Techniques for an Effective Advanced Placement Exam Registration

The task of registering students and creating the exam order for the Advanced Placement Exams can be  very daunting.  There are more than 30 different exams with many overlapping testing times.  Some students receive fee waivers, and some don’t.  Schools must collect payments and keep track of who as paid and who hasn’t.  Mistakes in exam orders translate into fees, $13.00 for a un-administered exam, $40.00 to order an alternate, $78.00 for an exam that a fee was never collected.  These errors can quickly use up the small portion of the exam fee that the school gets.

Fortunately, there are many techniques an AP coordinator can use to organize the process and increase the accuracy of the AP exam order.  John Vidulich, a counselor and AP coordinator at Monarch High School in Louisville, CO and I, Mike Elings, General Manager of Total Registration,  presented a workshop at the 2009 AP Annual Conference in San Antonio, TX.  This workshop titled “Techniques for an Effective Exam Registration” presented coordinators with techniques that can  increase the accuracy of their order while lowering their stress levels.  Due to the difficulties with the economy, we assume that many people were not able to attend the AP Annual Conference this year.  We feel that most AP Coordinators could get some valuable ideas from our workshop, so we are making the workshop notes available as a pdf download.  You can download the notes at  Feel free to use this as you see fit.

Coordinators who would like to simplify their registration by registering students for the AP exams on the Internet, should visit  This service uses the techniques covered in the handout while removing the bulk of the data entry as students register online.  The coordiantor may then log in and print all the necessary reports, no longer needing to use MS Excel or a database program.  For 2009, Total Registration registered more than 30,000 students for nearly 56,000 exams for 96 schools across the globe.  The schools using this service report (in the year end survey) that their order is more accurate while taking much less time and staff resources to organize.  You can obtain a quote for this service at

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