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As you know, the HSPT can only be taken one time, which means preparation is key to help your child achieve their desired scores.  A trusted and knowledgeable educator guiding your child through this process is simply invaluable.

The High School Placement Test (HSPT) is an important step for 8th graders seeking admission to parochial high schools. Schools make admissions decisions, curriculum placement, and determine scholarship awards based on the HSPT exam results.

Unlike other standardized admissions tests, the HSPT can only be taken one time. So as a parent, how can you help prepare your child for a successful testing experience? Let’s dive in and learn more about the HSPT test.

What to Expect on the HSPT?

The HSPT requires students to demonstrate mastery of several areas in English and math. It has 5 sections which include: language, math, reading comprehension, numerical reasoning, and verbal reasoning. The test includes a total of 298 questions to be completed in 2 hours and 23 minutes. Which means 29 seconds per question.  

What can be most challenging about this test is that it contains questions such as analogies and statistics which might not have been introduced yet in school, such as analogies, basic statistics questions or inference questions in the reading.

The language part of the test includes a grammar section and an essay section. In the grammar section you will be asked to identify parts of speech, punctuation rules, and sentence structure; in the essay section you will be asked to write an essay about a topic given by the test.

The math part of the test includes a pre-algebra section and an algebra section. In the pre-algebra section, you will be asked to solve multiple choice problems that require you to use simple arithmetic operations like addition and subtraction; in the algebra section you will be asked to solve problems using more advanced operations such as factoring expressions into their simplest form.

The reading comprehension part of the test includes three different sections: informational texts with short answers; literary short stories with long answers; and literary non-fiction essays with long answers. In all three sections you will read passages from different genres (informational text).

Analogy, synonym, logic, verbal classification, and antonym questions all appear on the Verbal Skills section of standardized tests. Analogies between words are a great way to test a student’s comprehension of concepts (a tree limb is like a human arm; both are parts of a whole). The definitions of the possible responses are included in the Synonym and Antonym questions to ensure that the student has a thorough understanding of the material. In a verbal classification task, students are given a set of options and asked to choose the one that does not fit in with the set. To answer a logical reasoning question, students are given a set of three statements and asked to determine whether the third statement is true, false, or uncertain based on the accuracy of the initial two statements.

Number series, geometric comparison, non-geometric comparison, and number manipulation questions make up the Quantitative Skills section. A student’s ability to recognize patterns in a sequence of numbers, letters, and/or symbols is put to the test by number series questions. Students are asked to determine the relationship between three different shapes or numbers in both geometric and non-geometric comparison questions. Number manipulation questions require students to use a variety of mathematical procedures to arrive at a solution.

Getting Ready for the HSPT

We think all test takers should be as prepared as possible to ensure they feel confident going into the test day.  Here are some options:

∙ Find out if your school has an HSPT test-prep program and what resources they can provide.
∙ Purchase HSPT Workbook and work through it.
∙ Take an HSPT prep course with an experienced instructor.
∙ Private one-on-one tutoring is a great option for students with irregular schedules (such as busy athletes) or for students who do best with the full attention of a tutor. 
∙ Groza experienced tutors and teachers can evaluate your student’s needs and build a plan unique to your student needs to help them achieve their goal score.

HSPT Test-Taking Tips from an Award-Winning Test Prep Groza Learning Center

In order to keep up with the pace of the test, students should avoid getting stuck on any one question and work at a steady but rapid pace. A student should bubble in an answer even if she is unsure of it or if she anticipates that it will take her a long time to solve a problem. She could probably answer five easier questions in the time it takes her to answer just one difficult one. If you do not know the answer, it is okay to guess since there is no penalty for giving the wrong one.

∙ Be sure to read and follow all test-taking instructions.
∙ Read each question carefully, but do not linger too long on anyone.
∙ Choose the most appropriate option and attempt to respond to as many questions as possible.
∙ Rather than subtracting points for wrong answers, the total number of correct responses is used to determine a student’s final grade.
∙ Watch that you are marking the correct response on the answer sheet.
∙ If you have time, go back over your test answers after you have finished the exam.

If your teen requires any sort of accommodation in order to take the HSPT exam, please get in touch with your admissions office immediately.

