Welcome to College Confidential!

The leading college-bound community on the web

Sign Up For Free

Join for FREE, and start talking with other members, weighing in on community discussions, and more.

Also, by registering and logging in you'll see fewer ads and pesky welcome messages (like this one!)

As a CC member, you can:

  • Reply to threads, and start your own.
  • Post reviews of your campus visits.
  • Find hundreds of pages of informative articles.
  • Search from over 3 million scholarships.
Please take a moment to read our updated TOS, Privacy Policy, and Forum Rules.

What if you do bad on the AP Exam?

AznBoiAznBoi Registered User Posts: 181 Junior Member
edited March 2007 in AP Tests Preparation
I read on the collegeboard website that you are able to cancel your scores (before the scores are sent out??) if you feel you did bad on them. I also heard that you can sent colleges (if any) the scores that you choose to send them. I have some questions about all of this though. How do you choose not to send the scores to certain colleges? When will you have to do this? Do just report it by yourselves when you apply to colleges?

Are the AP exam scores automatically on your transcript or w/e?? If you choose to cancel/not show the college your scores, will they know that you took it and canceled it?

Lastly, what score should I show colleges (3,4,5??) I want to get into UC Berkeley/Standford and I'm not sure what scores they are looking for. Probably a 4 or 5 right? Will your chances go down if you get an A in your AP course but a 3 or 4 in the AP exam? Thanks in advance.

P.S. It would be great if you know a site that answers some of these questions.
Post edited by AznBoi on

Replies to: What if you do bad on the AP Exam?

  • dank08dank08 Registered User Posts: 1,768 Senior Member
    I thought that admissions did not look at the scores of AP tests? At least I have seen other people post that.
  • rockermcrrockermcr Registered User Posts: 14,670 Senior Member
    Okay. Get ready for a long answer.

    You CAN decide to exclude certain scores from your score report. It isn't, however, as simple as that. If you took an AP class in high school, and failed it miserably, and then decided to exclude the score you got from your score report, colleges would figure out that you didn't do so great. They would see on your transcript that you took the class, and they would be able to figure out why you didn't reveal your mark.

    If, however, you self-studied for an exam, and did poorly, you have nothing to worry about. you hide your mark from colleges, and they have absolutely no way of knowing you even took the exam because it would not appear on your transcript.

    The scores I would recommend you share with colleges are 4s and 5s. Maybe a 3 if the subject you got it in isn't relevant to your prospective major.

    An A in an AP class, and a low mark on the exam can say a lot about your school. It could mean that you were subject to a serious bell curve in the class, or that the quality of education at your school is quite poor. A B or C in the class and a 5 on the exam means the exact opposite. It's also important to know that these aren't the only things we can infer from grades in an AP class and grades on the exam. An admissions officer might think that you're just not good at test-taking, and that's why you got a bad score, for example.

    As for sending AP score reports, I have no idea. I haven't sent any so far, so it would be great if someone else could answer this question.

    What dank08 said is right, but not for all colleges. In most top tier schools, particularly the Ivy League, they need to have a means of accademically classifying their students other than GPA and SAT scores.

    AP scores won't make or break you, but they could have considerable influence on the outcome in the admissions process depending on the college you applied to.
  • AznBoiAznBoi Registered User Posts: 181 Junior Member
    But you can still cancel your score before the scores acutally come out right? Will your transcript or w/e indicate that you have made this change and will the colleges see this?

    My teacher said that taking it and passing it is better than not taking it at all. If you take the AP class and don't take the exam, it would hurt you right? Won't colleges think that you were simply "too scared" to take the exam because you're afraid that you're going to get a low score? Thanks for your replies btw.
  • OptimizationOptimization . Posts: 1,085 Senior Member
    When you send your SATs, etc. EVERYTHING SHOWS, and colleges just take into account what they say they will. Like some colleges will only take into consideration the highest score.

    Well, doesn't collegeboard (since they administer AP and SAT tests), include AP tests in the same report? How can you hide it, then, if you can hide SATs?
  • rockermcrrockermcr Registered User Posts: 14,670 Senior Member
    No, I'm sure you can exclude some AP marks from score reports. I read it somewhere on the Collegeboard's website.

    I don't really know what colleges will think, since I'm not an admissions officer, but it won't be good. They will probably see that you cancelled your scores, which isn't good, and if not, they will think something went wrong and you hid your scores. You're teacher's right, though. It's best to take the exam and pass than to not take it at all. It's not uncommon for people to get surprised by their scores. I remember seeing a thread about the SAT II Lit. test, and someone posting and saying that they thought they completely failed the exam, but then found out they got a 780. Don't cancel your scores. You will probably be happy with your mark if you put effort into preparing for the exam. Most of the curves are very generous, so you don't have too much to worry about.
  • Jman2306Jman2306 Registered User Posts: 2,489 Senior Member
    It could be the teacher's fault though. I can't help it that my govt. teacher is so bad that she had about a 10% passing rate last year. I'm trying to read the book, but having a good teacher would help.
  • rockermcrrockermcr Registered User Posts: 14,670 Senior Member
    Look on the bright side. At least you don't have that teacher for Physics C :)

    But I agree with you. If you can teach yourself with a review book, you should be fine, but not all students have this ability, and they, unfortunately, have to suffer.
  • RaNeRaNe Registered User Posts: 486 Member
    I have a question.
    It says that you have to cancel your score by June 15. However, the grades come out beginning July 1. So if you want to cancel your score, you won't know what you actually got right?
  • christalena2christalena2 Registered User Posts: 1,667 Senior Member

    True, but you can strike any score after that date, but there will be a mark on the report that says it has been stricken.

    If you think you totally bombed it, and didn't write any essays or free-responses, then i guess it would be a safe bet to cancel a score by the june 15 deadline.
This discussion has been closed.