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Does self-studying APs boost your college application?

userofccuserofcc Registered User Posts: 35 Junior Member
edited November 2012 in AP Tests Preparation
Judging by the number of threads here and on other sites regarding self-studying APs, I'm assuming it's at least somewhat common. But does it do anything other than allowing you to place out of courses and gain knowledge? It doesn't count on your GPA, but will getting fives on self-studied APs show that you are motivated/ dedicated/ knowledge-loving?

This question is sort of important to me as I will probably end up taking the following exams without the class: econ micro and macro (already know it from academic decathlon), both physics C's (out of interest and I already will be doing calc BC and Phys B), world history (taking honors world history as AP is not offered), Statistics (super easy, it's math), and Latin (been self-studying for a while, out of interest and not offered at school)

Worth it or should I save the registration money?

Thnx guys
Post edited by userofcc on

Replies to: Does self-studying APs boost your college application?

  • AstroBlueAstroBlue Registered User Posts: 573 Member
    In the context of your whole application, they do show some self-directedness and whatnot. But it's probably more worthwhile to work on your extracurriculars and channel time and effort into those because AP test scores are a tiny part of your application in comparison to ECs, sat/act, etc.
  • AshleySmithAshleySmith Registered User Posts: 28 New Member
    Yes. You'll have to list the high school classes you took on your college application, including AP exams. Also depending on the school you will be required to write an essay.

    >But it's probably more worthwhile to work on your extracurriculars and channel time and effort into those because AP test scores are a tiny part of your application in comparison to ECs, sat/act, etc.

    lol, EC is easy to get. SAT/ACT is easy to do as well with self-study. They aren't worth that much. Also EC aren't worth that much anymore, you can't verify the claims and as a result, they aren't worth as much as people think. Unlike the ap exams, which can easily be verified.
  • userofccuserofcc Registered User Posts: 35 Junior Member
    Thanks for the replies-- anyone else want to put in their opinion?

    I'm doing ECs but they're all academic (math club, science club, academic decathlon). I am playing sports and doing some community service but compared to what others are doing it's really unimpressive. That's why I am trying to make my academics as strong as possible (hoping for USAMO and USAPhO and our school's really good at Academic Decath).
  • WiseGuyWiseGuy Registered User Posts: 349 Member
    If you are actually interested in the subject that you'd like to self-study (i.e. Physics C, like you mentioned in the first post), then by all means go for it. But if you are just doing a random class (i.e. Human Geo) that you aren't interested it, it isn't worth it.

    A self-studied 5 (especially in something like Physics C) will certainly look good, though.
  • ridethewaveridethewave Registered User Posts: 198 Junior Member
    Ask yourself this: Given that so many people on here are doing it, if you are applying to the same schools where everyone else who is self-studying is applying, how will self-studying make your application stand out from the rest?

    Then ask yourself this: Are you planning to self-study because you really enjoy the subjects in question, or are you doing it to add more AP scores to your application -- or are you doing it because you plan to apply to a state school or another institution where passing the AP exams will save you/your parents a lot of money?

    Speaking as a parent and as an interviewer, I think the first and third reasons are very valid justifications for self-studying, the second is not. If you want to make your application stand out, spend that time you would have spent self-studying for APs doing something that is meaningful and important to you.
This discussion has been closed.