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Are Low AP Scores an Elite-College Deal-Breaker?

Sally_RubenstoneSally_Rubenstone CC Admissions Expert Posts: 3,591 Senior Member
Question: Will failing 1 or 2 AP exams affect admissions to top tier schools or Ivy League colleges?

WHAT DID "THE DEAN" SAY?

See http://www.collegeconfidential.com/dean/low-ap-scores-elite-college-deal-breaker/
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Replies to: Are Low AP Scores an Elite-College Deal-Breaker?

  • ArchlionArchlion Registered User Posts: 226 Junior Member
    I got three 5s, three 4s, but one 2 on AP Spanish. Since Spanish isn't really a major subject (at least for what I'm majoring in[math/science major]) and since Spanish is kind of a subject where it is hard to master unless you are native, would colleges overlook the 2? Or can I just report all the other AP scores except spanish?
  • XCjunior2016XCjunior2016 Registered User Posts: 564 Member
    edited July 2015
    I'm applying for computer science but I got a 3 on AP CS. should I send it in? I've taken 5 exams total (a 5, two 4's, and two 3's.)

    I'm applying to cornell, vandy, rice, etc.
  • NerdyparentNerdyparent Registered User Posts: 863 Member
    An admissions officer from Vanderbilt directly told kids from our school who visited 2 years ago that they wanted to see 4's and 5's on APs FWIW.
  • XCjunior2016XCjunior2016 Registered User Posts: 564 Member
    Do you think it'd make sense to put a similar major like electrical engineering or something? I got a 5 on calc AB
  • Sally_RubenstoneSally_Rubenstone CC Admissions Expert Posts: 3,591 Senior Member
    @XCjunior2016- If you are sure that you really want CS, don't commit to another major at any institution where you would have to apply to the CS major (and might not get in). But, at many colleges, the major you indicate on the application is just preliminary. However, an EE major is commonly in the School of Engineering which can be separate from the School of Arts and Science (or one with a similar name) which is commonly home to the CS major. So you have to look closely at every college on your list and see how choosing the EE major will affect your application process and also where you might end up.
  • XCjunior2016XCjunior2016 Registered User Posts: 564 Member
    Ok thanks
  • HuntHunt Registered User Posts: 26,777 Senior Member
    Note: I believe some colleges will require you to self-report all AP scores on the application. I wouldn't advise anybody to fail to answer that question accurately.
  • Sally_RubenstoneSally_Rubenstone CC Admissions Expert Posts: 3,591 Senior Member
    True--if a college says that self-reporting is mandatory, then you should, of course, be honest. But mandatory AP exam reporting is not as common as many students may think that it is. It's actually pretty rare.
  • camruncamrun Registered User Posts: 55 Junior Member
    I am shooting for top 20 schools and i have two 5s and a 3. Do you think I should submit the 3? My top choice is Upenn by the way. Thanks for the help!
  • haytheir20haytheir20 Registered User Posts: 33 Junior Member
    I am in a similar position to @XCjunior2016 in that I want to do neuroscience and/or developmental psych and I earned a 3 on the AP Psych exam, but a 5 on Chem and a 4 on Bio, which are also applicaple to neuro. Bio and chem were taken in sophomore year when I was halfway through an upward trend and still had some bad habits from freshman year (when I earned a 2 on Human Geo for example (not submitting)). My experience in AP Psych helped me to see that you need to self-study to some degree. I assume that I should send the 3 then? I'm hoping that it will maybe underscore the upward trend that is apparent in my transcripts.

    Thanks!
  • rhandcorhandco Registered User Posts: 4,225 Senior Member
    I do not think low scores matter as much as having some high scores.

    But there is a thread about which schools consider AP scores - if a school does not consider them at all, how can a low score hurt? All it would do is not give you AP credit to miss a class or two.
  • haytheir20haytheir20 Registered User Posts: 33 Junior Member
    Meant to write that bio and psych were taken sophomore year****
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