(JORDAN DEL VALLE TONOIAN / EYE OF THE TIGER)
Next school year, College Board will move the AP test registration deadline from March 2020 to November 2019. The district plans to meet with a College Board representative next semester to discuss how this will apply to how schools following a block schedule, like Roseville High School, where students may not begin the AP class until after the new deadline.
Last November, the College Board published a set of articles containing information regarding the deadline change, outlining when the changes will take effect as well as introducing two new fees: a $40 late fee, and a $40 cancellation fee for any exam that is ordered but not taken. The preferred deadline for exam registration is October 4, however the final deadline is November 15.
If College Board does not make an exception taking into consideration RJUHSD’s schedule, this would mean students who are taking an AP course in the spring term will be signing up for the exams before they have even attended the class.
RHS principal David Byrd believes College Board should avoid rushing students to make decisions.
“It seems like we’re pushing kids to make a decision before they’re truly informed about it,” Byrd said. “I don’t like that idea… If there’s no reason to not give them more time to make that decision, I don’t know why they wouldn’t do that.”
The College Board anticipates requiring students to register in the fall will raise the rate of AP students who take the exams, as well as increase the average score on the exam, based on studies conducted at pilot schools.
In College Board’s current model for the deadline change, if students miss the November deadline, they will still be able to register for an exam until March 13, but will have to pay an extra late fee of $40 that is not covered under the fee waiver, to incentivize students to make the decision early.
Additionally, if students choose not to take an AP test that they have already ordered, they will be charged a $40 cancellation fee. College Board hopes the changes will require students to commit to the test, increasing scores and the number of people who take it.
AP European History teacher Carol Crabtree fears how new changes, especially the potential increase in cost, will impact students.
“I think you’re also going to have students who sign up for tests and then are going to be very frustrated because maybe in the end something happens, maybe they move, maybe their schedule changes and they don’t end up taking that class after all,” Crabtree said. “That’s a very expensive test to just have to walk away from.”
Crabtree teaches AP Euro in a year-long block with Honors English. Students taking AP classes during the fall semester, or as part of a year-long block, will have had the most exposure to the courses prior to the deadline, which Crabtree believes will alleviate the impact her class will face.
“For me it’s not a huge handicap because I have my students in the fall,” Crabtree said. “So it’s problematic but it’s not a disaster.”
Junior Kyli Quile, who has taken AP classes, believes it is unfair to require students to sign up without being familiar with the class.
“I don’t love the idea of the change,” Quile said. “I think it’s much better for students to feel out their classes, see how comfortable they are and then they can base their decisions off of that instead of go in blind and pay that much money.”
According to AP coordinator Cari Oberreuter the specifics for campuses with block schedules like Roseville High School are still subject to change.
“[When the articles were released] we had a couple people call and talk to them… and say ‘wait a minute’ what about these schools?” Oberreuter said.
While the future for in relation to this change is still up in the air, Oberreuter hopes discussing the issue with College Board will ensure this change does not have a negative impact on RJUHSD’s students.
“Right now all we know is it’s a nation-wide change,” Oberreuter said. “My hope is, that maybe [the College Board] will waive the $40 [late] fee for schools like us.”