I liked the AP exams, I felt like if you got a 4 or 5, you’d be pretty well prepared for a college course and the syllabus materials are the same as those used in actual college courses. The SAT on the other hand, I felt was pretty pointless since I felt like the only thing you’d get better at after preparing for it was knowing how to do SAT problems better and not much else.
My perception of the US system is that it’s relatively forgiving in the sense that you can take these tests as many times as you want really, and you can totally fail at college and still find a way to succeed at life if you can get your stuff together, eventually. Like, you can take the SAT or CLEP tests even if you’re 45. On the other hand, I believe other countries high-stakes testing has a much bigger impact on your life than that of the US. I feel like that would be ridiculous as that shouldn’t be the only chance you get in life to choose a career path.