AP Tests increase to $110, up from $100 last year

February 26, 2019 — by Edwin Chen and Michael Wong

  The cost of annual AP tests administered by the school has increased to $110 per test from $100 last year due to an increased demand for proctors.
    Although the number of students taking AP exams peaked four years ago and has decreased in the last three years, the administration is expecting a spike in test takers this spring, assistant principal Brian Safine said. All told, the school could administer as many as 1,654 tests in May, he said.
    In recent years, the base cost of the exam has stayed constant, with $94 going to CollegeBoard. The rest of the fee pays for the costs of administering the tests: the proctors who supervise the tests.
    “Exam cost and the AP rules about proctoring ratios are the two most important factors in AP costs,” Safine said. “Over the past few years, we have had three or four primary proctors plus volunteers and office staff (secretaries, administrators and counselors) who contribute to the exam administration.”
    Safine noted that prior to 2017, office staff did the majority of proctoring. However, the school found it more effective to have one primary proctor in charge of each test, with support from the office staff. 
    Each proctor is paid $260 per exam, a stipend that is not anticipated to increase. Including set-up and clean-up, proctors typically spend between four to four and a half hours administering each exam.
    While students in the district may be shocked by the prices, neighboring schools charges even more. At Cupertino High, students pay $115 to take an AP test and $125 for a world language AP test. Meanwhile, Palo Alto High students must pay $115 for a regular AP test and $145 for a world language AP test. 
    In the San Jose Unified School District, however, board members decided in 2015 to set aside $550,000 annually to pay for AP or IB exams. As a result, all students regardless of household income are qualified to receive the discounted price of $5 for each exam.
    Safine noted that the school will waive the test fee for any student with demonstrated financial need.
    Safine warned that next year students are likely to face a far more difficult situation. This year’s price increases are not as significant as the fact that CollegeBoard announced that AP test registration will be moved forward to November and that the charges to drop the test would increase from $15 to $40.