What use are AP exams for an incoming plebe?

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by Severse_Rhycology, Feb 20, 2018.

  1. Severse_Rhycology

    Severse_Rhycology Member

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    I have looked all over the admitted students documents and the only line that somewhat helps is that "they may help validate courses." I ask because I need to sign up for ap exams and do not want to waste hundreds of dollars on tests with no significance.
     
  2. jl123

    jl123 Member

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    With respect to USMA that is all AP exams will do - help validate courses.

    However, if you end up leaving USMA they may save you thousands of dollars validating courses at a civilian college.
     
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  3. Artillery

    Artillery Member

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    Yup, you can validate courses. But don't scoff at that. Unlike a lot of colleges, West Point won't just give you a free period - you have to take the courses they tell you to. And unlike other colleges, you don't have to pay for the courses. So if you validate out, you can get dual majors and minors in almost unrelated things (depending on how many APs you take). Long story short, AP's aren't a waste (if you can afford them), and they'll give you options you wouldn't normally have, which is good. If you have the money for them, take them. If not, they aren't that big of a deal, you'll still graduate from West Point. I wouldn't consider them a waste of money but they do get costly (don't even get me started about CollegeBoard I could go on for hours on how much I hate that organization).
     
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  4. Jeepman

    Jeepman Member

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    Best to take AP without dual enrollment. Take the boost in GPA but avoid the "college" generally not transferable credit, IMHO.
     
  5. Harleyboys98

    Harleyboys98 Member

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    Just to clarify... Every plebe is required to take validation tests during the beginning of plebe summer, correct? Depending on the scores achieved from these tests will allow one to skip a level? Are AP tests even looked at from an admissions standpoint? I too don’t see a point of taking the AP tests for a military academy viewpoint. I feel like the money would be better spent towards more ACT and SAT tests.
     
  6. justdoit19

    justdoit19 Member

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    We had the same question, but for USNA. Ultimately decided to pass on registering for them. DS’s decision. He is taking 5 AP classes this semester but will not take the exams. Support his decision 100pct, for the reasons referred to: he will be tested and placed appropriately at the academy. Takes away the stress of studying for the exams his last semester.
     
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  7. davejean90

    davejean90 Member

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    As someone who has graded Calculus AB and BC tests for ETS, I would advise most who are attending the service academy's not to pay for the test. The academy will make you take a validation test anyway and many other schools will accept nothing less than a 5 to transfer credit.
     
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  8. JWP

    JWP 5-Year Member

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    Hmmmm.... would say send a message to your RC to get their perspective. Unless someone on this thread is now or was once part of admissions, an instructor who has worked on placement with Plebes or an RC, the best we can all do is speculate. My 2018 and 20-19 both took AP classes and both took the tests and they both did validate certain courses. Did it help or hurt - we have no idea LOL!
     
  9. Love4monsters

    Love4monsters Member

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    My 2021 son validated 2 courses based on the validation exam and it enabled him to double major with only 5 additional courses total. He was hoping to validate stats but was told he had to have taken AP stats/exam in order to take the validation exam. His HS did not offer AP courses. He is going to ask again as he validated Calc 1 and Chem without AP. Would open another slot but he enjoys stats so it's not a huge deal.
     
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  10. MidwestDad

    MidwestDad Member

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    For SA admissions AP test scores officially have no value, they may however look good on a nomination application to MOC. There are levels of 'AP scholar' distinctions for high average scores on multiple AP tests, these can be resume boosters.

    Placement at SA is valuable if you want a minor or double major, otherwise not a big deal if you want to go the conventional single major / standard curriculum route. DS '21 placed into 'Jedi math' and advanced physics, declared MechEng and considering a Space science minor [3 extra classes.]

    If cost is a consideration I would not sweat the AP tests for SA - however DS' older brother got 27 credits, BA in 3 yrs, will finish MA this May in 5th year from a good state university here. So cost is relative there - a ~$25K year of college paid for by 6 AP exam fees. Consider Plan B school impact if SA appointment does not happen.