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

NPR2 min read
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Locks Out Musicians As Contract Dispute Continues
Contract and salary negotiations between musicians and management have stalled, leaving BSO players picketing outside their concert hall.
NPR2 min readPolitics
Supreme Court Hands Democrats A Win On Racial Gerrymandering In Virginia
Eleven legislative districts in Virginia were declared to be sorted by race and were redrawn. The court's decision Monday left that in place.
NPR5 min readFood & Wine
Naples Rolls Out A Fine-Tuned Dough, And The New 'Cloud Pizza' Is Born
Bucking generations of tradition, some Neapolitan pizzaiolis are experimenting with new ideas, bolstered by a new flour that creates a charred, puffier and lighter crust. And the trend is catching on.