Opinion Column: AP means Absolutely Pointless

By Zack Kyner

Graphic by Zoe Mossburg

The mega millionaire non-for profit College Board is profound in that it is one of the only companies to ever exist to have every consumer they have ever had hate them. From rising SAT prices, AP testing costs perpetually increasing, the name “College Board” and testing from home. We the students of high schools across the United States, in order to form a more palpable test taking and college applying setting, hereby officially resent the College Board. 

The image of profit driven College Board executives sitting around a meeting table twiddling their grimey little fingers, discussing the next generation’s future disgusts me. Charging college bound high-schoolers to take an essentially required exam is preposterous. According to the College Board, 2.2 million people took the SAT globally in 2020. This is noteworthy as the College Board has increased the price for the SAT by four dollars just this past year.

Assuming a quarter of those who took the SAT get their fee waived, and some test takers chose to omit the essay portion of the test, using some slick SAT calculation skills, multiplying 2.2 million by 3/4,  dividing by Kevin and his 500 jars of horseradish, multiplying by $68, accumulating the area under the curve of my frowning face and reminding yourself that your ticket to college rides on a score, this amounts to a buttload of money. Not to mention the costs for prep books and emotional scarring that will last forever. 

The College Board also offers AP courses which stand for “Advanced Placement” or as I like to call them, “Absolutely Pointless.” Other than racking up a higher GPA, AP courses do nothing  but add stress to the student year round until the inevitable AP Exam, which should come with dark rain clouds and a thunderous clap every time those two words are spoken together. A 90 minute exam to sum up 180 days of class for a chance at some college credit, only to get a perfect score and have it not count toward your destined university. The College Board executives are smiling ear to ear with this one. 

Even though it does feel good to let out my frustration in the form of a high school newspaper piece where I bash the College Board for robbing my fellow classmates, I am truly disgusted with the profit-fueled monopoly and change needs to happen now. As Lord Alfred Tennyson writes in Ulysses, “Come, my friends, ‘Tis not too late to seek a newer world. . . To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.” 

As we entered high school as virgins to the College Board, we have battled hard and taken many exams in our time together. As our time in high school painfully comes to an end, we have one final journey, “To sail beyond the sunset” and take down the College Board. 

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