AP Scholar Awards

<p>Can anyone tell me how important the AP Scholar awards are to gaining scholarships or admittance to competitive schools. My son who is an 11th grade homeschooler has taken 4 so far and scored a 4 and three 5's. This year he is taking 4 additional AP courses in hopes of doing well enough to earn National AP Scholar and have that to put on his applications. That being said, AP World History is tested the same day and time as his AP Macro. Yes, I realize I should have checked that before now, but it's too late:( Chalk this up to a lesson well learned! We haven't been able to find a school to offer the alternate test date for conflicts such as these so we were thinking of just not taking the AP World exam (He already took APUSH). Will this hurt him or does it not really matter as far as admissions and scholarships?</p>

<p>Congratulations on the success on AP’s despite the homeschooled setting! But I am just wondering, how would you get the AP Scholar award in time when your son will take the rest of the AP exams in May as a senior, long after the application deadline? Or is there something I am missing?</p>

<p>@ mountedantman, he has already received the 4 scores from the previous AP tests by the end of his sophomore year. He had planned on taking another 4 AP exams at the end of his Junior year. As a result, IF he received high scores on those exams from his junior year, he would have completed and received scores for 8 tests going into his senior year. In the past, the scholar award notification came shortly after his scores were made available in July - making the scholar award available going into his senior year when he would be applying to schools. Currently he could put on his application that he is an AP Scholar with Distinction, but would it help/hurt him if he cannot put National AP Scholar, particularly as a homeschooler?</p>

<p>That makes sense now. I am sure that the admissions are capable enough to give a holistic approach based on all the scores submitted, regardless of Scholar Award. But at this rate, I don’t think there is anything to worry about! Did you son self-study for the AP’s in sophomore year?</p>

<p>He took AP Chem through PA Homeschoolers. It was without a doubt the most difficult and best class he ever took. His teacher was truly amazing! If anyone is looking for AP online, I would HIGHLY recommend taking this one. My son self studied his APUSH, Psych,and Human Geography. btw, I have NO affiliation with the people from PA Homeschoolers. :)</p>

<p>AP Scholar awards don’t mean anything. They are a marketing tool used by the College Board to encourage students to spend more money on tests. They are totally redundant with test scores. You get some sort of designation after 3 tests, then again at 5, then again at 8-if the scores reach an none too impressive average. For home schoolers, the scores on AP tests provide colleges with some sort of objective way to assess "achievement’ which may be lacking otherwise. For those that attend school, the level of the class rather than the test is what is important. Better schools are moving away from APs, finally, as many districts and private schools have realized that AP classes are often inferior to the honors classes that have been or could be offered and that there is no justification for the College Board company to have such major control over the curriculum of this country’s children. So. some districts have dumped the APs and others are currently working out plans to do the same. </p>

<p>I think AP Scholar is worth having for a homeschooler. It’s a nice piece of validation. I don’t know how valuable it is but I wouldn’t say it has no value.</p>

<p>I think as a homeschooler it’s a good idea to have as many AP scores as possible to externally validate your son’s achievement. So probably worth pursuing the alternate test date if you can. </p>

<p>As far as the “AP scholar” award goes, I rather agree with sockittoum. Some of these awards seem designed to put pressure on families who may be balking at spending hundreds of dollars on tests for which their child may not receive any useful college credit. They certainly seem to be effective at spurring the frenzy of kids self-studying the easy AP’s to rack up AP scores and awards. When you complete the common app, there is a section where you list all AP classes taken and all AP scores received–it’s all lined up and easy to see in just a few seconds how many tests were taken, how many 4’s and 5’s were received, etc. Unlike most awards, which tell you something you might not have known about the quality of the student’s achievement in some area, the APs come with scores which the colleges understand perfectly well and those awards from the college board provide absolutely no additional information that you cannot see from the list. My daughter didn’t think National AP scholar was even worth listing on her application. It’s obvious from her common app AP list that she exceeded the requirements for that award. But, there are people who seem to think the award in itself confers some extra prestige. I don’t really understand that. Maybe you should ask admissions at some colleges you like. </p>