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School Rule Punishes Student for AP Self-Study

Question: Our high school just implemented a policy regarding AP Calculus exams.  If a sophomore takes the exam without taking the AP class, he will not be allowed in any math class during his junior year.  The Asst Principal says this can be a problem since elite colleges look for 4 years of math.

The AP website says it doesn’t require a student to take an AP class before taking the AP exam.  Seems like if a student thinks he has it, and wants to attempt the exam, the school should be encouraging him rather than penalizing him. Have you heard of a similar policy at another school?  Is there a way around it?  Thanks.

While “The Dean” hasn’t specifically gotten wind of other high schools that prohibit students from continuing in math after taking the AP Calculus exam, this policy may indeed be in place elsewhere because many schools simply don’t offer classes that are appropriate for a student who has already successfully completed AP Calculus … whether it’s through an actual class or via independent study.  You don’t report, however, whether your son will be taking the AP Calculus AB or BC test. You also say that a student cannot continue in math “during his junior year.” Does this mean that he can take additional math as a senior or does it mean that he can’t continue in math at the high school at all?  It would be helpful for The Dean to have answers to these questions, but I’ll wing it the best I can without them.

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