Welcome to College Confidential!

The leading college-bound community on the web

Sign Up For Free

Join for FREE, and start talking with other members, weighing in on community discussions, and more.

Also, by registering and logging in you'll see fewer ads and pesky welcome messages (like this one!)

As a CC member, you can:

  • Reply to threads, and start your own.
  • Post reviews of your campus visits.
  • Find hundreds of pages of informative articles.
  • Search from over 3 million scholarships.
The Forums will be unavailable Tuesday, June 25 starting at 9 am ET as we prepare for a major design update!

UK Universities and AP tests

LikesToRunLikesToRun Registered User Posts: 19 Junior Member
Hey guys, I am a sophomore in hs and I am taking the ap 2d design portfolio at the end of this semester. I am not very confident that I'll get higher than a 3 on this. Looking at Oxford, they require you to report all AP scores taken, and they want 3 scores of a 5.

Would it make sense for me to refund the portfolio at this point? My parents think it will "look better as I am showing an attempt at an art AP" even though I am applying for biochemistry. Basically that a 2 would look better than no score at all. I still plan on taking AP's in math and science courses my Junior and Senior years to fulfill those requirements. What do you guys think?
«1

Replies to: UK Universities and AP tests

  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan Registered User Posts: 12,682 Senior Member
    edited April 20
    They won't care about your art prowess or lack thereof.

    They want all 5's in relevant AP's.
  • LikesToRunLikesToRun Registered User Posts: 19 Junior Member
    edited April 20
    @PurpleTitan Does this mean I have the option to not report art scores?
  • Conformist1688Conformist1688 Registered User Posts: 1,084 Senior Member
    no, you must report them all, the UCAS application includes your sworn statement that you have included all standardised tests. But you have nothing to worry about, because even a 1 in art won’t damage your application and a 5 won’t help. Most likely any offer would be conditional on your score so in the STEM APs you’re taking senior year.
  • Eeyore123Eeyore123 Registered User Posts: 1,212 Senior Member
    How are you doing in the class? Also, don’t get tunnel vision for one university.
  • LikesToRunLikesToRun Registered User Posts: 19 Junior Member
    edited April 20
    @Eeyore123 Doing fine with a 90 in the class. I'm also looking at US universities as well, I'm asking about UK universities as I don't know about them.
  • LikesToRunLikesToRun Registered User Posts: 19 Junior Member
    edited April 20
    @Conformist1688 It doesn't seem like there is based on what you're saying, but for US students is there any way to get an unconditional offer for Oxford?
  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan Registered User Posts: 12,682 Senior Member
    @LikesToRun: Yes. Get 5's in relevant APs before your application year (junior year if you are applying senior year or any year if you apply during a gap year).
  • Twoin18Twoin18 Registered User Posts: 1,392 Senior Member
    edited April 20
    A 2 does not look any better than no score at all. It may be irrelevant but having four 5s and four lower scores in APs is not as good as five 5s and nothing else. So concentrate your efforts on the relevant courses and tests that you can excel at (i.e. get 5s), though that is more relevant for next year than your current situation. You'll need Calc BC, if you can't do that before senior year then it's likely you would get a conditional offer (if you get in).
  • LikesToRunLikesToRun Registered User Posts: 19 Junior Member
    @Twoin18 Would you say I should refund the art ap test then since getting a lower score will hurt my chances? Or is the difference not at all significant and I should just take it?
  • Twoin18Twoin18 Registered User Posts: 1,392 Senior Member
    edited April 20
    I don't think it's significant at this stage. My advice is focused on next year: don't try and do five APs (for example) if you aren't going to get all 5s. Better to do fewer and have more time to study so you can get 5s on the ones you do take.
  • LikesToRunLikesToRun Registered User Posts: 19 Junior Member
    @Twoin18 Ok, next year I already selected ap calc AB and ap chem as my only AP's, but senior year I will be doing Calc BC and Physics 2, which are all relevant to what I want to study. If I had all 5s and a solid SAT/ACT score would you think I should be asked for an interview?
  • Twoin18Twoin18 Registered User Posts: 1,392 Senior Member
    edited April 21
    Have you looked at the course requirements? Math (i.e. Calc BC) is recommended and biology is "helpful". So you should really be planning to take AP Bio and then AP English plus a foreign language and social science would demonstrate breadth.

    Four APs is pretty skimpy (really only three since you can't double count AB and BC), more typically a competitive candidate would have at least 6-10 across a range of subjects (FWIW my S18 had five 5s and one 3 after junior year and was taking four more APs senior year, predicted all 5s, he didn't get an offer after interview). Remember that APs are much easier than A levels and a UK student takes 3-4 A levels (more often 4 nowadays). They will also have 8-12 GCSEs (almost all As or A*s) which are only marginally less advanced than APs. That's who you are competing with.

    Certainly you wouldn't get an unconditional offer. But since there's no admissions test for biochemistry (which is much more important for getting an interview for most subjects), you really need to impress with the application itself. Something like qualifying for the national chemistry Olympiad for example.
  • LikesToRunLikesToRun Registered User Posts: 19 Junior Member
    @Twoin18
    I've already missed my chance for AP bio as that is a sophomore only course at my high school.

    In regards to foreign languages, I will be taking the AP Spanish test this year as well as I am fluent in the language and AP Chinese my senior year. I can still switch my classes next year and take APush and AP English if I need to.

    On Oxford's site, it says they require at least 3 5's in relevant courses. I thought that Oxford will not care if I have 5s in unrelated subjects to the course I'm applying to. For example, English and History wouldn't be relevant to biochemistry. In my case shouldn't I just take STEM AP's?
  • Twoin18Twoin18 Registered User Posts: 1,392 Senior Member
    You have to put together an impressive application to get an interview since there is no pre-interview test. You also need a teacher to write a reference saying you are one of if not *the* best student(s) in the last decade. It doesn't seem like you want to challenge yourself. If you were not taking some unrelated AP courses because you were spending 20-30 hours per week on biochemistry research or competitions in high school then that might be forgivable. Just doing the bare minimum is not.
  • LikesToRunLikesToRun Registered User Posts: 19 Junior Member
    @Twoin18
    I get it. I'm not challenging myself as much as I can, it's exactly what my parents tell me from time to time. However, I qualified for the USA math olympiad this year but didn't get any further. It's remarkably ambitious, but my Junior year I'm aiming for Internationals in chemistry and Math olympiads. I should have stated this previously as my reasoning for taking the minimum in courses.

    Let's say I do qualify for both of these events.
    I get a teacher's reference on my performance academically
    I have a sufficient SAT/ACT score
    Five 5s in AP calc, Spanish, Chinese, Chemistry, Physics 2

    Would this work or would you still suggest adding on unrelated AP's?
Sign In or Register to comment.