Musings on Everything

I muse, therefore I write.

On AP Exams

Yay. It’s mid-March. You know what that means? If you’re a conscientious student, that means that you would have just gotten started studying for your AP exams. I know that most of you lot are a) not at all conscientious and b) don’t really give a shit about the AP exams, knowing that you’ll do fine regardless of whether or not you study, but I, being the newly good student that I am, and also faced with a crippling fear that I may get a 2 on the AP Chem exam and thus be forced to ostracize myself in shame, have gotten a head start on it. And by “head start”, I mean “made a schedule and intend to get right down to it… tomorrow.”

But then, I’m taking six AP exams. Which may surprise some of you. I know it surprised me. I wasn’t even going to bother with the AP Chem exam, knowing I’d get a solid 2 and be forced to cancel my grade in shame, but my father, operating under the delusion that I am halfway good at chemistry (I’m not), decided that I would be taking the full six exams available to me anyway. Well, that’s his money he’s giving to the AP, not mine. I’d never be able to afford it. Which brings me to another point. Why, exactly, are the tests so costly? I mean, it’s not like they need the money that much, right?

According to their tax form 990 (available to the public due to the College Board’s tax-exempt status), last year the College Board took in a whopping $468.5 million on “program service revenue” (test/service fees), and they collected an additional $16.4 million in grants and membership dues. As far as expenditures, about $5.7 million is spent on various services (legal, accounting), and about $398.8 million is spent on actual programs and services. The remaining surplus is spent on employees ($68.8 million) and directors and executives ($6.7 million). The College Board made a net profit of $23 million over the last year, which is equal to 5% of the money spent on tests. Similar profits were made over the last few years.

That mind-bogglingly huge number up there representing the revenue of the College Board includes not only AP tests, but also the SAT and SAT IIs. Even so, an SAT costs $45, while an AP test costs $86. Really? Twice as much for about the same amount of paper and ink? WTF, College Board?

Somebody needs to pull those guys into line. They’re getting alarmingly swollen heads due to their monopoly on the American mass-testing market. Where’s the Sherman Anti-Trust Act when you need it? Oh right, useless because technically the College Board is a “non-profit”. Non-profit my ass. You probably call that $23 million “net donations” or something to avoid paying taxes, don’t you College Board? I bet you do. You make me sick, College Board. Sick. And your president Gaston Caperton exemplifies that. He looks like a dick. A dick with too much money. Learn to smile properly, you dick president, and stop extorting America’s youth!

P.S. That answer sheet up there looks exactly like what they gave me at the SAT prep place I went to, down to the style of the X. Interesting, no? No? Well, it is for me. So there. Ha.

Note: This impotent protest brought to you by the Association for Standardized Boredom. Remember, if you’re bored, post on your blog about your puny rage and it will all become better.


Written by Sri

March 13, 2009 at 7:02 PM

Posted in Musings

Tagged with , , , ,

5 Responses

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  1. mmm… tasty, tasty rage.


    March 14, 2009 at 6:36 PM

  2. “decided that I would be taking the full six exams available to me anyway”

    I note how you didn’t even try to include Latin as a possible AP exam. xD

    [Sri’s note: That’s because Latin this year doesn’t have an AP exam anymore. Wait for next year, then you can see me start complaining.]


    March 14, 2009 at 9:11 PM

  3. i read somewhere that the fee is going to increase to $110 next year


    March 15, 2009 at 8:38 AM

  4. Of all the people in our school taking AP Spanish (it may be the language with the most students?) only 3 are taking the AP Exam. Language AP Exams are pretty much death, so they don’t count. So if you really want to overachieve Sri, you can take the AP Latin test and complain all you want.


    March 15, 2009 at 12:26 PM

  5. *next year I meant


    March 15, 2009 at 12:26 PM

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