How Does the HSPT Scoring System Work?

The HSPT exam consists of different subtests. The test derives a raw score by adding up the number of correct answers in each subtest. There is no negative marking. The raw score in each subtest is then converted into a standard score. Each student’s standard score is compared to test results from a national sample of students. Based on this, a national percentile ranking (NPR) is derived for each subtest. The national percentile ranking indicates what percentage of students in the sample scored less than you.

As you know, the HSPT can only be taken one time, which means preparation is key to help your child achieve their desired scores.  A trusted and knowledgeable educator guiding your child through this process is simply invaluable.

With over 20 years’ experience and 95% of Groza Learning Center students getting accepted into the top three schools of their choice, Groza’s award-winning program will be your student’s personal guide to achieving their academic dreams.  The HSPT program is offered online, in-home, and in the beautiful facility in Los Angeles.

At Groza Learning Center we know how dedicated you are to your child’s success.  That’s why we have created an individual test prep tutoring program that will ensure your child is prepared for the HSPT.  

Our unique approach starts with an HSPT practice test to identify exactly what your child needs and then building a unique program to help them reach their goal. Your student will be armed with the skills and strategies required to address the challenges presented by this fast-paced test.   If your child is preparing for HSPT click here to schedule a practice test today.

Partner Spotlight: Groza Learning Center


As an experienced education partner, Laurel Springs recognizes that when it comes to learning options, one size does not fit all. Whether our partners want a comprehensive education program or to augment their curriculum with a few select courses, we help them find the best solution to suit their specific needs and student populations.

This additional academic support is one of the reasons why Groza Learning Center has chosen Laurel Springs to be a trusted partner for over six years. Tatyana Yukhtman is Director of this center located in Pacific Palisades, CA that offers tutoring, test prep, and other learning support to both full- and part-time students. She recently shared more about the kind of programs Groza provides and how partnering with Laurel Springs benefits all involved.

Groza Learning Center

Growing With Groza Learning Center

At Groza Learning Center, students work one-on-one or in small groups with a dedicated teacher either at the California center, at a student’s home, or online. In addition, the following programs were created to fully ensure each student and family had their unique learning goals met:

  • A program to help parents monitor their child’s learning progress
  • An in-person program for students with learning differences
  • Guiding students through their current school curriculum either online or in-person
  • Providing more time for students to master a certain subject

So, what makes Groza different from other learning centers? According to Ms. Yukhtman, “besides our 20+ years of experience in education working with students from gifted to the ones that have superpowers of ADD, ADHD, Autistic, Learning Differences, etc., to students who just need someone to listen and hear them… We believe that every student is unique, which is why we provide educational experiences that meet each student’s individual needs and we match each teacher with the student.”

Groza students not only receive the right amount of academic support, but they’re also given the tools necessary to strengthen their life skills and become more self-sufficient, strong, and self-confident learners. “For many of our students, we provide Academic Management, Executive Functioning, Foreign Language Classes (French, Spanish, Latin, Russian, Mandarin, and Japanese), and Study Skills. Our credential and experienced teachers work with each student based on their learning style, whether the student is gifted or has learning differences.”

Where Laurel Springs Comes In

For a learning center that already provides students with so much support, what else can a family ask for? Well, there’s a lot more, actually. Part of the personalized learning structure that both Groza and Laurel Springs provides caters to students from many different backgrounds, with a variety of scheduling needs, and who pursue a host of different passions.

“Over the years we have had the privilege of working with students who are looking for a flexible school schedule and rolling enrollment while having an ability to grow and excel academically and personally. Among our student body, we have students who travel the world with their parents, students who are in [the] entertainment industry, students athletes, or students who are looking for a part time or a full time alternative schooling program. We strive to provide our students a curriculum option that meets their needs…a WASC accredited, college prep, online and text-based [options], with courses approved by the NCAA and the University of California a-g. We appreciate that Laurel Springs provides our students the curriculum that we are looking for and more.”

Not only does Laurel Springs prioritize a student’s needs, but we also support our partners with a multi-faceted approach including guidance, progress reports, and more. It’s what keeps partners like Groza coming back for more. “We love having an opportunity to have a trusted partner in our corner. One that meets our goals for the family and that we feel comfortable referring.”

