Do Colleges Look At AP Scores?

Any possible edge today seems like it could be the difference between a coveted acceptance or a dreaded rejection due to the level of competitiveness in the air. Standardized test scores, grades and even extracurriculars seem to have higher stakes somehow. Have you ever crossed your fingers to hope your AP classes would just spin the college admissions game in your favor? Do the admissions committees even sneak a peek at the scores? Let us know more detail about ‘Do Colleges Look At AP Scores?’.

Do Colleges Look At AP Scores?

Do Colleges Look At AP Scores?

AP test scores are a way for admissions committees to distinguish between seemingly similar candidates.

For College Admissions, How Important Really Are AP Scores?

Let us explore the nitty-gritty details together. The answer just may surprise you.

Now AP results are not counted towards your GPA and are not even a part of your transcript. It is for this reason that they don’t generally belong on a college application and there is really no area on the whole application where they are required.

Self-reporting becomes an option here. It is the section of the application that allows you to report your scores yourself from standardized testing, including AP scores.

You do not need to report AP scores since this whole section of your application is completely optional. Moreover, if you choose to divulge them, you may choose specifically which ones you are submitting.

Being Smart About The Scores You Disclose

If you get scores of five, then those should be displayed, no question. A whole lot of fives would especially set you apart from other candidates, although a five on its own doesn’t really have that effect.

A four score is deciphered as having a relatively strong understanding of the syllabus; however as a general rule fours on an application are neither good nor bad.

If you want to apply to more selective schools, then do not reveal any scores if you had taken a lot of AP courses but  only possess a few fours. This would only create a spotlight on all your “missing” scores and not help your application.

A good mix of fours and fives will work in your favor at less selective schools. Scores of three or lower could have a negative impact on your application, rather than giving you any sort of advantage. These are best omitted when you self-report scores.

Mentally prepare to have everything in your college application, including self-reported scores reviewed by admissions committees. While the compulsory portions of the application are actually important, as mentioned earlier, AP scores serve to aid admissions committees in differentiating between two or more candidates.

In The Admissions Process, How Big A Role Do AP Classes Play?

Out of all the factors that are taken into account, AP scores are not a make it or break it factor. However, the applications that admissions committees from selective schools receive are from candidates so qualified, the committees run out of room in filling the incoming class. So, in order to succeed candidates need to set themselves apart in extremely memorable ways.

A string of perfect AP scores is a sure-fire way to establish academic aptitude. You can show-off your ability to excel at a variety of AP exams, in case you are applying to a general studies program. Similarly, illustrate your knowledge in a particular field if applying under a specific major or to a specialized program by handing in relevant AP scores.

Now We’ve learnt about ‘Do Colleges Look At AP Scores?’, The takeaway here is that while your AP scores will be reviewed by the admissions committee, should you decide to share them, they are not a highly weighted component of your application. The more competitive the admissions process, the more these “small” factors play a part in deciding between similar candidates, so ultimately the importance they are given rests on the school.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • 1) Why take AP classes?

AP classes are not unimportant just because they are not necessarily a primary factor in college applications. On the contrary, in order to be even considered as a serious candidate for many selective colleges, you need to sign up for the most gruelling courses available at your high school.

In most cases, what this means is taking the AP classes, if available at your high school. The twist here is that although you may be able to keep your AP scores to yourself, the grades you get in these classes all count towards your GPA, which is a vital piece of the college application and hence admission process.

  • 2) Would taking AP courses continue to benefit me once I am accepted?

Your performance in AP classes is an indication of your ability to perform at the college level as these are designed to be college-level work.

This is why additional perks might include place out of lower level prerequisites once you start or earning college credit. Check the respective college website for further details on their particular policies.