Today the AP scores were released and the CS score was not what I’ve expected. I was originally planning to apply extremely competitive schools, Upenn, Columbia, Stanford, UMich, USC and so on. So how fatal do you think this will affect my application, assuming all other elements are above average?
Results from a single 2-3 hour test don’t actually mean that much in college applications. T20 AOs have told me their schools don’t even look at AP scores and others have said they look at them but as a minor input.
How you did in the course, and in other courses/testing/etc., will be much more important. I’m not saying it’s meaningless, and a 5 would certainly be better, but in terms of “fatal” - no.
I’d simply not provide the score on the application(s).
I’m pretty sure AP scores are not considered during the admission decision, so you are fine. They are only for getting college credit. A score of 3 would absolutely not get you credit in those schools.
Not true across the board. Some do, some don’t. NYU, for example, accepts three AP scores in place of SAT or ACT scores, so they count quite a bit.
As I noted above, based on discussions with many AOs, some top schools (25%?) don’t look at AP scores at all for admissions. Others consider them as minor inputs. NYU is an outlier.