How to be Productive Over Winter Break

winter break tutoring - 2

Sure, I will get some work done during winter break . . .eventually.

It knows when you are sleeping

It knows when you’re awake

It knows when you are bad or good

So be good for goodness sake

You better watch out

You better not cry

You better not pout

I’m telling you why

Procrastination is coming to town!

Case in point…I REALLY did not want to sit down and write this article for December. Winter break is a time to sit back, relax, recharge, and recoup. It is certainly tempting for students (primarily middle and high school students) to spend their days mindlessly scrolling through social media, watching TV, or playing video games. After all, they have three weeks, and there will be plenty of time to get to any schoolwork that may need attention. Sure, they will get some work done . . .eventually. But suddenly, it’s the last day of break, and they are stressed out for the upcoming semester because they got nothing accomplished.  

As parents and teachers, we know this year has been extremely challenging for students; many have fallen behind due to online learning.

Winter Break is the perfect opportunity to get students caught up so that they can begin their journey into 2021 with confidence, in-fact, winter break is an even better time than the regular school year to seek private tutoringFor starters, tutoring over the winter break gives students the ability to catch up or get ahead in a stress-free manner.

Winter Break Tutoring


An experienced tutor will help your child:

  • Review the semester and identify weaknesses.
  • Check-In with teachers; often, teachers will allow students to hand work in late.
  • Fill in the gaps.
  • Strengthen study skills.
  • Teach organizational techniques.
  • Prep for ACT, SAT, ISEE.
  • Boost confidence.
  • Reduce homework battles.
  • Write college essays.
  • Maintain structure and accountability.
  • Get ahead for next semester.
  • Support your child during their Zoom classes.

Groza Instructors are experience, and many, are credentialed teachers who will go above and beyond to ensure your child’s success.

When it comes to tutoring and academic advancement, Groza goes far beyond simply finding the correct answer. We seek to enhance, and even entirely reshape how a student thinks about each subject. We work with families to identify learning objectives and hit their goals.

Because every student learns differently, we carefully monitor and optimize their unique learning plan as they advance, giving special attention to their unique learning style, how to effectively engage and inspire the student, and what the individual progress suggests moving forward.

Your child is unique. So, don’t settle for a one size fits all approach.
Instead, give them a learning experience that meets their individual needs.

Groza Learning Center’s Winter Break tutoring programs

Private School Admissions

Online-tutoring-girl 1

Is the ISEE or SSAT optional?

A personal experience for you and your family is always one you can hold to heart and look back on.  An experience in which you feel comfortable, safe, and reassured.  An experience in which relationships are deeply developed and open conversations are encouraged. Undoubtedly, this experience is one a parent might be seeking for their child when applying for a private school yet, with current world situations almost everything has shifted away from normalcy, and the same should be expected when applying for such schools. Questions about how the admissions process has changed, and requirements for ISEE and SSAT are on the table for discussion.  Parents and students alike need to be mindful of such changes. The road ahead isn’t completely straight, yet with proper guidance and knowledge it will  be easier to navigate.

Private School

Admission Changes:

Private schools expect the best from their students, and the students applying are already stepping up to that expectation. This means that private schools are choosing the best students from an already elite group of students, and these schools conduct this process in several ways. Traditionally, incoming students completed an entrance exam, whether it be an ISEE or an SSAT.  Addionally, students were required to submit an essay and have an interview. However, for the 2020-21 school year many private institutions have decided to due away with standardized tests. The onset of  COVID-19 altered the admissions  process forcing tests, interviews, orientations, and tours to take place virtually.


