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AP Exam Scores for College Admissions

tournesoletournesole Registered User Posts: 17 Junior Member
- will it affect my chances into a college by not reporting my ap exam scores if I get a 2? (if I didn't get above a 3 on all of the 3 ap exams i am taking)
- do colleges still see these exam scores if i do not report it
- and is it better to not report a score if i took the AP class?

I am taking 2 honors classes and I enrolled for the AP test.

Replies to: AP Exam Scores for College Admissions

  • bopperbopper Forum Champion CWRU Posts: 12,771 Forum Champion
    Fret not...colleges are much more concerned about your grades in those classes as opposed to the AP tests.

    Why is that?
    1) Doing well in a class shows you can learn over the year and work hard over a period of time. That is what they want in college.
    2) Not all HS have many APs.
    3) Many people take AP tests senior year which is too late for admissions

    For example, Stanford says:
    Students currently enrolled in AP courses are not required to submit AP scores as part of our admission process. AP scores that are reported are acknowledged but rarely play a significant role in the evaluation of an application. Grades earned over the course of a term, or a year, and evaluations from instructors who can comment on classroom engagement provide us with the most detailed insight into a student's readiness for the academic rigors of Stanford.
    http://admission.stanford.edu/basics/selection/prepare.html


    Where does this leave you if you get a low AP score?
    1) It tells you that you cannot place out of those classes in college...you will need to take them in college like many many other people do.
    2) Do not self-report your scores
  • tournesoletournesole Registered User Posts: 17 Junior Member
    edited March 14
    @bopper Will my scores still appear on transcript if I do not report them?
  • LindagafLindagaf Registered User Posts: 8,735 Senior Member
    edited March 14
    No. If you matriculate and want credit for an AP class, or the ability to go into a higher level course, you will have to send the college those scores officially. Some coll gems might give some credit for a 3, but I imagine a 2 isn’t going to count at any school. Each college is usually clear about their policy on APs.

    Bear in mind though, that if you have a lot of AP classes, and no scores to report, it might appear odd, depending on your high school and the grades you receive in the class. Many colleges say they do not consider AP scores in admissions, because not everyone can afford to take them and because some schools offer no, or very few, APs. If you are from a school in an affluent area, and you take a lot of AP classes, but report no scores, it might seem strange.
  • mathmommathmom Registered User Posts: 31,604 Senior Member
    edited March 14
    I've always felt that if you don't report a score an admissions officer is going to assume it was a bad one. There's a space to report scores voluntarily, I don't know what the exact current wording is, but I'm pretty sure leaving out scores is not really honest. But there is definitely no requirement to send them official score reports. Colleges do understand that some schools have lousy AP courses and that students can't necessarily self-study to make up for it. Every admissions officer I've heard directly speak to the subject is that they are interested more in seeing that you challenged yourself and took rigorous course, more than what the actual test scores were. And of course you won't even get AP scores for senior year courses until the middle of the summer anyway.

    Some high schools may report scores on the trascript. If you are at one of these schools you should try to have it removed. If a teacher you had in an AP class writes a recommendation they may mention the score in their letter of recommendation.
  • tournesoletournesole Registered User Posts: 17 Junior Member
    @mathmom but I’m only taking one ap this year (my junior year) and 3 APs next year for senior. I have a lousy ap bio teacher and my counselor said I can put on my application that this teacher was in the process of receiving her credentials while she taught. Would it help if she helped me write a recommendation letter too?
  • mathmommathmom Registered User Posts: 31,604 Senior Member
    Actually it would be best if your GC put something in her cover letter, especially if the whole class ends up doing poorly. In the meantime you can get some study guides and see if you can fill in the missing material, though there is so much material in AP Bio it might not be possible. My kid had a pile of handouts from that course that were two feet high on his desk! As for the recommendation, you should choose a teacher that you like and that you believe will write the best possible letter. That might be this teacher, or it might not be.
  • homerdoghomerdog Registered User Posts: 4,227 Senior Member
    If one gets an A in an AP course but a 2/3 on the test then that course really wasn't that rigorous. It's true that you do not have to report your scores but realize that you will be competing against kids who got As in their AP classes and got 5s on the tests. And they will report their 5s.
  • evergreen5evergreen5 Registered User Posts: 1,306 Senior Member
    I don't know what the exact current wording is, but I'm pretty sure leaving out scores is not really honest.
    The Common App states as follows:
    Number of AP Tests you wish to report, including tests you expect to take
    and then that number of boxes pops up to report date and subject (those two required) with an optional score box.

    I don't see anything dishonest about not reporting every score one has - it's entirely optional. I'm not aware of any college in the US that requires AP exam scores to be reported for admission (not even Georgetown, which requires all sittings of subject tests).
  • skieuropeskieurope Super Moderator Posts: 41,072 Super Moderator
    While all good (and accurate) advice has been given, let's not forget the keyword - if. AP exams are 2 months away, Scores won't be out for 4 months. The OP's time is better spent preparing for the exam than fretting about "what if" scenarios that may not happen.
  • mathmommathmom Registered User Posts: 31,604 Senior Member
    @evergreen5 they've changed the wording. That's good!

    I totally agree with skieurope that the OP should spend her time studying not worrying about the details of applications.
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