The Instigator
Grape
Pro (for)
Winning
18 Points
The Contender
heroes867
Con (against)
Losing
6 Points

Advanced Placement Test Results

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/10/2010 Category: Education
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,832 times Debate No: 12520
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
Votes (4)

 

Grape

Pro

Resolved: The College Board should post the results of Advanced Placement (AP) tests online for students with College Board accounts to access as soon as the scores are available.

Introduction: Advanced Placement tests are relatively brief examples on specific topics that are administered to high school students for college credit and placement. These tests are typically administered in May and are scored by the end of June. They are scored on a scale of 1-5; a 3 is considered to be passing but many universities require scores of 4 or 5.

College Board's Policy: The College Board mails scores to nearly all students by mid July. However, score reports are available by phone starting July 1st. The phone call allows students to find out what their scores were earlier, but the fee is $8. AP scores are never posted online. The College Board's main tests, the SAT and SAT Subject tests, are always posted online for students with College Board accounts approximately two and a half weeks after the exams are administered.

My position, as stated about, is that the College Board should post AP results online for the convenience of those who wish to access them without paying the unnecessary fee. My reasons are as follows

1: College Board takes advantage of students' anxiety about these rigorous and significant tests by charging them to receive their scores earlier. It's not rational the pay $8 dollars to find out a score earlier because ultimately it won't affect anything. The main reason people pay the fee is to remove the stress of wondering if they achieved the necessary score.

2. The $8 fee cannot be justified as necessary to maintain the phone service. If this is a problem then College Board should simply do away with the phone service entirely. They already have their website for posting entrance exam scores and it would not cost them any more to post placement exam scores as well.

3. The $8 dollar fee is not necessary to compensate for the cost of administering the test. The AP test is already worth $86, which covers the cost of developing, administering, and scoring the test. The SAT, which is longer than any of the AP tests and is more widely administered, costs only $45 dollars.

4. There is not reason placement test scores cannot be posted online. Universities all over the country, including the Ivy League, accept SAT Subject test scores in foreign language subjects as grounds for placement into more advanced foreign language classes. These scores are already posted online.

5. Graduated seniors needing to schedule classes at their future universities need to know what classes they can place out of. Orientations often occur prior to the release of AP test scores. This can make scheduling first semester freshman classes more confusing and stressful than it already is. Charging for earlier test results or making students wait causes an unnecessary inconvenience for these students.

Conclusion: College Board is taking advantage of the anxiety of students about test scores and putting an unnecessary burden on rising university students with it's score policy. To make everyone's lives easier, they should post scores on their website as soon as they are available. The $8 charge is an unnecessary attempt to make extra money off the AP tests. Considering the fact that College Board is a non-profit organization and that they have a monopoly on college placement tests, I see no reason for them to employ this policy. I will bring additional arguments against the policy depending on where my opponent chooses to go with this.

Sources:

All information about College Board's policies and procedures can be found on their website: http://www.collegeboard.com...

Proof that Cornell uses Subject Tests for placement: http://courses.cuinfo.cornell.edu...
Unfortunately they did not format the table vary well apparently.
heroes867

Con

I thank my opponent for the debate and a topic I am familiar with, being an AP test taker myself.

My argument will simply rebut the 5 points my opponent has presented.

1.The stress is unnecessary. Though probably unavoidable, worrying about the score does not change it. Neither does paying the fee to look it up. It's not that it is irrational to pay $8 because it won't change anything; it's irrational to look up the score early because it won't change anything. Beyond that, colleges and teachers typically receive scores before the student and could probably tell a student their score.

2.The burden of proof lies with the affirmative; prove that the $8 fee is not justified. College Board is non-profit. This fee could be necessary for any number of things: maintaining the automated service, accessing the scores, paying people who grade the tests/process the scores, etc. And it's not necessarily true that it wouldn't cost the College Board to post the scores online. It takes money to maintain a website, especially one that is ad-free.

3.Again, College Board is non-profit. All fees are necessary to keep the group running, even the $8 dollar fee to access scores by phone. The SAT can supposedly cost less because it is supposedly more widely administered. I ask for sources as to the cost of the tests and proof that the SAT is longer than the AP tests.

4.Just because something can be done (or as the argument states, because there is no reason it can't be done) doesn't mean it should be done. What is accomplished by posting the scores online? Students know the results of their tests earlier, that's it. There is nothing wrong with the current system of distributing AP scores

5.According to the College Board, no college will receive an AP score before July [1]. But I have to wonder how many schools schedule classes before July? Again, I lay the burden of proof to my opponent; do orientations occur before the release of AP scores more often than not? In my experience, schools and teachers receive scores before students. A friend of mine found out her scores through her college's website (Loyola University, Chicago). I found out my scores through my teacher. Also, many colleges allow students to change courses, even part way into the semester/school year, especially if students are being too challenged/not challenged enough.

To conclude this round, my opponent has failed to show why AP scores should be posted online, instead mostly choosing to attack the $8 dollar phone service. I have rebutted my opponent's contentions above and I await further debate on these contentions or new ones.

[1] http://www.collegeboard.com...
Debate Round No. 1
Grape

Pro

In response to my opponent's objections, I'm going to use this round simply to explain why my opponent's objections do not suffice to refute my points.

1. I agree that the stress is unnecessary, but it exists nonetheless. If you take an important test, you will generally be anxious about the results. The less time students have to wait to find out their scores, the less anxious they will be. Allowing the scores to be released earlier reduces the anxiety causes by the tests. Charging the students to remove their anxiety is an underhanded use of negative reinforcement to encourage people to pay money when it is, as my opponent says, irrational to do so. Teachers do not typically received scores by mail before students (they generally live in the same area and receive them around the same time) and the fact that colleges receive scores earlier does not help students who take AP tests before their senior year of high school.