According to the LAIS the following schools:


  • Archer School for Girls
  • Berkeley Hall School
  • Brentwood School
  • Bridges Academy
  • The Buckley School
  • Campbell Hall
  • Chadwick School
  • Country School
  • Crossroads School for Arts & Sciences
  • de Toledo High School
  • Heschel Day School
  • Marlborough School
  • Marymount School
  • New Roads School
  • Oakwood School
  • Rolling Hills Prep
  • Sinai Akiba Academy
  • Turning Point School
  • The Wesley School
  • Westside Neighborhood School
  • Wildwood School
  • Willows Community School
  • Windward School


  • Calvary Christian School
  • Episcopal School of Los Angeles
  • Harvard-Westlake School
  • Milken Community Schools
  • Mirman School
  • Sierra Canyon School
  • St. Matthew’s Parish School
  • Viewpoint School (CSS Character Skills Snapshot required)
  • Vistamar School


  • Archer School for Girls
  • Windward School


Please note that the Common Transcript Request Form will ask for the last 3 years of each applicant’s school record, to include “an official transcript of all grades and evaluations, testing results, and information regarding disciplinary actions at your school for the 2018-19, 2019-20, and 2020-21 academic years.”

Updated August 28, 2020

How To Prepare:

During these uncertain times having a plan b or c is always a good option.  For those applying or in the admissions process for an independent school, ISEE and SSAT scores definitely stand out from the criteria even if they are not mandatory.  So, what should one do if in a situation where they must take this test?  Test prep and tutoring centers are always a go to when in any academic struggle, and Groza Learning Center specializes in  strengthening test taking skills, increasing confidence, and boosting scores.  While this time may be different, Groza Learning Center is here to help guide families through the process.

How are the Top 20 Nationwide Universities Responding to COVID-19?

Test Optional Universities


Recently, the College Board announced that they will not be administering at home SAT exams for the 2020-2021 school year. In addition, due to COVID-19 the capacity for in person examinations has been extremely limited.  These factors will prevent thousands of students from taking the SAT exam. Furthermore, the at home ACT testing option will not be available until late fall or early winter.

In light of this, is reporting that nearly half of all four year universities in the US, including the top 20, have gone test optional for the 2020-2021 admissions cycle. Of these top 20 universities, some have stated that they will be test optional for only the 2020-2021 admissions cycle, while others, such as California Institute of Technology, have stated that they will be test optional for a two year period.  Although students are not required to submit SAT or ACT scores, many schools, including Columbia University, strongly suggest submitting them as it can be a valuable addition to a student’s application.

Test Optional vs. Test Flexible vs. Test Blind:

Even with universities going test optional, there are still three categories in which a school can fall under. The first is a test optional college, where students decide on whether or not they want to submit test scores with their application.  The majority of test optional colleges will consider SAT or ACT scores, but will focus on a student’s essays, GPA, and recommendations. The second type is a test flexible college, which allows students to submit other standardized tests in place of the SAT or ACT.  For example, Advanced Placement tests and SAT Subject Tests. Lastly, the third category is a test blind college. These colleges will not consider test scores, even if students submit them.

Test-optional schools:

– Brown University

– Columbia University

– Cornell University

– Dartmouth University

– Duke University

– Harvard University

– John Hopkins University

– Massachusetts Institute of Technology

– Northwestern University

– Princeton University

– Rice University

– Stanford University

– University of California Los Angeles

– University of Chicago

– University of Notre Dame

– University of Pennsylvania

– Vanderbilt University

– Washington University in St. Louis

– Yale University

Test-Blind Schools:

– California Institute of Technology

In place of the SAT or ACT, college admissions will be based on:

– Ability to handle challenging courses throughout high school;

– Commitment and effort in pursuing other challenging learning experiences;

– Community involvement;

– Extracurriculars (clubs, sports, activities outside of school);

– Letter of Recommendation from a teacher in a specific field (for example, a math teacher for students interested in STEM);

– Other standardized tests (AP, SAT Subject, state exams)

In conclusion, many universities have acknowledged that students who find themselves limited in the activities they can pursue due to COVID-19 will not be disadvantaged in the application process.

For more information about the College Admissions Process and SAT or ACT Test Prep
Call: (310) 454-3731
Groza Learning Center

Yes, You Still Have to Take the SAT or ACT!

books 1

Because of the pandemic, many colleges nationwide have made the SAT and ACT optional for this year’s admissions. As colleges came online during the spring and are still making plans for this fall, The Times  just reported that the UC system passed a proposal for the SAT and the ACT to be optional for the next two years and possibly entirely gone in four. Now, before your student starts jumping up and down with excitement, the truth is… they still have to prepare, study, and plan to take the SAT or ACT.

