1
8 months ago
Admissions Advice

I am a CBSE student should I take AP exams?
Answered

Hi! I am a CBSE student. Should I take AP to prove rigor. Because CBSE is even harder than AP itself?

:(
12th-grade
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3

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Accepted Answer
8 months ago

That's an interesting question. If you are mostly applying to Indian Universities, then I wouldn't bother. But if you are applying to American Top Universities, you have to convince the admissions officers at these colleges that you are well equipped to learn and thrive socially on an American college campus. This is not an easy feat to accomplish.

A solid record of CBSE coursework is not necessarily a proxy for taking 10-12 AP courses or the Full IB diploma. Why? It's because the scope of material, the way it is taught and the methods of testing and showing core competencies in these subjects is different from how Indian students acquire knowledge.

Indian Top Colleges might be meritocracies and how you gain acceptance to them might be primarily based on grades and test scores. However, that is NOT the case with American colleges (with the exception being places like MIT/Caltech). Ivys, Elites, and Top Liberal arts colleges are run more like English Boarding schools, and who you know and what you bring to the table often dictates your intrinsic value versus stats like grades and test scores.

If you consider the role of a Top American college admissions officer to be somewhat of a "gatekeeping risk manager", their primary directive is to invite the most interesting applicants to a role as long as they align with institutional priorities.

For Int'l students this is often the biggest hurdle to sort out because they don't know what that means. The differentiating factor between who gets in and who doesn't is not your SAT/ACT score your GPA or even the quantity of awards or honors. It's more likely is your unique eccentricities that have curated your EC or Spike narrative.

Therefore, testing aside, it's quite a complicated path forward to figure out how to package yourself to be appealing to college admissions officers if you are not someone who has help from people who know the ins and outs of college admissions.

Taking a healthy dose of AP classes and getting high marks on test scores is only 1 singular puzzle piece to the college admissions rubric puzzle. There are far more challenging aspects that have to be considered if you are truly going to be competitive with top US colleges.

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