AP signups moved a month earlier to avoid ‘Bubble Fest’

February 14, 2017 — by Eleanor Goh

Students concerned about earlier AP exam signup date.

This year, the Advanced Placement (AP) exam registration period starts and ends a month earlier than in previous years. Instead of spanning the time from late February to early March, the registration window is open from Jan. 30 to Feb. 17.

According to College and Career Center Coordinator Bonnie Sheikh, the main reasoning behind the earlier deadline is to avoid “Bubble Fest,” a session typically administered in mid-April that has required all students taking AP exams to go to the McAfee Center during a tutorial to prepare testing materials.

Sheikh said that the answer document vendor, Total Registration, has offered to pre-print the answer sheet for each student this year if the school provides registration details earlier.

We have to order everything early, so we can ship it to the vendor, who will take all the registration information, bubble it for us and ship it back in time for the exams,” Sheikh said.

However, senior Jeanna Sheen believes that saving one tutorial is not worth it, as there is still so much to consider at this time of year.

“I think early in the spring semester isn't a good time because [seniors] are doing stuff like scholarship applications and interviews on top of regular tests, projects and homework,” Sheen said. “I know AP test registration isn't really a big thing that takes a long time or a lot of brainpower, but little things add up.”

While some seniors may be concerned that the new registration deadline will force them to decide what AP exams to take before regular decisions come out for college, Sheikh noted that registration has always ended before college letters arrived. Furthermore, if a student decides not to take an exam, they can get a full refund if they tell the office before by March 11, when the exam orders are placed.

“It has always been a bit of a gamble; they don’t always know,” Sheikh said. “[To help students out], we send out a link so they can look at the potential colleges that they are attending and whether or not they accept certain AP exams.”

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