Arguments about these standardized tests have been going on for years, whether they are truly valuable in predicting college success. As the landscape keeps changing in college admissions requirements, it isn’t clear how many colleges will follow the UC plan. Although these tests may be considered “optional” for some colleges, this may not be true for the college your student is interested in applying.

According to The College Board website, they’ll be providing a digital remote version of the tests in case schools do not re-open to students on campus this fall. Now since students’ learning has gone virtual, prep and tutoring for the SAT and ACT are also up and running online to help your student prepare. The Groza Learning Center has an incredible staff that can help you navigate this journey!

Thinking About College? Your SAT Prep Guide


The SAT is a standardized test widely used for college admissions in the United States. It is also one of the most challenging components of the admissions process and requires effective planning in order to achieve success.

Deciding when to begin prepping for the SAT will vary; starting too early may leave you struggling since the content on the SAT might not be taught in school until later in the year, plus you will likely forget the material by the time the test rolls around.  In contrast, starting too late will not earn you the high scores you are capable of.

Despite this, every students’ journey will be unique since each learns at a different pace with differing strengths, weaknesses, schedules, and goals.

Step One – taking the PSAT/NMSQT®:
PSAT/NMSQT® (National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test) is a preliminary version of the SAT exam. The PSAT can be written once per year, and many students take the test in both their sophomore and junior year. Earning a high score on the PSAT in your junior year could qualify you to receive a National Merit Scholarship.

Step Two – take a practice SAT:
A practice SAT is not the same as taking the PSAT. The practice SAT will include all the content found on the official SAT(including the essay), allowing you to establish an accurate baseline score, identify weak areas, and set realistic score goals.

Step Three – create a learning plan and timeline:
The intensity and length of your SAT test-prep will depend on which college you want to attend (State School vs. Ivy League). For instance, highly selective schools like MIT and Harvard are looking for scores of 1500 and above.  In addition, your timeline will depend on whether you choose a more extended and gradual approach versus a shorter and intense one. These decisions will be based on individual study styles, schedules, and goals.

Factors to Consider When Building Your SAT Success Plan:

When To Take The SAT:
Students typically take the SAT a few times, it is recommended that the first time is in the fall of their junior year, the second in the spring of their junior year, and the third in the summer or fall of their senior year.  However, many students prefer taking it in the winter of their junior year, when they have covered most of the material in school.

College Application Deadlines: 
Typically students taking the SAT are doing so as part of their applications to 4-year colleges. Regular decision deadlines for colleges are around January 1 of senior year. But remember, early action (EA) will push your notification and deadlines up by a few months.  The most common EA deadlines are November 1 and November 15. Typically, you will hear back in December, maybe even before you send off your regular decision (RD) application.

SAT Test Dates: 
The SAT is offered seven times throughout the year, in March, May, June, August, October, November, and December.  You will most likely take the SAT three times; therefore, creating a test schedule is crucial since you will want to leave several months in between test dates to prep effectively and increase your score.

Overlapping Dates:
Accounting for overlap with busy times of the year, like AP exams, IB exams, college applications, varsity sports, and extracurricular activities in junior and senior year, is imperative. Effective planning will help balance your schedule, alleviate stress, and allow you to stay focused.

SAT Test Dates:

Due to COVID-19, June 6th SAT and SAT Subject Test Administration have been cancelled.

The College Board will provide weekend
SAT administrations:

  • Aug. 29
  • Oct. 3
  • Nov. 7
  • Dec. 5

Students can register for these administrations starting in May. They will contact students directly when we have the exact date. Eligible students can register with a fee waiver.

For each administration, they are preparing to significantly expand their capacity for students to take the SAT once schools reopen so every student who wants to take the SAT can do so.

How Can Working With A Tutor Maximize Your SAT Score?

Customized Strong Study Plan:  

  • Create timelines
  • Assign homework
  • Target weaknesses
  • Teach important test-taking strategies
  • Reach and crush goals        

Motivation and Accountability: 

  • Provide coaching, mentoring, and cheerleading
  • Keep students on track
  • Students are more engaged
  • Interactive learning
  • Build trust
  • Consistency 
  • Confidence

Personalized Attention: 

  • Lessons tailored to fit your schedule
  • Critical thinking
  • Test-taking strategies
  • Opportunity to discuss questions/concerns in-depth
  • Build confidence 
  • 1-to-1 learning


Free SAT Practice Test
Begin Your College Journey

 Get started on your SAT prep today! 
For more information or to schedule a
complimentary consultation,
please call 

(310) 454-3731 or click here.

