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AP score

Marcie123Marcie123 342 replies31 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 373 Member
My D got 5's on Lang and apush and a 3 on Spanish 4. She's taking Spanish 5 now and wants to minor in Spanish wherever she goes to college. Should she report the 3?
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Replies to: AP score

  • skieuropeskieurope 37373 replies6486 discussionsSuper Moderator Posts: 43,859 Super Moderator
    If the colleges on her list generally give credit for 3's, then I see know reason not to report them. If she's applying to HYPMS-type colleges that only give credit for 5's (if they give credit at all), then don't report.

    At the end of the day, it won't matter, IMO. AP scores carry little to no weight in the admissions process.

    That said, if the Spanish 4 course is listed on the transcript as AP Spanish, the AO may wonder, if only for a nanosecond, why she did not report an AP score.
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  • QuantMechQuantMech 7909 replies35 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 7,944 Senior Member
    I don't think students are prohibited from retaking an AP exam, if they took the first one before they became seniors, are they? In the local high school, the students take the AP exam in a language in the spring of their final year of the language, which might be year 4 or 5, depending on the language. The 3 won't particularly help with selective college admissions, but she might get more traction out of a 4 or 5, if her Spanish language capabilities grow this year.

    Does anyone know if AP retakes are allowed? At the regularly scheduled exam time, of course, and for a student still in high school--just a retake of an AP exam taken as a junior or earlier?
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  • Marcie123Marcie123 342 replies31 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 373 Member
    She would not retake the AP Spanish Lang test but might take the Spanish lit test this year. She hates standardized testing. I hope we have an idea of where she'll be going before sign ups for the AP tests this year.
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  • QuantMechQuantMech 7909 replies35 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 7,944 Senior Member
    edited September 2017
    As an addition to this: I looked up the credits that each AP score brings, at my university. It differs by subject, but for the Spanish exams, a 1 is worth nothing. A 2 carries 0 credits, but permits a student to waive the first year of college Spanish. A 3 also brings 0 credits, but permits a student to waive the first two years of college Spanish. Personally, I think this would not be a good idea for a student who wants to major in Spanish. It would be permissible to ignore the waiver, and enroll in the first-term, second-year. With a 4, a student gets 8 credits--the actual credit for second-year Spanish. With a 5, the student gets 16 credits. Strangely, this is the credit for first and second-year Spanish (not higher classes).

    This would put the students with 3, 4, and 5 scores in the same language class as college freshmen, but those with 5's would have twice the college credit in Spanish already compared to those with 4's; and those with 3's, despite being in the same class, would have zero college credit already. I think this situation would be really disadvantageous to those with 3's. This scenario assumes that the students with 3's accept the waiver of second-year Spanish, which they would not be required to do.

    I noticed that Spanish has 2 AP exams, Language and Culture (Exam 87) and Literature and Culture (Exam 89). They are treated identically with regard to credit. That is, either gives the student the same score to credit conversion, and 5's on both don't add any benefit. Perhaps the OP's daughter will be taking the second AP Spanish exam in the spring of this year? In that case, retaking last year's exam would be pointless, for my university. It might carry some extra weight elsewhere.

    I was trying to think of what benefit there would be to having a 3, with 0 credits in Spanish but a waiver of second-year Spanish at my university. There is only one that I could think of, and it applies only for students who do not plan to go on in Spanish: Here, as at a number of other universities, Phi Beta Kappa requires second-year college competency in a foreign language. The waiver of second-year Spanish would meet that requirement (here). Other universities have other conversions from scores to credits and placement, so this is far from universal.
    edited September 2017
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  • ConsolationConsolation 22846 replies184 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 23,030 Senior Member
    My kid had 5s on both the lang and lit APs in the language he ultimately majored in. He skipped the first 2 years of language learning classes, and went directly into the literature/philosophy/history upper level classes taught in the language that assumed a certain level of fluency. He went on a term abroad--everything taught in the language, and they had to take a pledge not to speak English :) --immediately after taking the one class they required to do so. It worked out fine for him.

    It is unclear from what the OP says whether the 3 will be a true reflection of her D's expertise in Spanish, or whether she was unduly affected by stress surrounding testing. Isn't AP Spanish Lit a 2-year course of study? Does she have enough time?

