Is your child in the middle of taking SAT and AP exams? The process can be exhausting, especially when teens are trying to figure out what college level courses to take. Although advanced science and math exams will be encouraged, encourage your child to take language. Your child will most likely be required to take a language as a high school requirement. If he/she already has high grades in her language course, taking an AP language exam is a great way to earn extra college credits. The journey to getting into college may not be easy, but there are other reasons why taking a language entrance exam is beneficial.
Increased Chance to College Acceptance
You might also think having a high GPA and taking AP classes is how you get into most colleges. However, you will be surprised to know that a lot of universities are actually interested in high schoolers who know a foreign language. If your child has hopes to go into a top university such as Princeton, he/she should definitely take a language placement test. Research has shown that Ivy League Colleges accept more applications that involve knowing or studying a foreign language. Many colleges are starting to see that students who know a second language have more opportunities after they graduate.
Guaranteed College Credit
There are other perks that taking a language placement exam can also offer. If students are looking to earn a Liberal Arts degree, there is a minimum requirement to take a full year of language. If a student scores over 200 there he/she already gains enough credit to meet the language requirement. But what if your child would like to continue learning the language she gained credit for? There are opportunities for students who decide to minor in a language, especially if it is a popular spoken language such as Spanish or Chinese. (It can open many doors in careers like business, tourism, and education.)
Higher SAT Scores
You may think learning a language can be a distraction for a high schooler’s other studies. Perhaps you might say that the extra studying for SAT's and AP’s is already enough. However, did you know learning a language improves your child’s test scores? According to College Board, students who studied a foreign language scored better than peers who did not study a foreign language. Students who also studied a foreign language for all four years of high school scored higher than those who studied for two years. Studies have also shown that high schoolers who learned a second language showed improvement in both English and Math scores. Who knew prepping for a language AP exam can help your child’s other classes.
Finer Language Skills Assessment
Are you curious how fluent your child is in the language they are taking? The language placement and AP exam are great ways to figure out a student’s fluency in foreign language. Both exams are divided into four sections: speaking, listening, reading, and writing. The test results that a student will receive reveals how well they scored in each section. Naturally, there will be areas one will score better on. This will be beneficial to point out what areas your child needs to work on. Whether it has to do more with grammar or conversation practice, a student can see which steps to take to become fluent.
Greater Career Opportunities
Did you know that those who know a second language have more job opportunities? According to careerprofiles.info, being fluent in a second language has advantages in many career fields such as marketing, administration, banking, education, law, government, etc. Recent research also suggests that there will be an increase of about 42% in demand for those who are able to translate and interpret in the job force. Still not convinced? Those who list a second language on their job resumes are likely to be hired than their counterpart who does not. The reason being that there is simply a demand in the job market for those who speak more than one language. There is even a 10-15% higher pay raise in those who are bilingual, according to BRIC Language System.
Better Grammar Foundation
As stated previously, the AP, SAT and Regents language both test a student knowledge on his/her grammar skills. You may think that learning to understand and/or speak the language holds the most importance. However, college courses in language heavily focuses on grammar structure. Especially as a student advances to higher course levels, much of it will be writing and reading. High schoolers who already introduced to learning about grammar foundation have a great chance to strengthen these skills in college. Studies have shown that studying the structure being grammar and vocabulary help gain better cognitive skills. In other words, students who studied a second language scored higher in math, reading comprehension, and vocabulary then those who did not.
Easy Option for Native Speakers
Lastly, if your child is already bilingual, taking a language placement exam is an easy and guaranteed way to gain credit. You may not have thought of this, but there are already tons of requirement classes a student will need to take in college. Why not let one of them be a language he/she already knows for an easy A? It’s an even better option for those who grew up in a bilingual home but never fully grasped the second language. Your child will already have an understanding at home and excel the foreign language in class. Or perhaps your child will begin learning at school and continue his/her language skills by practicing at home. This can also establish better skills grammatically (as mentioned before) and guarantee your child will be fluent.
Although studying for these college exams can be scary, there are many benefits in taking them. This is a chance for students to be able to discover their talent and/or passion for learning languages. There will be advantages in college but also in their job search well after. So if your child has a knack for language, encourage them to take a placement or AP language exam! You never know where it could take them.
AP Tests are availale
AP French Language and Culture
AP German Language and Culture - May 4th, 2021 - 12pm Local Time (Paper, In school)
AP Japanese Language and Culture - May 7th, 2021 - 8 am Local Time (Paper, In school)
AP Spanish Literature and Culture - May 7th, 2021 - 8 am Local Time (Paper, In school)
See exam test here
Alessandra Lanno considers herself both an avid reader and writer. Born and raised in