The Future of AP Testing and College Credit

Although high AP scores have traditionally translated to credits for introductory-level university courses, schools are increasingly questioning this practice. According to this New York Times article, Dartmouth College has recently decided to stop awarding credit to students with high AP scores. Is this a new trend? Will other schools follow suit? What do you think?
January 22, 2013, 12:25 pm

Should Colleges Stop Giving Credit for High A.P. Scores?


Dartmouth College, the Ivy League school in New Hampshire, has recently announced that it will no longer give college credit to students who score well on Advanced Placement tests, my colleague Tamar Lewin reports:

Elite institutions like Dartmouth have long discussed how to handle the growing number of freshmen seeking credit for top scores on A.P. or International Baccalaureate exams. Dartmouth changed its policy after an experiment measuring whether top A.P. scores indicated college-level competence.

“The psychology department got more and more suspicious about how good an indicator a 5 on the A.P. psych exam was for academic success,” said Hakan Tell, a classics professor who heads Dartmouth’s Committee on Instruction, so the department decided to give a condensed version of the Psych 1 final to incoming students instead of giving them credits.

Of more than 100 students who had scored a 5 on the A.P. exam, 90 percent failed the Dartmouth test. The other 10 percent were given Dartmouth credit.

An official of the College Board, which administers the A.P. program, found Dartmouth’s findings “very difficult to believe.”

Still, Dartmouth’s decision, which will affect the class of 2018, may influence other colleges and universities to make similar decisions.


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