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Will a 3/3/4/4/5 Keep me out of HYPSColumbia??

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Replies to: Will a 3/3/4/4/5 Keep me out of HYPSColumbia??

  • juilletjuillet Super Moderator Posts: 12,735 Super Moderator
    My question is, why did you even ask this question if you were already disinclined to believe the most common answer that is passed around on this board (and the one that is generally cited as the true one)?

    AP is short for "Advanced Placement". The entire point of the test -- the reason it, and the courses, were designed -- was to give students the chance to earn college credit in regular high school courses taught by their high school teachers. It was not designed for admissions purposes and is generally not used by admissions committees for admissions purposes.

    You don't even have to report your AP scores on the application. That's not being dishonest, and it's not "tricking" the adcoms. And scoring a 3 on the test and an A in the class doesn't necessarily mean you look inflated. Think about the way college courses are graded: it is entirely possible to get a C on the final exam and still pull a B or an A in the class. Likewise, it's also possible to get an A on the final and still get a C in the class. So it is with AP scores -- it's even MORE possible for a student to get an A in the class (which is an entire semester or year's worth of work) and still get a 3 on the test (which is a high-pressure event that only takes 3 hours tops). It doesn't make your A look any less deserved.

    In addition to that, admissions committees look at your entire package. One small thing does not "keep you out" of anything. If you have a 4.0, near-perfect SAT scores, great SAT II scores, and the rest of your package is tight...do you think a school will decline you based on one 3 (especially when by the AP rubric a 3 means "qualified" as in "qualified to do higher-level college material in this area"?
  • powerbombpowerbomb Registered User Posts: 3,364 Senior Member
    Juillet, you came off a bit strong, but thanks for that clear-cut answer. Just what I needed - not many people provide such answers, which was why I asked the question in the first place.
  • bluebayoubluebayou Registered User Posts: 26,667 Senior Member
    May I suggest you consider what a college counselor (and former Dartmouth admissions officer) has to say on this topic for unhooked applicants:
    since both AP and IB tests are considered the most difficult and collegelike tests around, colleges sometimes weigh these even more heavily than SAT Is and SAT IIs....

    Source: Acing the College Application
  • HiPeopleHiPeople Registered User Posts: 778 Member
    ^Really? Actually that is the first time I heard that type of response. Everyone has told me that SAT, SAT II are more important than AP and IB because AP and IB has a lot to do with the teacher that you have in school/resources your school can provide you for this test. For example, there are many schools in which the teacher doesn't even cover everything on the test and the student is forced to learn it by themselves...so it is unfair to compare this student to someone that goes to a top school.
  • powerbombpowerbomb Registered User Posts: 3,364 Senior Member
    I don't know!! this is so frustrating!

    Bluebayou - you wouldn't consider my scores to be "horrible" so as to automatically keep me out of those schools, would you?
  • HiPeopleHiPeople Registered User Posts: 778 Member
    ^you don't even know your scores yet (you can call now and find out if you are so worried as they were released on the phones a couple days early). You might even get all 5s...you are asking this question too soon.
  • bluebayoubluebayou Registered User Posts: 26,667 Senior Member
    power:

    Not an adcom, so can't answer your question. But, obviously, higher is always better, particularly for unhooked applicants.

    As others have posted, test scores are just one piece of your ~6 piece application mosaic. (And, of the test scores, AP scores are a wild card, since technically they are not supposed to be used for admission, but they are.). The consensus is that the six app pieces are: your transcript, (which counts for two or three pieces: gpa+strength of schedule+rank, if available), test scores (SAT/ACT + Subject Tests, essays, teacher recs, GC rec, & any optional items. Only a few hundred apps each year are superstars on all six pieces. And those are auto admits. The adcom's work is in reviewing the applications from the unhooked masses who aren't superstars in all six....

    Apply and good luck.
  • DwightEisenhowerDwightEisenhower Registered User Posts: 1,704 Senior Member
    It won't be the deciding factor, but there aren't many "deciding factors" outside of being a convicted felon or lying on your application. The truth is that things that don't help hurt, in the sense that the category of AP scores is not a strong point but a weak point.

    Apply anyway.
  • admitoneadmitone Registered User Posts: 377 Member
    I think you will be fine for Columbia (I got in with similar stats), but HYPS is a longshot for anyone.
  • quantaquanta Registered User Posts: 211 Junior Member
    @HiPeople, yes I reported them all, it's not something to be ashamed about and frankly if I wasn't going to be accepted because of an AP score, well that's just sad. My activities weren't bad true but it's not like I felt the need to "outshine" my 1's, they're just AP scores...
This discussion has been closed.