2. My opponent suggests that the $8 fee could be justified for various purposes. I will illustrate why each of these purposes does not justify the cost.

a) Maintaining the automated service: This assumes that the automated service is the best way to distribute the scores. If the fee is necessary to maintain the automated service then College Board should just do away with it an post the scores online as I suggested.

b) Accessing the scores: I'm not sure what's meant by accessing the scores. Retrieving information from whatever database College Board stores test results on should not be very expensive to them and would not justify its own fee.

c) Paying people who grade the tests/process the scores, etc.: This should already be covered by the cost of the exam, which is $86. If the extra $8 from some students is needed, this should be added to the cost of the test. Relying on people who call in to cover the excess costs of the test seems like a very unreliable strategy. What happens if not enough people call in? I think voters will agree that College Board would not employ such a risky plan.

And yes, it does cost College Board money to maintain their website. However, as I explained, they already have the website for SAT scores anyway. It costs them money to maintain the website, but it would not cost them extra to post more scores on it. The extremely slight cost of posting the scores would be more than compensated by the mail that would not have to be sent.

Now, I cannot go through every possible application of the $8 fee and prove why it's not justified. But if we can't conceive of a way that College Board would reasonably need this inconsistent extra income then there is no reason to assume it must be justified. It seems that the more reasonable explanation is that College Board is exploiting people's anxiety to make extra money which can be used as a financial buffer. Just because College Board is non-profit does not mean it isn't seeking to maximize it's income.

3. The SAT may cost less because it's more widely administered. I was simply trying to put into perspective the cost of the AP tests: it's almost twice what the SAT is. If fees are necessary to keep the College Board's test services operational, they should over these fees with the tests, not with random and unreliable extra costs that students are enticed with. Also, though I think it's kind of asinine to ask for a source to prove such easily access statistics, I will list at the bottom links confirming the costs that my opponent has asked for.

4. I have given reasons why the tests should be posted online. It would allow students to access the tests earlier, reducing anxiety. My opponent may think this anxiety is irrational but it certainly exists or no one would pay to get their scores earlier. Also, posting online, on an already operational website, is much cheaper than sending scores by mail or maintaining an automated phone service (which, my opponent contends, costs an astounding $8 per call to maintain).

5. Many colleges do indeed allow students to find out SAT scores earlier on their websites, which is important for scheduling purposes. However, it will still be better if the students could find the scores out on their own. That way by orientation they would have a better idea of what classes they can place out of and the scheduling and advisement process would be much easier. Also, many students take AP classes before their senior year of high school and thus they would not benefit from this at all. These students have even more a reason to be anxious about test scores because AP scores will appear on their college applications and they have not been accepted to colleges yet.

So, my criticisms of the $8 dollar phone service are shown to be valid. The most sensible alternative is to post scores online. College Board already has an online service for accessing test scores so it only makes sense to post them there. This would not cost anything beyond what is already used to maintain the site. Furthermore, this would save money by reducing the need to mail scores. Almost all students have some access to a computer and those who do not could still receive there scores my mail. Overall, this change would cut mailing costs and it would not be necessary to tempt nervous students with the overpriced phone service.

Sources:

Here (http://sat.collegeboard.com...) is the cost of the SAT. It is $47 and not $45 as I originally believed. The source I used before, which I thought it was unnecessary to cite, must have been outdated. This two dollar discrepancy has no effect one the argument however.

This site (http://www.kaptest.com...) shows that the new SAT has 170 questions and is over three hours and a half long. This site (http://www.collegeboard.com...) shows that the AP tests are typically two to three hours long. The AP tests vary in length and format, but no test exceeds 100 questions. I do not have a single source proving that and I'm not going to post a link to the syllabus of every AP test. If you are so inclined you can go to College Board's website and see that the (far cheaper) SAT is much longer than any AP tests. I'm not disputing that the extra costs are necessary, but if College Board relied on the phone service to fund the tests they would not need to make them so much more expensive.

This site (http://www.collegeboard.com...) shows that the cost of the AP tests is $86.
heroes867

Con

heroes867 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
Grape

Pro

My opponent has forfeited the round. I will remind voters that this usually constitutes a loss of the conduct point. I have no additional comments because I feel that the resolution has been adequately upheld and all his counterarguments have been negated.
heroes867

Con

heroes867 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by Grape 6 years ago
Grape
Yes, that's what I think. Especailly because they already maintain the website for SAT scores anyway. Also, I took US History and Biology. I'm not terribly worried about what I got but it's a pain to wait for no reason.
Posted by wjmelements 6 years ago
wjmelements
It would be cheaper for the scores to be put online only. Just force all test takers to make their free account.
Posted by Procrastarian 6 years ago
Procrastarian
I WANT MY AP SCORES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Which ones did you take?
Posted by USAPitBull63 6 years ago
USAPitBull63
College Board just started doing this for school administrators and teachers this year (literally a week ago). Personalized information likely will be available to students, perhaps for a fee, sometime in the near future.

Despite some delays and technical glitches, it was quite convenient.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by Atheism 6 years ago
Atheism
Grapeheroes867Tied
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Vote Placed by FREEDO 6 years ago
FREEDO
Grapeheroes867Tied
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Vote Placed by heroes867 6 years ago
heroes867
Grapeheroes867Tied
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Vote Placed by Grape 6 years ago
Grape
Grapeheroes867Tied
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