Private School ISEE Action Plan: Lets get Prepared

Private School ISEE Action Plan: Lets get Prepared

What is ISEE?

Getting into the right private school can be an incredibly confusing process for parents and students.  Similarly, registering, applying, and testing can often feel daunting and frustrating.  The first step, research and select schools you would like to attend.  The second, register and prepare for the ISEE.  The ISEE, or Independent School Entrance Examination, is a test that students are required to take to gain admission into private schools in the United States.  Therefore, if  you want your child to attend a private school, they will most likely have to register and test for the ISEE as part of the admissions application.

ISEE Test Dates for Private Schools:

Students may register to take the ISEE one time in any or all of three testing season

  • Fall (Aug.-Nov.)
  • Winter (Dec.- Mar.)
  • Spring/Summer (April-July)

 Note: Most private schools require ISEE official scores be submitted between Dec-Jan

Levels of ISEE:

  • Primary Level (entrance to grades 2-4)
  • Lower Level (entrance for grades 5-6)
  • Middle Level (entrance for grades 7-8)
  • Upper Level (entrance for grades 9-12

How is the ISEE structured?

  • Quantitative Reasoning
  • Verbal Reasoning
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Mathematics Achievement
  • Essay ( The essay portion is unscored and sent to the schools you apply to) 

How Can Groza Learning Center Help?

The importance of preparation is truly the key to success during this time, which is why Groza is here to create a clear path for your child and provide the necessary guidance along the way, online and in person. Grozas’ award winning program prepares students for the ISEE by introducing tricks and strategies to attack each question, reinforcing important academic concepts, instilling disciplined work habits, and building confident test taking skills.   Furthermore, you will likely notice an improvement in your child’s current grades since the ISEE contains math and verbal material that intentionally goes beyond most students’ comprehension level .  As a result, your child’s overall education will be enriched with valuable skills that will benefit them well beyond the ISEE. 

Our Recommendations for success:

  • Apply to at least 3 schools
  • Start your preparation as early as possible
  • Take a practice test to establish your benchmark 
  • Identify strengths and weakness
  • Work with an education specialist who can identify and strengthen weak areas 
  • Leaving plenty of time to prepare and improve
  • Consistently complete independent home work to insure retention and understanding
  • Repetition – Repetition- Repetition

Planning for Long Term School Closures

Planning for Long Term School Closures 1

By now your head is probably swirling with all the information about the Novel Coronavirus.  It’s important to stay updated and informed but it’s equally important to stay calm, take deep breaths, and plan for the future.

On March 17th Governor Gavin Newsom stated … that public schools across the state, many of which are already closed until early April to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, may stay shuttered for the rest of the school year.

“Let me be candid … don’t anticipate schools are going to open up in a week, please don’t anticipate in a few weeks,” Newsom said, acknowledging that “6-plus million kids in our system and their families need to make some plans.”

“I would plan and assume that it is unlikely that many of these schools, few if any, will open before the summer break,” the governor said.

At Groza Learning Center our experienced education specialists are ready to support and guide your family during these unprecedented times.  We understand that this is a very stressful time for parents and children.  Many children are self-motivated and will be able to keep up with their curriculum, however, there are also children who will require more direction, structure, and guidance in order to ensure continuity.  We can create, customize, and implement a long term learning plan for your child.

We are offering online tutoring and test prep using video conferencing with an interactive whiteboard and screen sharing. Sessions will be held in-center today, March 2oth for those previously scheduled.  However, as of  11:59 pm, we will be closing in compliance with the “Safer at Home” ordinance. We will continue to keep you updated and informed.   We are here to help and are easily accessible, call or email us with any questions or concerns.  Let’s work together to ensure our kids are given the tools and resources they need to grow and thrive.

