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HindustanTimes Mon,22 Dec 2014
Ticket to higher studies abroad
Gauri Kohli, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, March 12, 2014
First Published: 10:11 IST(12/3/2014)
Last Updated: 11:05 IST(12/3/2014)

Are you planning to go abroad after school for higher studies? If yes, then this is the right time to apply for the Advanced Placement (AP) exam. Globally-recognised, the AP exam helps high school students to pursue university-level studies in a range of subjects. AP is extremely beneficial to Indian students thinking of heading to the US, Canada, UK, Australia, Singapore or other countries for undergraduate studies.

“Taking AP courses helps students to stand out in the college admissions process, by demonstrating that they have sought the most rigorous curriculum available to them. AP exams also enable students to earn credit, or advanced placement, or both, at a majority of colleges and universities on the basis of successful AP scores (defined as a score of three or higher on the five-point AP exams scale).

“This can enable students to graduate early, save tuition, pursue a double major, move into upper level courses sooner or complete an internship. Succeeding in AP can also help students earn academic scholarships and awards,” says Lisa Jain, country representative – India, the College Board, which conducts the exam.

The Association of Indian Universities also grants equivalence certificates to students taking AP courses and exams as part of their high school diploma requirement, to help them enroll in a bachelor’s degree programme in India.

When can you take the test?
Each year, the College Board serves over seven million students, 23,000 schools and 3,800 colleges in over 180 countries, through programmes and services in assessments, admission, financial aid and enrollment.

Students in India can take the SAT and AP tests at authorised test centres across the country. The SAT takes place six times a year, whereas AP exams are conducted once a year in May. Indian students can also take the Preliminary SAT in October at the USIEF centres in Delhi or Mumbai, or at a school in India that administers the test.
The College Board’s free online college planning website, www.bigfuture.org is also a great resource for students as they begin planning for college.

Popular subjects
While the AP programme offers 34 courses and exams across ­sciences, mathematics, social sciences, world languages and arts, individual schools and testing centres determine which subjects have to be offered. In India, students can ­currently choose from 22 different AP exams, which are ­securely administered at ­designated test centres in 11 cities.
 
Getting the scores
AP exams will be held from May 5-16, 2014. Students can access their scores online in July. The fee for taking AP exams at designated test centres in India is `8,900 per exam. In 2014, AP exams will be securely administered at authorized USIEF centres and schools in 11 cities across the country – Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai, and Rajkot. The deadline to register for the exams is March 26, 2014.

Eligibility ­
The AP programme is flexible, and allows students to choose how many exams they take in a particular year. The ideal time to take AP exams is in class 11 or class 12, although sometimes students take AP exams after class 10 as well.

The maximum age limit to take AP exams is 21 years. Exceptions can be considered for students who have taken a gap-year between high school and university, or done military service, or have other exceptional circumstances.

AP Exams: what you need to know

# Advanced Placement exams are beneficial to Indian students planning to study in the US, Canada, UK, Australia, Singapore or other countries for ­undergraduate studies
# Successful AP scores are defined as a score of three or higher on the five-point AP exams scale
# AP programme offers 34 courses and exams across sciences, mathematics, social sciences, world languages and arts
# In India, students can choose from 22 different AP exams, which are securely administered at designated test centres in 11 cities
# In 2014, AP exams will be held from May 5-16
# Deadline to register for the exams is March 26, 2014
# The maximum age limit to take AP exams is 21 years
# The AP exams are between 90-200 minutes, depending on the subject and ­comprise ­multiple-choice questions and a free response ­section


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