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Self-Studying for AP Exams and College Admission

SSSigmaSSSigma Registered User Posts: 7 New Member
Hello,
Currently I'm a sophmore who was wondering about the self-studying for AP exams. I don't have enough time left in my junior and senior year to take a few AP exams I've heard are easy like AP Psychology and AP Environmental Science. My school does offer these courses, but right now I'm working on getting my IB Diploma, so I need to take mostly IB classes.
Would it help my college application to get a 5 on these AP Exams if I self-study for them? Or is it not worth it?
In particular, how has self-studying for AP exams helped or not made a difference for people when they applied to colleges, especially top ones like the Ivy Leagues?

Replies to: Self-Studying for AP Exams and College Admission

  • coolweathercoolweather Registered User Posts: 5,430 Senior Member
    Not for top colleges.
    You don't need AP classes if you are taking IB HL classes.
  • SSSigmaSSSigma Registered User Posts: 7 New Member
    Since in some ways I've heard you compete against people within your own school, and I'll be competing against everyone also getting their IB Diploma, would taking these additional AP exams help me in standing out?
  • skieuropeskieurope Super Moderator Posts: 27,816 Super Moderator
    would taking these additional AP exams help me in standing out?
    No. No college expects an applicant to take AP exams if they have not taken the classes. If you're completing an AP Diploma, you're maximizing yourself academically. You need to look for other ways to stand out.

    In terms of self studying in general: When I was going through the admissions process, I went to an Exploring College Options event, which had reps from Harvard, Stanford, Penn, Duke, and Georgetown, among others. During the Q&A, someone asked, "What do you think of applicants who self-study for additional AP's over and above the AP classes they take?" One rep responded, "Please don't do that. We're not impressed by that." The other reps all nodded.

    While there are valid reasons to self study, an edge in admissions is not one of them.
  • SybyllaSybylla Registered User Posts: 1,548 Senior Member
    Are you in the US for the IBD?
  • SSSigmaSSSigma Registered User Posts: 7 New Member
    Yes, I'm in the US for the IBD. Will that make a difference?
    Alright, thank you! I think I'll talk it over with my counselor, but I think then I'll leave self-studying for the AP exams.
  • SybyllaSybylla Registered User Posts: 1,548 Senior Member
    At least check with your people as to how well the AP stuff might be covered, without any significant extra effort my kids IBD covers 2 APs in history HL, 2 APs in eng, APs for SL in chem and bio (or HL of course). SL math =65% AB calc, HL math= BC calc, etc etc. So you might fairly easily pick up 6 Aps in the IBD. This is not an exhaustive list, but just the common route for my own kids. I suspect it is about hedging bets as US IBD scores don't seem to be as high EUrope and SLs might not count as course credit if you don't get a passing IBD score, or at all in many schools. It isn't adding rigour, but the AP stash is useful.
This discussion has been closed.