Should I drop my AP exams?

I’m doing the IB with Physics, Chemistry and Maths HLs. I decided to take the AP exams for Calculus BC, Physics C, Chemistry, and Comparative Politics by self learning them.

I’m considering to drop the AP Chemistry and Politics and I’m wondering how much this will affect my chances considering my dream school is Stanford.

It won’t matter in terms of admissions. There is no expectation that you would take AP exams if you are in an IB curriculum.

The only reason I can think of to take AP exams is if you are applying to schools that will take AP credit but not IB. I know that some of DS’ friends took the AP chemistry exam at the end of SL Chem because AP credit would be given when none was given for SL. Some schools give credit for an AP score that is easier to get than the IB HL score required. So it’s more about credit and/or placement than admissions.

Yes, check whether the colleges you may attend give better placement or subject credit for the AP scores versus IB scores in subjects where you may take both.

So @ucbalumnus you don’t think that it affects admissions in any way?

An Adcom at a T20 school told us very clearly that their admissions team doesn’t even receive AP scores, let alone look at/consider. Others have mentioned them, but typically minimize their importance, emphasizing that they are used for placement/credit.

@RichInPitt should I email my colleges saying I’m not taking the exams?

Echoing what @RichInPitt said. My son is not taking AP exams (at all!) The head of college advising at his boarding school told us that this would have zero consequences for admissions.

(There are other consequences, credit, placing out of requirements, but none with regard to the admissions decision)

Sorry, but your chances of getting into Stanford are extremely slim with or without these tests. Chances for everyone applying to Stanford are slim ?. Pick another dream school that you can realistically get in.

Good Luck.

Over and over the top places say that self-studied APs don’t impress them. Only take the exams if prepping for them doesn’t interfere with the marks that colleges will see./the exams align with what you have already studied. Don’t email the colleges- you would be wasting their time.

@Knowsstuff there’s a reason it’s called a dream school. Though I’m aware that my chances are slim, I see no reason not to dream it nor to make the best effort I can.

@collegemom3717 alright, I guess I won’t do any. Are you sure that I won’t get any surprises from colleges expecting these exams later on?

YES. Honestly, you need to put all this energy into something more productive than trying to read tea leaves. Waiting is tough, I know. So- go bake some cookies or go for a run or work at the food bank or shovel your neighbors driveway or…something that will distract you and might do something nice for somebody else!

Haha… Lol… Just having some fun here. Having dreams are great. Having realistic safeties /matches are better. Too many students are severely disappointed every year even those with perfect everything. Don’t do that ?.

If you told them you would be taking them, then update your application to tell them that you will not be taking them.

“Pick another dream school that you can realistically get in.”

Not a very supportive statement, that’s kind of the definition of a dream school.

Anyway, OP I wouldn’t email any adcoms about this, as others have said, it’s not worth getting stressed over.

@theloniusmonk and to the OP I apologize if my comments were taken as being insensitive. They weren’t meant that way. It’s just so many students put down a school’s in the single digits of acceptance and seem to be disappointed that they didn’t get in.