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Articles / Preparing for College / Taking AP Exams On Your Own

March 6, 2004

Taking AP Exams On Your Own

Question: Can I take Advanced Placement exams even if my school doesn't offer the appropriate classes? My counselor says he cannot order these tests for me.

AP testing IS available to students whose schools don't offer the tests or for those who are home-schooled.


Go to the College Board AP registration-information site at: http://www.collegeboard.com/student/testing/ap/reg.html.

You will see this information there:

If you are a home-schooled student or attend a school that does not offer AP, you can still take the exams by arranging to test at a participating school.

Call AP Services no later than March 1 to get the names and telephone numbers of local AP Coordinators. Phone: (609) 771-7300 or (888) 225-5427 (toll free in the U.S. and Canada)

Prepare a list of the exams you plan to take prior to calling so that the appropriate Coordinators can be identified.

Contact the AP Coordinators identified by AP Services no later than March 15.

When calling Coordinators to arrange testing, make sure to tell them:

You are trying to locate a school willing to administer exams to home-schooled students or students from schools that do not offer AP.

You will use a different school code so your exam grade(s) will be reported separately from the school at which you test. (Home-schooled students will use the state home-school code provided by the Coordinator on the day of the exam; students attending schools will use their school code.)

The exams you plan to take.

Once you locate a school willing to administer the exams, that school's AP Coordinator is responsible for ordering your exam materials, telling you when and where to appear for the exams, and collecting your fees, which he or she may negotiate to recover additional proctoring or administration costs. That school must administer the exams for you; it cannot forward them to you or your school for handling.

For information about preparing for AP exams on your own, check out this site:

http://www.collegeboard.com/student/testing/ap/prep.html

Good luck with your tests!

Written by

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone knows the competitive and often convoluted college admission process inside out: From the first time the topic of college comes up at the dinner table until the last duffel bag is unloaded on a dorm room floor. She is the co-author of Panicked Parents' Guide to College Admissions; The Transfer Student's Guide to Changing Colleges and The International Student's Guide to Going to College in America. Sally has appeared on NBC's Today program and has been quoted in countless publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Weekend, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek, People and Seventeen. Sally has viewed the admissions world from many angles: As a Smith College admission counselor for 15 years, an independent college counselor serving students from a wide range of backgrounds and the author of College Confidential's "Ask the Dean" column. She also taught language arts, social studies, study skills and test preparation in 10 schools, including American international schools in London, Paris, Geneva, Athens and Tel Aviv. As senior advisor to College Confidential since 2002, Sally has helped hundreds of students and parents navigate the college admissions maze. In 2008, she co-founded College Karma, a private college consulting firm, with her College Confidential colleague Dave Berry, and she continues to serve as a College Confidential advisor. Sally and her husband, Chris Petrides, became first-time parents in 1997 at the ripe-old age of 45. So Sally was nearly an official senior citizen when her son Jack began the college selection process, and when she was finally able to practice what she had preached for more than three decades.

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