The College Board, which administers Advanced Placement (AP) exams, will require students to register for May 2020 AP exams in November 2019. Alternatively, if students decide to register for the May 2020 exams after the November registration period closes, they’ll pay an additional $40.00 late fee. Conversely, if students decide not to take the May 2020 exam(s), students will be assessed a $40.00 cancellation fee.
So, by November—a relatively early point in the school year and thus limited in curriculum learned—students will need to assess their confidence in their ability and knowledge to “pass” the AP exams. Then, they can make a more informed decision about registering for the tests or not.
Additionally, as universities, like Harvard, are changing their policies about accepting AP exam credit in place of taking an undergraduate course, students and parents may be prudent to choose which AP exams to take or not. Specifically, the Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences are significantly narrowing the courses which can be replaced with AP credits.
Lastly, since AP exam scores are not considered in the admissions evaluation of college applicants, nor do students “lose” the additional grade point for an AP class without taking an AP exam, then parents and students have even more incentive to be discriminating in choosing to take AP exams or not.
[Note: the irony of taking AP classes in order to craft an academically rigorous transcript, so a student can “compete” for admissions, yet then enrolling at colleges where administrators do not awarded college credits for an AP exam score is not unnoticed.]