Counterpoint for Val: The College Board has certain guidelines that must be followed for an APUSH course, so it's not just about the test. If the course itself meets reading/writing guidelines throughout the year, and the test is simply a checkpoint to validate that the student acquired the information, isn't that sufficient?

Any students who are unprepared for the required writing output will still find themselves challenged in other courses they were unable to bypass via AP. It's not like it's a unique property of freshman courses.

All experiences will be unique, of course, but I don't recall having to do a whole lot of writing in the college history course I took. I do recall a lot of writing in the college English course, but it didn't feel like much more than in my AP English class.