Guessing Now Allowed in the AP Test

Quarter-Point Penalty Eliminated from the Advanced Placement Test

A wrong answer on the challenging AP test used to dock a quarter of a point off the student’s score.(The penalty was originally introduced by the College Board – the group that administers the AP exams – to discourage random guessing by students.)

But now that AP administrators have eliminated the quarter-point penalty this year, students are advised to ‘play the odds.’

That is, students who are able to rule out at least one answer on an AP test question could benefit greatly.

For one thing – when students are unsure of the answer — there’s no longer the stress of having to decide whether or not to guess.

According to the College Board, roughly 1.8 million high school students take the AP exams. That figure represents an increase of more than 100% in the last decade.

In Ohio, for example, the state’s Department of Education reports a 9% increase in the number of AP test takers from the previous year. The department has also found more tests now receiving a grade 3 or higher than ever before (grade 3 being the minimum score in consideration of students earning college credits).

Of today’s nearly 1.8 million AP test takers, most are juniors and seniors seeking to earn college credit in advance of their enrollment. There’s also growing consensus that – whether or not students actually get AP college credit – the process of taking the rigorous AP tests may be a positive factor in the highly competitive college admissions evaluation process.

What’s more – the AP test fee currently stands at $87. So, students and their parents – looking for any way to reduce the cost of college – see AP college credit as a financial no-brainer. If students pass the AP tests (the minimum score for consideration of students’ earning college credits is a 3), they can begin college with up to a semester of credits under their belts. And that comes at a very high discount to regular tuition.

To your successful college search,

Scott Weingold

Related Article:

How to Keep Your College Costs as Low as Possible

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Editor's Note: Scott Weingold has been ranked the #1 “College Financial Aid Expert Worth Knowing About” in the entire country by  He has co-authored the book, “The Real Secret To Paying For College. The Insider’s Guide To Sending Your Child To College – Without Spending Your Life’s Savings.” Scott also publishes a popular free online newsletter, “College Funding Made Simple" which reveals insider’s tips, methods, and strategies for beating the high cost of college.

Scott is the co-founder and a principal of the widely renown College Planning Network, LLC – the nation’s largest and most reputable college admissions and financial aid planning firm. CPN is a proud member of the Better Business Bureau, the National Association of College Funding Advisors, the National Association for College Admission Counseling, the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators and the Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education.

Scott, along with his college funding advisory team, helps thousands of families throughout the country with their college planning needs and offers a series of free educational webinars and workshops on “How To Pay For College Without Going Broke In The Process!” He's been featured or mentioned in The Philadelphia Inquirer, Yahoo News,, Voice America with Ron Adams, Crains Cleveland Business, and on Cleveland Connection with James McIntyre.  Scott has published numerous articles and is a professional speaker who has addressed thousands of audiences online and offline throughout the United States.  His actionable insights and candid, open approach have earned him & his team numerous media interviews, citations, and speaking opportunities, and his free online video workshop is one of the Internet’s most widely viewed pieces in the college funding space.