Don’t let collegeboard ruin your summer

in Opinion by

We all know that summer vacation doesn’t necessarily mean a break from school anymore. With tasks like summer assignments, college tours, supply lists and exam results hanging over our heads, school never seems to truly leave the mind.

July 7: AP Exam scores released for the state of Florida. While most of us probably used sites like earlyscores.com or changed our VPNs to get scores a day early, for simplicity I’m going to say that this was the day that caused hearts to race as a certain webpage loaded. For freshman, the main concern was with AP Human Geography exams; for sophomores, AP World History, AP Biology and a few other courses; for juniors and seniors, the list is too long for one article.

Now I could go through the percentages for high results, course by course, and tell you how your score is fine. The problem with that is: not everyone actually did as well as they hoped, and my definition of “fine” can vary vastly from the next person’s. For someone who struggled in a class, a four on the exam can make their day; but for someone who was genuinely passionate about the class and found the material quite easy, a four could be infuriating.

While in high school many students (including myself) like to say everything we’re doing isn’t for the college applications, at the end of our four years at Heritage, our most regarded achievements are going off to schools across the country. Don’t freak out. If you didn’t get a five on every AP exam you took, here’s a surprise: you’re probably still going to college. Most colleges don’t even require you to submit AP exam scores, although the class will still show on your transcript and said college may wonder how you did on the exam. If you don’t submit your score, it does leave it up to admissions to assume the worst. What you should take from this is college admissions is tricky, but always tell the truth, and don’t let your application run your high school life.

Your score is your score, and there is nothing you can do to change it. It’s one small part of a giant application, and most colleges use a holistic admissions process, so not getting a five on the AP Biology exam probably isn’t going to make them throw your application in the trash. The best thing to do is do study hard the next year and do the best you can on your next set of classes.

July 11: SAT subject test scores released. Many colleges do not require subject tests scores with your application but welcome them with open arms as a supplement, especially if you show strong interest in the subject of the test you took.

I took two subject tests this past June. I will openly admit that I did quite poorly on one. Luckily, I have no interest in furthering my studies in that specific subject. The good thing about subject tests is that you don’t have to submit them to colleges, and you can retake them as many times as you want. College X won’t see that you took the Math 1 subject test unless you submit the score, and neither will colleges Y or Z.

The overall message of this article is to not let College Board ruin your summer or your high school academic (and maybe affect social) life. While you may have heard this from family, friends and advisors, it’s important to note that there’s probably a reason you’ve heard it so many times. Any sulking, ranting or panicking you do won’t change that number on collegeboard.com. But if any of my fellow juniors and even rising sophomores want to be jealous about the new AP World curriculum, by all means, please come to me for a good rant.

Joanne is the editor-in-chief of this publication. She is a junior at American Heritage School in Plantation, Fla. Although this is only her second year on the newspaper staff, her passion for journalism is a crucial part of her life. Joanne is also a member the Chinese Honor Society, Quill and Scroll and Key Club. She is treasurer of the English Honor Society and a secretary and historian for the Mu Alpha Theta math team. In her free time she enjoys writing or listening to music, and always welcomes new artist recommendations.

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