changes in how the exams will be administered. Students will have an opportunity to take the either in-person or virtually across a variety of dates..
There will be three separate dates in May and June all having an in-school and at-home format. The school’s AP coordinator at each school will be able to authorize a full-length digital contingency exam.
The dates are:
Round 1: May 3-7, 10-12, 14, 17
Round 2: May 18–21, 24–28
Round 3: June 1–4, 7–11
Whether digitally or on paper, all AP exams will be full-length and cover the entirety of the course content (a sharp contrast to 2020 – and that omitted content may result in no earned college credit or placement changes – subject to the discretion of each individual college.) I caution students to expect placement exams in math, science and foreign languages regardless of scores earned on May 2020 exams once arriving on college campuses. This is actually a good thing- you don’t want to start calculus III or advanced biology if you didn’t really master the content
It is up to each individual high school to determine how and when to deliver the AP exams across these three available rounds. A high school can elect to mix and match the different rounds in order to best align with the school’s instructional academic school year and also to support CDC/local social distancing protocols.
The College Board has several excellent resources for review and there is also a series of live review sessions for students to review course content.
As you think about your exam preparation, keep in mind your balanced college list and whether AP Scores will be a necessary part of your college application now that SAT Subject Tests have been eliminated..
Remember- there’s no penalty for postponement—if you aren’t physically or emotionally well on the day of the exam, please have a parent alert the school of your absence, and plan to take the exam on a designated make-up date.
Are AP scores required on college applications?
They’ve NEVER been a requirement but there has for a very long time been a self-report section on the Common App. (In some high schools, your AP and all standardized test scores are also on your transcript.)
AP scores are considered by admissions officers in reviewing your college application as part of the college admissions process.
Since you can submit your AP scores -on the Common Application or Coalition Applications — electing to omit these scores is suggestive that you didn’t do well on your exams.
Again, AP exam scores are NOT a required element on your college application. That said, excluding your scores in the space provided on the Common Application hints indirectly at your score. No one fails to share a “4” or a “5” on their college application. BEWARE: some high schools actually report your AP score on your transcript and you need to request their removal. Some high schools may refuse your request. Ask me more about this issue.
As noted, AP exam scores may also substitute for SAT/ACT scores at Test-Flexible universities. For example, including three exams of your choice allows subject-specific test takers to reduce test anxiety and increase their chances of college admissions. You do have more control over content and knowledge-based materials related to specific courses in these exams.
The optional self-reporting of AP scores on your Common Application is an opportunity to demonstrate you’ve mastered materials and can even overshadow the high school transcript. AP exam scores level the playing field across students from a variety of public and private high schools. So what to do about those “1s” and “2s”? Ask me – as each situation is unique and there may be a potential explanation for the poor score.
AP coursework has become the gold-standard of an academically rigorous curriculum. Earning a high grade on an AP exam can overshadow the high school transcript. For STEM students to be competitive in the admissions process, AP Calculus, AP Bio/Chem and/or Physics, APCS are invaluable and often expected on a student’s transcript to be a viable candidate in the most selective of universities. Avoiding challenging courses as an applicant is not only reducing your chances of admissions at selective universities. Doing so will impact your preparation in the demanding undergraduate coursework ahead.
There’s very little variation in curriculum options across high schools in that all students will complete four years of English, four years of social studies, complete a foreign language and enroll in the math and science classes at a level they can manage.
The differences across high schools and across students are in the electives taken and in whether students enroll in Honors or AP/IB/AICE levels of classes.
S YOUR STUDENT ON TARGET?
It is never too early to begin taking steps to ensure your student has a long-term strategic educational plan fostering a love of learning, building solid time management skills and establishing a directed path towards the undergraduate experience. Bonnie R. Rabin, Ph.D. personally guides her students to discover their individual academic strengths and an intrinsically motivated passion for learning, ensuring a seamless transition to the undergraduate experience.
BUILD YOUR COLLEGE ADMISSIONS PLAN
Congrats!!! A SAMPLE of our recent College Acceptances Include:
Carnegie Mellon, UPenn, Princeton, Cornell, U. Michigan, Northwestern, Georgia Tech, Barnard, Columbia, Smith, Stanford, University of North Carolina, Vassar, Brown, Bowdoin, Wellesley, Emory, U.Illinois, Notre Dame, NYU, Rice, University of Chicago, Washington University (WUSTL), Drexel, Tulane, London School of Economics, Purdue, Swarthmore, SCAD, Ohio, Georgetown, Hamilton, Reed, Miami, Johns Hopkins, University of Florida, University of Arizona, Penn State, Villanova, Northeastern, SUNY-ESF, St. Johns, Embry-Riddle, Colgate, Fordham, Columbia, Barnard, Syracuse, Swarthmore, Pittsburgh, Dickinson, Colorado, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Howard, Fordham, SUNY Stonybrook, Duke, Case Western, Rochester Institute of Technology, Parsons, Virginia Tech, Boston U., Hobart & William Smith, Claremont Mckenna, Davidson, Westpoint, Gettysburg, Amherst, Temple, Denison, Howard, UT Austin, SUNY-Binghamton, Hamilton, George Washington, American, Indiana, SMU, James Madison, and many more!…
WRITE YOUR STORY!
College Application and College Essay Writers Block Workshop – Finish your Common App 2021-22 Core Essay Before Summer Break
I you’re a Junior ’22 now is the time to be actively engaged in research on the variety of college majors. I’d welcome the opportunity to guide you to defining your balanced short-list of colleges by June – and hopefully you’ll be joining me at my June Writers Block Workshop.
In June 2020 we successfully pivoted and delivered our workshop, including one-on-one personalized writing conferences entirely on Zoom. We’re ready to resume virtually. Adaptability is always essential when faced with an unforeseen challenge.
I look forward to hearing more about your emerging academic and personal interests to help navigate a path for success and impact. Don’t be challenged by college application essay prompts that ask “How will you innovate to change the work”– begin your discovery as early as 8th grade!
Have an awesome day!
Bonnie R. Rabin, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus & Cornell Alumni Rep
Educational and College Admissions Consultant
STEM, Business, Humanities, Creative Arts –
Find Your Passion and Be Unique!
Bonnie R. Rabin, Ph.D. is the founder and principal educational consultant of College Career Consulting, LLC. She has over 30 years of experience as a university faculty member and shares her knowledge, professional resources and support with students who are ready to advance their lifelong educational and career journeys.