    I think that most schools offer an internal placement test in foreign languages. If placement is her concern, that would solve the problem without taking any additional AP exams.
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 76126 replies663 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 76,789 Senior Member
    edited September 2017
    QuantMech wrote:
    As an addition to this: I looked up the credits that each AP score brings, at my university. It differs by subject, but for the Spanish exams, a 1 is worth nothing. A 2 carries 0 credits, but permits a student to waive the first year of college Spanish. A 3 also brings 0 credits, but permits a student to waive the first two years of college Spanish.

    Interesting... in California public colleges and universities, it looks like an AP score of 3 is roughly considered equivalent to only one (not two) years of college foreign language courses in terms of placement (although AP scores of 3 or higher are given credit units).
    I think that most schools offer an internal placement test in foreign languages.

    Yes, this is common, since many students come in with some knowledge of a foreign language without any external testing (if there is any external testing available in that language).
    edited September 2017
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  • Marcie123Marcie123 342 replies31 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 373 Member
    I don't think a 3 is a true reflection. We went to Spain over the summer and she was able to hold her own with the locals. She was disappointed because she thought she would have gotten a 4. AP lit 5 is just one year at her school.

    I'm assuming she'll take a language placement test at her college. I just don't know if listing a 3 on the common app is worse than not listing it at all.
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  • skieuropeskieurope 37373 replies6486 discussionsSuper Moderator Posts: 43,859 Super Moderator
    Does anyone know if AP retakes are allowed?
    It is.
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  • ConsolationConsolation 22846 replies184 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 23,030 Senior Member
    I'm assuming she'll take a language placement test at her college. I just don't know if listing a 3 on the common app is worse than not listing it at all

    Well, scores of 3 are technically considered "passing" on AP exams, so perhaps it is better to list it than to allow them to speculate that she got a 1 or a 2. If she is going to list her 4s and 5s, it probably wouldn't hurt to include it.

    I was going to suggest that she consider taking the Spanish SATII, but that might not be wise, because many native speakers take it and the curve is brutal as a result, reportedly. Add discomfort with standardized testing to that...perhaps not.

    If she's a senior and interested in Spanish Lit, there's no harm in taking the course and waiting to decide whether to take the exam.

    I think I would ultimately come down on the side of listing it, and planning to take the college's own placement test when she gets there. It's not as if she is trying to place out of a foreign language requirement. :)
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  • Marcie123Marcie123 342 replies31 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 373 Member
    @Consolation thank you. I agree with your post that she list it. Better to see a 3 than assume a 1 or 2. She did take the sat 2 and got a 610. She's not putting that down. She also took us history and got a 680. But a 5 on the AP test. She was so burnt out from ACT testing and AP testing

    She is taking AP Spanish lit now and loves it. Her teacher is a former zoologist from Colombia and the class is held all in Spanish. She knows it's a hard class and prob will get a B. Very few A's are given. She has friends who are native speakers who told her how hard the class is but they loved it. She is a kid who takes the classes she wants and doesn't worry about grades.

    You're correct in that she's not looking to place out of a language requirement in college, just to be put in the appropriate level.
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  • wis75wis75 13853 replies62 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 13,915 Senior Member
    edited October 2017
    Once she is in college her HS credentials will become ancient history. Knowing the Spanish language, literature and culture is something she is continuing to grow in. Her placement test results will place her in the appropriate class in college- her AP test results are useless for that. She will not be the same student next year that she was when she took that AP exam. A blip in her record that I would not use to discourage her from a Spanish major. She can easily be a successful Spanish major in college if she has the interest.

    Oops- the intention is a minor. Some schools only do comprehensive majors, it may be a second major for her if she chooses another field as her primary interest.
    edited October 2017
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  • toowonderfultoowonderful 4077 replies68 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 4,145 Senior Member
    edited October 2017
    The college won't see official scores until after admitted - what they will like is the rigor of the classes taken. According to info I have been given (I am an ap teacher) they give very little weight to the self reporting of scores, as kids have been known to "fudge" them in hopes of admission.
    edited October 2017
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