Will my self-study AP Calc BC score of 4 kills my MIT and Ivies application?

Hi, I am an international rising senior who will apply to the class of 2026 for MIT and ivies. I study in a Canadian school that provides super-limited APs, most of them are not STEM orientation. So I self-study AP calc BC and got a score of 4 last night. I was really disappointed.

My intended major is applied mathematics. I got many math/physics competition awards like AMC/AIME/Physics Bowl and will try to make USAMO this year. I am afraid this score of 4 will unmatch my other academic results, especially for highly selective STEM schools like MIT, where nearly all its applicants have a score of 5.

Or I should withhold this score? Really need helps. thxxxxxx :pray: :pray:

Will my self-study AP calc BC score of 4 kills my MIT and ivies application?


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Thx, so should I report it?

Considering you self studied? I would not.


Be aware that as an international student, you face much tougher admission odds than US residents. The international admit rate for MIT in a normal year is about 3%, compared to about 7% for the total pool.

In other words, be sure to apply to the strong Canadian universities before reaching for selective US ones.

MIT’s website does ask its applicants to have math skills at least to calculus level. I might need to provide information to colleges for calculus-based exams, considering I do not have AP calculus BC in my transcript and Olympias does not contain calculus. An idea I have is to participate in calculus rounds in competitions like HMMT/BMT/PUMAC then do not submit this 4 if get awards.

Don’t know if that helps. :thinking:

Thanks for the reminder :pray:. International students are surely facing a tougher application condition. However, I see many examples of international applicants who are qualified for USAMO/BMO/CMO get into MIT or ivy level colleges. A friend in PRISMS says most of his classmates with USAMO get into those highly selective colleges even they are Chinese students.

As if I can become a USAMO qualifier, I don’t think my chance for these colleges will be very little. (I saw your analysis before :rofl:)

MIT list recommendations, not requirements. They will not ask for proof.

But bottom line, while a 4 is a good score on an AP exam, reporting a 4 on BC, when >40% score a 5, will not enhance an MIT application.


There’s no requirement to submit AP scores. AP Calc at MIT is probably one of the very few situations where I wouldn’t recommend submitting a 4. If not submitted, it won’t hurt you. Not having a Calculus class on your transcript would be more impactful than an AP 4. Unless your high school didn’t offer Calc - you can’t take what’s not offered.

AMC/AIME/etc. are good to have, but as you noted, they don’t cover the traditional sequence beyond PreCalc/Trig.

Agree. My high school does not have a calculus-level course offer. What I wish to do is to take the A-level math exam (calculus included) in October, get an A* to replace the AP score of 5 I should have. Or as I mentioned above, participate in calculus round of math tournaments.