NPR

4 Things We Don't Know About AP Tests

Nearly 3 million students take their Advanced Placement exams in the coming weeks. There's very little independent research on the benefits of these courses.
Source: Oivind Hovland

This week and next is a national rite of passage for stressed-out overachievers everywhere. Nearly 3 million high school students at 22,000 high schools will be sitting down to take their Advanced Placement exams.

Created by the nonprofit College Board in the 1950s, AP is to other high school courses what Whole Foods is to other supermarkets: a mark of the aspirational, a promise of higher standards and, occasionally, a more expensive alternative.

AP courses promise to be the most rigorous a school has to offer. They can

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from NPR

NPR3 min readPolitics
Supreme Court May Side With Trump On 'DREAMers'
At issue is the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which granted temporary protection from deportation to roughly 700,000 young people.
NPR2 min readPolitics
President Trump Hosts Turkey's Erdogan Despite Concerns In Congress
The U.S. president is welcoming the Turkish leader to the White House for talks about Syria and also Turkey's decision to buy a Russian defense system.
NPR2 min read
Sunny War: Tiny Desk Concert
Sunny War has been homeless, busked on city streets and Venice Beach, left home feeling she was a burden to her mother, battled addiction and still found a way to bring joy to others thru her music.