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I failed my AP Calculus exam. Am I doomed for the Ivy League?

sarahjane23sarahjane23 Registered User Posts: 12 New Member
I took AP Calculus AB last year, and let's just say I didn't do too well. I ended up failing the exam with a 2. Math is my worst subject, and it was the first year my teacher had ever taught calculus. I think only a couple of people from the two classes passed. This isn't an excuse, I should have done better, just how the situation panned out.

I got an 87 in the class (B) overall.

Will this destroy my chances for college applications? I've take four other AP classes, and I got 4's on AP Biology, AP Human Geography, and AP Environmental Science, and an easy 5 on AP Language. Overall, not particularly impressive.

I'm applying to Cornell early decsision, and I would say that AP scores is probably the weakest area of my application. I come from a small rural town with low emphasis on higher-level classes and that only offers a third of the total AP classes. I'll graduate with 8 of the 12 my school offers.

I've done well on SAT and ACT math, and am taking a dual enrollment college math class this year, but I still have that 2.

Do my AP scores basically sign my death certificate for the Ivy League?
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Replies to: I failed my AP Calculus exam. Am I doomed for the Ivy League?

  • WorryHurry411WorryHurry411 Registered User Posts: 1,112 Senior Member
    It seems unlikely given what info I see in your post unless you have a high rank, near perfect SAT, high GPA and have an awesome hook like living on an Indian Reservation or playing on an Olympic team.

    Good news is that there are lots of other good school that would love to have you and offer a great education. However, if you really want to apply then do it, people do hit jackpots.
  • WorryHurry411WorryHurry411 Registered User Posts: 1,112 Senior Member
    I'm sorry I missed small rural part, that's a great hook. Are you a minority or financially disadvantaged? Those are hooks too.
  • sarahjane23sarahjane23 Registered User Posts: 12 New Member
    Thanks for your honesty @WorryHurry411 . I'm 4th in my class, and got a 2290 superscored on the SAT (690 math (ugh), 800 Reading, 800 Writing). I'm taking it again before I apply as well. Yes, I'm financially disadvantaged, but not extremely so-- money is always tight, but my needs are taken care of. I actually live on a barrier island, and I'm planning to write my essay about the unique community here and how it's given me a very differnt lifestyle from what most people experience.
  • snarlatronsnarlatron Registered User Posts: 1,635 Senior Member
    small rural part, that's a great hook.
    Not a hook at all.
    Why must the OP attend an Ivy or bust? Sounds like a student who is taking a very uncreative, uninformed, and unrealistic approach to college selection.
  • skieuropeskieurope Super Moderator Posts: 40,287 Super Moderator
    OMG. Enough of the melodrama.
    I would say that AP scores is probably the weakest area of my application
    The good news is, AP scores probably are the least important part of your application, if they are even considered at all. AP scores are self reported on the application; just don't report the 2. Hey, problem solved.

    So, if you get rejected by Cornell or any school, it will not be because of a 2 on an AP test. Having said that, your "woe is me" attitude will do you absolutely no favors if that comes across in your essays or your recs. Good luck.
  • moscottmoscott Registered User Posts: 990 Member
    ^^^nor will the I'm too good for UF. Don't be surprised if you get rejected by them.
  • happy1happy1 Forum Champion Parents, Forum Champion Admissions Posts: 23,428 Forum Champion
    Nobody here can tell you for sure. You said you applied to Cornell ED so you will find out in December. In the meantime cast a wide net and apply to reach, match, and safety schools that appear affordable when you run the net price calculator.
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 30,927 Senior Member
    edited September 2016
    How the math AP and SAT are viewed depends on the role of math in your potential major. English, maybe ok, maybe don't report the 2. Neuro? Depends on how that major is served up, what adcoms expect to see.

    This thread again raises the belief stats are all that matters. Not. If you know Cornell well enough, you understand that and have matched yourself on the rest of what they look for.

    Ivy competition is nutso. Lots of kids will have top gpa, the right rigor, and scores. Be sure you know enough about Cornell to a) choose it for early app and 2) decently reflect your match in your whole app/supps.
  • merc81merc81 Registered User Posts: 9,136 Senior Member
    Am I doomed for the Ivy League?

    Harvey Mudd or Caltech may be out, but having your options restricted to Ivy League schools would ordinarily not be looked upon as "doomed."
  • ProudpatriotProudpatriot Registered User Posts: 1,543 Senior Member
    Are you an "Ivy or bust" type person? I hope not. There are a myriad of colleges that are happy to have you as a student. Why would you want to limit yourself to 8 colleges in a particular athletic conference? Widen your horizons.
  • twicearoundtwicearound Registered User Posts: 208 Junior Member
    edited September 2016
    You don't have to report AP scores. Self-report your 4s and 5s only--don't report the 2.
  • FiddleMySticksFiddleMySticks Registered User Posts: 109 Junior Member
    If you get a 2 on calculus you probably would not do well at Cornell. You don't need to report your bad scores though so it won't harm your chances.
  • twicearoundtwicearound Registered User Posts: 208 Junior Member
    ^We don't have enough information to know that. If the teacher was new to the subject and only a few people from two classes did well, I wouldn't be so quick to make assumptions about the student. Also note this is a small rural town with limited AP offerings, and OP appears to be taking advantage of what the school offers. OP, don't report it, focus on the rest of you app, apply to a range of schools. If Cornell accepts you, then they believe you can succeed there.
  • mom2collegemom2college Registered User Posts: 8 New Member
    The trouble is Collegeboard doesn't let you pick which ones to send - they send all. You can have your score cancelled however. From their site, "If you wish to cancel your score, you must send a signed, written request to AP Services by mail or fax. Your request to cancel a score from the 2016 exam administration must be received by June 15, 2016 to ensure that the score does not appear in the score report sent to the college you designated on your registration answer sheet. Please note that once a score is canceled it cannot be reinstated. For complete details and the form, visit "
  • sarahjane23sarahjane23 Registered User Posts: 12 New Member
    @snarlatron @skieurope @moscott @Proudpatriot thank you for your input. I am definitely not an "ivy or bust" person"; this is the only Ivy I am even considering applying to. I don't agree with that metality, and I'm also applying to multiple state and local schools.
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This discussion has been closed.