AP exams have changed a lot over the years. When Advanced Placement (AP) exams were introduced in the 1950s by College Board (who are also the makers of the SAT), it was to cater to the widening gap between high school and college: AP exams show colleges how ready and serious a student is for the tasks ahead. You can also easily earn college credits while still in high school by taking the courses, which can help you qualify for more advanced classes when you eventually get admitted into college.
For a lot of reasons, AP exams are quite important. Over the years, colleges have taken the exams seriously, and exam results have contributed greatly to their admission decisions. As should be expected, AP exams experienced some changes and improvements, perhaps too drastic. Records have shown that the changes have brought about a serious drop in the top scores among exam takers.
This is especially more frustrating for students because many colleges are becoming more insistent on top scores, with students getting a high passing score of 5 usually getting a preferential treatment when it is time to make admission decisions. Even those who get a passing score of 4 are getting less noticed.
But why all the changes?
According to College Board, this is to help keep the AP courses relevant and consistent with what is expected by colleges. These changes, which are made with the help of teachers and professors, have brought about 9 overhauls out of the 20 AP exams taken in just the last 5 years alone.