Preparing for College

Can I Take an AP Exam Without the AP Class?

Question: I am currently in an accelerated/honors chemistry class with an A+ average. I had signed up for the AP version of the class at my school, but I changed my mind at the last minute because I got worried about the possibility of messing up my class rank and GPA. Would there be any way for me to prepare myself to take the AP exam in May even though I haven't had the class?

There’s a good chance that you will be able to succeed on the AP Chemistry exam even though you didn’t take the AP course. You need to talk to whomever teaches the AP chem class at your school and ask what sort of preparation you can do on your own to take that exam.

If this is the same individual who teachers your accelerated/honors class, he or she should know exactly where to direct your independent study and will probably encourage your efforts. Hopefully, any other teacher would do the same. However, you need to steel yourself for the possibility that some teachers may resent the fact that you avoided the tougher course and now want to try the test anyway. Nonetheless, it’s certainly an idea worth pursuing. In fact, you may find that there isn’t a lot of difference between the materials covered in your chem section and those studied by the AP students.