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March 8, 2012

AP college arms race: how to survive

Jay Matthews:

The number of high school students taking AP, IB, Advanced International Certificate of Education and local college courses has been rising. College admissions officers feel those courses prepare students better than regular high school courses for higher education. They tell applicants if their high school has such courses, they should take them. The admissions people add that if your school only offers five AP courses, they don't expect you to have as many on your transcript as a student at a school that offers 25. But you weaken your case if your AP course taking is not in step with classmates applying to your favorite college.

Jodi Siegel, a College Bound educational consultant in Potomac, said if a student's classmates "take an average of 6 or 7 APs and this student has taken 3 or 4, in all likelihood that student's level or rigor will appear less impressive." This is clear, she said, from admission decisions at schools like the University of Maryland.

The Washington area and other affluent regions have many public and private high schools with two dozen or more AP or IB courses. This is hard on students proficient in only a few of subjects available.

Posted by Jim Zellmer at March 8, 2012 3:59 AM
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