AP as a Independent Study Student

Heyo! I am an Independent Studies student, and my school offers no AP or IB classes, and I am applying next year as a Sociology major.

I have taken 10 AP tests - all 5’s, the ACT and got a composite 36, and I might take the SAT, I got a 1520 on the PSAT my Freshman year, but never got merit because you apparently need to take in junior year to get national merit, and I was too lazy to retake it tbh.

I took these APs

AP English Language and Composition

AP Biology

AP Statistics

AP Calculus BC

AP Comparative Government and Politics

AP European History

AP Human Geography

AP United States Government and Politics

AP United States History

AP World History

And I might take Spanish Language (I am a English Learner, first language is Spanish, and grew up in Mexico up until age 7 ish, but American Citizen as I was born in California) and Latin (learned it in 5th and 6th grade, I was obsessed with Percy Jackson) and Chinese (my father and brother studied Chinese and so I learned a lot, and will study more on it to take the exam).

I might also take environmental science and physics 1 algebra based.

Since my school doesn’t offer any classes above honors, would it look better on my transcript if I had my AP scores? Would having self studied tests help me?

Should my supplemental essays explain this?

Thank you

No, no, and no.

You will never be penalized for not taking classes that are not offered by your school. Colleges really don’t care about self-studied AP classes. They are trying to build communities of students with varied interests and are not impressed by test-taking drones. Every minute you spent studying for an independent exam is a minute you could have spent developing interests and talents that are something other than trying to impress admissions staff!


I see no harm in putting your AP scores on your transcript if your school will do that for you. I’m not sure if they will though. If you include anything about it in your essays, I’d stick to how you love the material (assuming you love the material) and wanted to delve into it more than you wanting to get the scores themselves. Your ACT test also shows your ability, so there’s no need to take the SAT. Schools will realize from your ACT and a few APs that you’ve got a good foundation in academics. You don’t need to do anything more there.

Your essays need to focus on your interests as a person, not your desire for perfect scores (hence the “if” you include anything about it). If you’re involved in other things, write about those - whatever shows “you.”

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I’m going to be honest, besides some review, I didn’t study for any of these. I only took tests in the subjects that I have had outside interest in or am naturally good at. I took them because I could and not necessarily for college. For example, I study history and write papers on sociology related topics regularly, so I just looked at the exam overview to make sure I knew everything, and moved on.

I work Mon-Fri, 8am-7pm, (overloaded, I know lol) half of it is volunteering at a school so it’s legal, and my paid job is a teachers assistant. I have had an internship as a Top 100 University Sociology Chairs Teachers Assistant. I have also taken the only Sociology class offered at my school, and I have won international essay competitions about philosophy and social analysis, and I am a published ‘sociologist’. Honestly I love sociology more than anything, and teaching it as well.

Now that you mention it, I hope that my application doesn’t come off as doing it only for applications.

Thank you so much.

ps I see you tagged this as homeschooling. Then yes, I would see to it that your scores are on your transcript if you can. Colleges like to see more “proof” from homeschoolers that their foundation is college level. Yours definitely is.

I do love it, so I will try to show that in my essays, Thank you for your insight, especially about the SAT. I’ve been conflicted for a long time about that one.

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You’ll definitely do fine without the SAT. Just make sure you have affordable safeties (at least 1), then apply where you like. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying academic study. Many students do. It’s those taking test after test thinking they must to get into certain colleges that is unneeded and stressful.

What colleges are you considering applying to?

With a 36 ACT, there’s zero reason to take the SAT.

Closing for ToS violation