How much do AP scores matter 2020

I received a 3 on both AP physics 1 and AP Lang this year and I was planning on applying as a physics and philosophy major at an Ivy. How much will colleges care?

About as much as they cared in 2019. Which was not much

You may not get credit, but it won’t be the reason you are rejected.

@skieurope Even if it’s MIT or something? Wouldn’t it reflect pretty badly seeing that you got a bad score for a field you want to major in?

Why are you challenging my answer? It is what it is. Are you really wanting people to tell you that you’re screwed. :wink:

I have expressed many times on this site my disdain for AP Physics 1. Getting a 3 on that exam is actually an accomplishment considering 60% fail the exam. Now I’m sure you know that AP Physics 1 is worthless at MIT. Now if you told me you got a 3 in Physics C or Calc BC. I might suggest that MIT is not the place for you.

Regardless MUT says right on their website that they do not consider AP scores in admissions. And that us not new with the pandemic.

They are not lying. So no reason to disbelieve them.

Most schools weigh AP scores somewhere between just a little and none. MIT appears to be in the none camp. Others schools may look at them, but no schools I’ve talked to considers them important (with the odd exception of NYU if you submit three APs instead of SAT/ACT, and if you’re homeschooled).

The simple answer is that you shouldn’t submit those scores with your applications to Ivy and equivalent. They’ll either ignore them or they will be below average of other applicants so a slight negative to your application. So there’s no reason to submit them.

@RichInPitt I got 5s on all the other exams. Would it look bad if I did submit those good scores?

No. It’s fine. And it’s what most applicants do

I’m an incoming First-Year at Brown who didn’t submit a 3 on an AP test because I had received an A in the class. Colleges didn’t really seem to care, as it’s only ONE test out of ALL of the tests that you are taking.

After academics (which allow the college to confirm that you can handle the coursework,) colleges focus on the rest of your application (essays, interview, letters of recommendation etc,) so make sure that every word counts!

Hope this helps! Good luck with admissions!

Just gonna bring this up again-- I still feel a bit wary about my AP Physics score. Not sure how I did so poorly, but is there any way I can show them that I am good a physics (other than taking a standardized test)?

Doing well/getting an A in a Physics class in school, and having that on your transcript, is the best way to show a college you know Physics. It is much more meaningful than an AP score.

Or medaling at the IPhO.

Ah I suppose. So would you guys recommend reporting the 3’s, reporting nothing, or reporting only the one 4 and five 5s?

Both my kids got a 3 and aren’t reporting them. If you’re applying for engineering or physics, you could still take the physics subject test.

This year some schools are allowing you to send in extra things. Did you do research or assist on a paper? Did you do something out of the norm in a good way?. Your 3s won’t be the reason you don’t get in. Writing an awesome essay probably matters more. Do you have a good recommendation from the physics teacher?

Also keep something in mind. The score is secondary. Taking AP classes shows the readers of your application that your challenging yourself with rigorous classes in your high school compared to others. No college is going to refuse you because on one certain day you got a 3. It’s your whole application their looking at. If you set yourself apart you should be good. BTW… Getting into MIT is unrealistic for just about everyone… Lol… Have realistic safeties.

I disagree that it doesn’t matter, based on experiences. Obviously, my particular experience differs from those of others. OP said Ivy and that physics is an aspect of what he/she wants to study. If a low score is present, don’t assume a top adcom is going to ignore it. It is a data point.

Remember how fierce the competition is. Not just the volume of applications to get through, but the volume of top notch performers. (Sorry.) When it comes time to shape a class, understand they can cherry pick.

That’s not an indictment, @highsckid. They understand things happen, sometimes scores do tank. And this year, lots of kids can’t seem to schedule various std tests, won’t have results to report. In that respect, not reporting it, you may have lucked out.

Class grades? There are easy teachers/easy graders and just taking a rigorous class, while it is a nice indication of the challenge, doesn’t tell much else. Sometimes, the GC will go to bat for a kid, the score was a fluke, some interruption, whatever. Or the physics teacher will rave about class performance in the LoR. Maybe even state he/she expected you to easily score higher.

But this is a calculated risk. Keyword here, imo: Ivy.
My own CYA philosophy says you make the best decisions with the least risk, not assume.