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Further reasons to not take the AP chemistry ‘exam’ in 2020 as a HS senior

April 18, 2020

If you are a high school senior preparing to take the AP Chemistry ‘exam’ in 2020, you may want to think again.

There are already a whole host of reasons NOT to take the AP Chemistry ‘exam’ in 2020. On top of the logic outlined in that post, in the last few days I have been getting reports form other AP chemistry teachers regarding two further factors that add fuel to my position. Teachers have been telling me that they are hearing of colleges making these policy decisions.

1. Some colleges will require a placement exam ANYWAY, even with a 5 on the ‘exam’ in ‘20*.

Now, under normal circumstances I would be wholly in opposition to the colleges on this stance. If this were happening in a ‘regular’ year it would totally undermine the purpose of the AP chemistry exam, and frankly would make a mockery of the whole AP system. In addition to the academic angle, it is also a massive scam whereby colleges get students (parents) to pay for placements tests, that effectively have already been done via AP. It’s another huge, US higher education rip-off. However, in 2020, a college requiring a placement exam even with a 5 makes absolutely perfect sense. With the rife cheating that will take place, and the total sham that the ‘exam’ in 2020 is, it makes perfect sense for the colleges to cross-check the knowledge that a student has via their own, properly administered test.

*Of course, some colleges do this anyway, but this is a new position for others that don’t trust the 2020 exam.

2. Some college are offering a credit, if you have an ‘A’ on your HS transcript, but you don’t take the ‘exam’.

I have all kinds of issues with a transcript grades being utterly bogus (another post on that later), so this sits badly with me anyway, but in the context of what we’re talking about here, you should take notice. What the colleges are saying is that they have no trust in a shambolic 2020 AP Chemistry ‘exam’ score, and that they would rather put their faith in the hopelessly imperfect transcript system. Again, under normal circumstances I would call that decision complete madness, but in 2020 I would agree with them! It’s worth noting that I am an ardent critic of the complete nonsense that is the high school transcript grade, but compared to the 2020 AP Chemistry ‘exam’ scores, those transcript grades will look like the definitive, sage-like proclamation of a student’s abilities! THAT’S how bad the 2020 ‘exam’ situation is!

Each of these reports put Trevor Packer’s ‘assurance’ that colleges will be accepting AP scores for credit “as usual”, in a new light.

Admittedly the information about colleges pursuing these policies is, at this stage anecdotal, but I have no reason to think that other teachers are lying to me, so I am 100% sure that these things are/will be indeed occurring. With such an inconsistency existing across the US college landscape regarding the bizarre worlds of AP credit, dual credit, college admittance, and the general ambiguity surrounding such (again, another blog post on that later), it’s impossible to speak in specific terms, so I suggest that you contact your chosen college to find out the facts as they apply to you.


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