Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Peak to Peak's Advanced Placement Program
Why does Peak to Peak offer an AP program?
- Peak to Peak offers an AP program as part of the college preparatory philosophy; research indicates an AP program provides what students need to be best prepared for college. Also, AP course and exams can save students money for college - either with college course credit, class waivers, or a competitive edge in college acceptances and scholarships.
Why should I take an AP course?
- Take an AP course for the challenge! This experience fosters self-motivation while building confidence, responsibility, and self-reliance. The courses also offer an opportunity to experience the academic rigor of college in a safe environment and to be competitive in the college application process.
Why does it matter whether or not I take the AP exam?
- Since our mission is to prepare students for college, the AP test is one of the strategies we have found to be effective (University of TX study). Taking a cumulative exam like the ones in college helps truly prepare you for the college experience. A good score on an AP test can improve your application portfolio and possibly earn you college credit (which saves you money). Plus, many college admissions representatives expect to see AP exam grades when your transcript shows you took an AP course.
- Another important reason is that Peak to Peak has an impressive national ranking specifically because we have high numbers of students that take the AP exams. This has increased national awareness of Peak to Peak graduates significantly. This awareness equates to more colleges and universities considering Peak to Peak graduates to be worthy of college acceptance and scholarships. So your willingness to take the exam not only benefits you personally, but you are contributing to the legacy for students that come after you.
How will taking an AP course and its exam prepare me for college?
- AP classes require high-level calculating and critical thinking you will encounter in your first year of college. If you can write essays and solve problems successfully for an AP class, you have mastered many skills leading to success in college.
How will I be ready to take the exam in May?
- You may prepare for the exam by taking advantage of all the study group opportunities, office hours, practice tests online, and helpful suggestions your teachers give you. Most students find the sample exams in AP study guides extremely helpful; many Peak to Peak teachers recommend Princeton Review's guides. Please review these study tips for more helpful ways to prepare.
How important is my score?
- The higher your score, the more likely you will qualify for scholarships, college credit, class waivers, or scholar recognition. Scoring a 3 or higher may make you eligible for AP Scholar and/or Peak Scholar recognition upon graduation. Regardless of the score, colleges expect to see the course and exam completed - this speaks to your ability to follow through with an expectation, your self-discipline to attempt the cumulative exam experience, and your willingness to take a risk with a college level course. No matter how you score on the AP exam, research from the University of Texas shows that simply taking the test improves your chances of graduating in four years and being academically successful in your college of choice.
What if the cost prohibits me from taking the exam?
- The cost should not get in the way. If it is a concern for your family, we have options for payment methods and plans. Have your parent contact Ms. Durland or Mrs. Skinner (school bookkeeper) with any questions or concerns. We can help. Students who qualify for the free and reduced lunch program qualify for a significantly reduced rate for each of their AP exams. If you have qualified for the free and reduced lunch program but are not seeing a reduced exam rate on RevTrak, please contact Ms. Begley or Ms. Skinner.
What if something comes up that challenges my ability to take the exam?
- Please contact the testing coordinator via email to discuss your challenges. If you miss the initial exam date, you will be scheduled to take the late exam. Please be aware that this could be scheduled after graduation or after the last day of school and there are fees associated with this that you will be responsible for in most situations.
When are AP exam fees due?
- Final payments for AP exams are due October 1st to facilitate the AP test ordering process. Balances paid after October 1st will incur a $50 late fee per exam. Any family wishing to create a payment plan or needing financial assistance must finalize these plans with accounts receivable and the AP coordinator prior to September 13th. Please see our AP exam fee page for more information.
How are the AP fees utilized?
- The College Board charges a $95 fee per exam. Of this amount, $86 goes directly to College Board for Advanced Placement exam creation, grading, etc. Schools retain a $9 rebate per exam. This money covers AP test proctors, AP summer training for our teachers (currently $750 per session), AP exam supplies (such as headphones, tape recorders, batteries, pencils, pens, envelopes, stamps), and pre-administration session provisions. Peak to Peak does not make a profit from AP exam fees.
How do I make a payment for AP exam fees?
- Payment for tests should be made online using your RevTrak account. If you have never used RevTrak, you will need to create an account as instructed here.
- Exam payments may also be made by submitting a check payable to Peak to Peak.
- Any family in need of establishing a payment plan should contact Amy Skinner by email at email@example.com. The payment plan will need to be in place and agreed to by November 1st to avoid the $50 late fee.
Can I leave a test early?
- If you have a scheduled event like a game or meet, there may be an option to leave early. This decision will be made on a case-by-case basis by the testing coordinator. Contact the testing coordinator in advance to discuss your situation. Please note that by leaving early you forfeit your right to contest your scores based on timing. If you leave early and do not complete your test, you will not be able to complete it at a later time. If you do not have a pre-scheduled event during the testing window, you will be expected to sit for the entire time. Please let the testing coordinator and the proctor know of your intent to leave well in advance.
- Assume that all morning exams last until at least 12pm and all afternoon exams last until at least 4pm. With this information, please plan all doctor's appointments and work shifts accordingly.
What if I need to take my exam on a different date?
- If you have two exams scheduled at the same time you may take one of the exams during the late testing window at no extra cost. The Testing Coordinator may decide which test you take at which time due to proctoring availability.
- If you are ill on the date of the test you will be scheduled to take your exam during the late testing window but will have to pay up to $54* in fees to cover the new exam and the cost of a proctor. An extended absence prior to the test does not qualify a student to take their test at a later date. (Please call the school that day and let attendance know your student will be missing their AP exam.)
- You may not elect to take the exam during the late-testing window without meeting these criteria. Please contact the Testing Coordinator if you have questions about your specific situation.
- *If multiple students are taking the same late test, the cost of a proctor will be split between the students resulting in a reduced late test fee per student.
What if I don't take my exam?
- Every student enrolled in an AP course is expected to take the corresponding AP exam. If they choose not to, they must get the approval of the principal, Mr. Mathews, in advance, and communicate that decision to the testing coordinator. They will also be expected to take a final in that class in lieu of the exam. If the test has already been ordered for them, they can request a full refund minus $40 that College Board will charge Peak to Peak for the unused test. (late fees are waived for 2020 and 2021)
Do I have to attend class before or after my AP exam?
- Yes. Students are expected to attend any classes they have on the day of their exam, except for those that meet at the time of the exam. In order to miss class before or after the exam, normal attendance policies must be followed including a parent or guardian notifying attendance of your absence. If a parent or guardian does not contact attendance, you are expected to attend class or will be given an unexcused absence.