What is the true cost of taking an AP Class?


Sarah Banholzer & Lucy Dou, AVT Editor in Chief and Page Editor

As it becomes that time of year for Amador students to pick their classes for next year, we begin to ask ourselves, what is the true cost of taking an AP Class?

Amador provides a multitude of AP classes to all four years of students. Students are able to choose to take these AP level classes to not only challenge themselves, but to also receive a weighted grade boost on their GPAs and to possibly gain college credit for the class if they pass the AP exam in May.

More and more Amador students are deciding to take AP classes because of the influence from parents or friends that these classes look good on college applications. However, these AP classes come with an excess amount of homework, costly expenses, and overall added stress on the student. So, the question is, do the benefits of taking an AP class outweigh the negatives?

AP classes often come with added expenses as well. Students will often have to pay for a tutor to help them succeed in these high-level classes.

“Taking AP course indeed costs more than your regular classes. Not only does it cost more time and effort to do well in the class, many people pay for tutors outside of school in order to help them get through the class. I had a private tutor for both AP world history and AP biology, which regrettably did not help me as much as I thought it would in terms of academic success in the class,” said Lynn Chen(‘20).

Not only are tutors expensive, but the cost to take an AP exam is very expensive as well. So, if you are taking multiple AP classes, the cost to take the exams add up quickly.

“I have to say, the most cost of taking AP classes is the testing fee. The testing fee for each year keeps increasing. This year, it’s $115 for each test. Well, here at Amador, students always take at least two AP classes each school year, and the testing fee is a huge part. And there are prep books, tutoring and all the other costs you need to count toward it,” said Yuki Yang (‘21).

These families pay these costly expenses all for the hope that their student will succeed in these classes and it will benefit them in their college applications.

“I’m just hoping the money me and my parents are paying for AP classes and the AP tests will be of help to me in the long run,” said Chen (‘20).

Overall, the biggest factor in students deciding to take AP classes is the amount of work and stress that this class will put on them.

“AP classes require you put in way more time than regular level classes. The class path is faster, and you need to receive the knowledge quicker than before. And when the tests are coming, it’s really stressful,” said Helen Chen (‘20)

Students must decide if they are willing to dedicate that much time and effort to an AP class before they choose to take it. Although the benefits of an AP class can be enticing, students must really think about the expenses, time, and stress that an AP class will have on them.