AP scores and colleges..why do colleges ignore AP scores

<p>I'm extremely frustrated when I hear that colleges generally don't look at your AP scores. Why not? Aren't they standardized? Aren't they tough? I got AP Calculus BC: 5, AP US History: 5, AP Chemistry: 4. These were the the three APs that I took this year and I think I did well considering the difficulty of these subjects. However, I got a 1880 on SAT which apparently counts more than AP. I want to know why the discrimination?</p>

<p>AP tests are kinda easy. There's a huge curve for a 5 or 4 and sheer memorization and study can take care of it. The SAT is a standardized test that supposedly tests your reasoning abilities. </p>

<p>That's why the SAT reasoning test counts more than the APs or the subject tests. </p>

<p>You seem smart. Just keep at the SAT several hours a day during the break and you'll get a good score soon enough.</p>

<p>However, the largest correlation between freshman grades and SAT scores is in the SAT subject tests. I assume this is because it tests your ability to learn information and take tests on that information. College tests the same thing. What the SATs test is not directly tested in college.</p>

<p>I agree with the OP; doing well on the SAT is a matter of preparation, but more so of pure luck. A single misbubble or mistake in the math section is the difference of 50 points. Why? The curve. The difference between a 2400 and a 2200 can be a matter of 5 questions, but those 5 questions may have well changed an application. </p>

<p>As for the OP's question, you have to admit that some AP courses taught by teachers are a joke. Some may be hard, and even harder than college courses, but generally, colleges aren't sure whether or not you came from a rigorous chemistry class, or a joke one.</p>

<p>Some schools use AP scores in admissions, some only for placement if you are admitted. A great many state flagships don't require them at all.</p>

<p>They can be useful as an equalizer in judging your AP grade. If you received an A in the class, yet a 2 on the AP exam, the class may not have been that difficult. On the other hand, If you got a B in the class but a 5 on the exam, you may have had a hard teacher. It does help to put your AP grades in context for the schools that look at them.</p>

<p>If a school is looking at two candidates from the same high school both have high SAT scores, both have relatively high GPAs, etc. One got an A in Calc but a 1 on the test, the second got a B+ in the class but a 4 on the test. The admissions representative might suspect that the first student cheated in the class. They may even put in a call to the GC to ask about each students character. The previous would only be at an elite school, however it is certainly a possibility of how a disparity in AP grade vs score could raise a red flag.</p>

<p>Some colleges do use AP's. See: Guidance</a> Office: Answers From Harvard’s Dean, Part 2 - The Choice Blog - NYTimes.com</p>

<p>"We have found that the best predictors at Harvard are Advanced Placement tests and International Baccalaureate Exams, closely followed by the College Board subject tests. High school grades are next in predictive power, followed by the SAT and ACT. The writing tests of the SAT and ACT have predictive power similar to the subject tests."
-- William R. Fitzsimmons, Harvard Dean of Admissions</p>

<p>Agree with the above 2 posters, AP scores do come into play at some schools and to different degrees. For instance, NYU now accepts AP scores in lieu of SAT/ACT scores:</p>

<p>Standardized</a> Tests</p>

<p>Colleges do use AP's. You self report your scores. The SAT is extremely hard to score perfectly on, whereas on an AP test, it is easy to score a 5.</p>

<p>I wouldn't say "easy." It might not be obscenely difficult, but if you score a 5 you are in roughly the top 10% of a very competitive pool of students that is much more competitive than the SAT/ACT pool.</p>

<p>They do not necessarily "ignore" AP scores, but AP scores are not a requirement for admissions. With $80 per test, I think it would be kind of unfair for applicants who cannot afford the tests if APs are explicitly said to play a major role in the admission process. Also, the offering of AP courses vary from school to school. Students who come from high schools that do not offer APs and are thus unfamiliar with the test would be at an even greater disadvantage if somehow they are now judged by how many AP exams they have taken.</p>

<p>oh haha raiderade. I meant easy compared to the sat. I find that the actual easiness of the test depends on the subject, though.</p>

<p>The other issue is that schools offer a variety of different AP classes and some schools don't offer them at all. Many AP classes are not taken until senior year and scores are not available at admission time. However, all applicants can submit SAT and/or ACT scores. At the school my kids attended, they don't offer many AP classes and most kids don't take the until senior year. Should my kids be placed at a disadvantage because of this?</p>

<p>I was told that AP scores are not a factor when colleges are ranked, whereas SATs are. Therefore colleges don't care too terribly how well you did on your AP exams simply because it will not affect their ability to brag if you got a 4 and not a 5. Also, like other people said, it is way easier to score a 5 on an AP then an 800 on an SAT section.</p>

<p>Actually, many schools do consider the AP scores highly. For instance NYU now offers students to take three AP tests in 3 different subjects (one has to be english or history, one math or science, and one in another subject of your choice) to replace the SAT. Or you can take 3 SATII's. It really just depends on the school. </p>

<p>Unless a school has an AP score policy like NYU, AP scores will really only affect your chances in these scenarios:
1.) If a student took like 9+ AP tests and scores 4 or more on all.
2.)If a student took a bunch of AP tests and scores 2 or below on all (in which case your chances are obviously lowered).</p>

<p>Schools that use holistic admissions will take your AP scores into consideration alongside SAT IIs and grades. They're looking for a composite picture of your aptitude, which should be reflected in standardized tests as well as teacher recs and grades.</p>