In high school I used to spend long hours reading my Princeton Review books in preparation for the AP tests in the spring. These books claim that you will have a better chance of passing the test if you read their latest edition of the book. This is a bold statement to make, although with a little digging, the data is present and the claim can be defended. The closest study I could find with these variables can be found in an article that was written by Wayne Camara, a member of the College Board. He found statistics that show that a positive correlation exists between the number of AP exams a student passed and college completion rates. Now you may say that this doesn't warrant the strong claims they make. However, I believe that it finds the right person to listen to the claim rather than actually guarantee it. We have learned in discussion that IQ isn't the only thing that dictates intelligence, but it is a strong factor. The same is with review books. There are so many confounding variables that go into passing the AP test and reading the review book cover to cover can only help. General intelligence and excitement for the subject matter also help, but does that really give you a better chance to pass the test? In my opinion, the main determining factor is a person's ambition. If a student is willing to put in the effort to find a review book, read it, study its contents, and effectively prepare for the exam, they will most likely do better than someone who doesn't. This mix of factors makes it virtually impossible to show a strong correlation between any specific intelligence factor and passing an AP test. However, it does say that no matter how smart you are, you don't have that much of an advantage over another person who was well prepared to take the exam. Looking back, maybe the claim Princeton Review makes is not dictated by the quality of the book that they write, but maybe the quality of the student who reads it does the work and Princeton Review takes the credit.
Is it Really Worth it to Read the Book?
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