Warm Regards,

The Groza Learning Team

Updates on Standardized Test: Reschedules and Cancellations:

SAT – March 28th & May 2nd SAT & SAT Subject Tests are canceled. Click here for updates.
AP Exams – Still as planned. Additional information will be posted by March 20th. Click here for updates.
ACT – April 4 test date rescheduled for June 13, check here for updates on future dates.
CAASPP, PFT – State Assessments have been suspended, click here for more information.
ELPAC – Waiting for further CDE/ED guidance, click here for more information.

AP Exams

AP Exams 1

Are They In Vogue Or Out of Fashion?

As a parent, it can be challenging to keep up with the latest trend in the high-pressure culture of academics. AP classes were designed to give students the experience of an intro-level college class while in high school, and they can even earn college credit for the course if they pass the AP exam saving money and time. By the way, the AP program is run by the College Board (the makers of the SAT). AP classes have been in vogue for the last decade as a determining factor in college admissions.

These days, AP’s are considered helpful but not necessarily a determining factor anymore. There are even some highly elite private high schools in the Washington D.C. area that are doing away with them altogether because they believe they already have a rigorous course of study and don’t want to feel beholden to the specialized curriculum that is required by the AP standards.

The mindset has predominantly been – more is better. More applications, higher test scores, and as many AP classes as you can possibly sign up for. Sometimes, that can be bad advice. For example, if your student takes an AP class that is too much for them, it can tank their GPA, and there is no coming back from that. Your student will spend the rest of his or her high school career, trying to climb out of that GPA slump.

Colleges do want to see that your student is taking the most rigorous schedule that shows their academic strength, but they also want to see that students know how to have balanced, healthy lives. That’s the ultimate goal because it informs the college that your student will be able to handle the pressures of college life.

Yes, AP’s can be awesome, especially if your student has a passion for the subject. They can boost their GPA and strengthen their college application by showing the admission team they’re making an effort to take challenging classes. But the number of advanced courses they choose really should depend on those particular academic interests. You don’t want to overload your student with little or no time for extracurriculars, fun, and social activities. No parent wants their student to be running on empty during their freshman year in college!

AP classes and test prep are a ton of work. If you’re concerned about your student acing an advanced course, DON’T WAIT to get support for them! At Groza Learning Center, we’re experienced in Advanced Placement prep and are here help.

AP Test Dates and Registration

The best time to take an AP exam is after you have completed the class, and many students take 2 – 3 AP classes per year. However, you can take any AP exam you feel ready for. Know when your AP exam dates are, so you can get ready in time for Test Day.

Exam fee for on-time exam orders (November 15, 2019, for full-year and first-semester courses; March 13, 2020, for courses that start after November 15).

  • $94 per exam
  • $124 per exam at schools outside the U.S., U.S. territories, and Canada, with the exception of DoDDS schools (Note: Fees may vary for exams at College Board–authorized test centers outside the U.S.)
  • $142 per exam for AP Capstone Exams (AP Seminar and Research)

Exam Dates

The 2020 AP Exams will be administered over two weeks in May: May 4 through 8 and May 11 through 15. Early testing or testing at times other than those published by the College Board is not permitted under any circumstances.

Week 1 Morning 8 a.m.
Local Time
Afternoon 12 noon
Local Time
2 p.m.
Local Time
May 4, 2020
United States Government and Politics Physics C: Mechanics Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism
May 5, 2020
Calculus AB

Calculus BC

German Language and Culture

Human Geography

May 6, 2020
English Literature and Composition European History

Physics 2: Algebra-Based

May 7, 2020

Spanish Literature and Culture

Japanese Language and Culture

Physics 1: Algebra-Based

May 8, 2020
United States History Art History

Computer Science A

AP 2-D Art and Design, 3-D Art and Design, and Drawing  – last day for coordinators to submit digital portfolios (by 8 p.m. ET) and to gather 2-D Art and Design and Drawing students for physical portfolio assembly.
Week 2 Morning 8 a.m.
Local Time
12 noon
Local Time
May 11, 2020
Biology Chinese Language and Culture

Environmental Science

May 12, 2020

Spanish Language and Culture



May 13, 2020
English Language and Composition Microeconomics

Music Theory

May 14, 2020
Comparative Government and Politics

World History: Modern

Italian Language and Culture


May 15, 2020
Computer Science Principles

French Language and Culture