6 answers

Are sending AP exam scores mandatory in college applications?

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6 answers

John’s Answer

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YOUR SENIOR YEAR AP EXAMS ARE NOT AVAILABLE UNTIL AFTER YOU'VE BEEN ACCEPTED

Hanna, if you're taking a AP courses your senior year, colleges will not see your scores on your AP exams until after they have made an admissions decision. They will, however, have your mid-year grades in the course, and any AP test scores from any earlier years of AP classes. In many ways, an AP exam grade is more meaningful than either SAT scores or ACT scores even though AP exam scores are never a required piece of the admissions equation. The AP exam, however, tests your ability to handle college-level material in a way that the SAT and ACT do not.

At nearly every college in the country, your academic record is the most important part of your college application. The folks in the admissions office want to see that you've taken the most challenging courses available to you. Success in difficult courses is the surest sign of your preparedness for college. The most challenging courses, of course, are college-level courses such as Advanced Placement.

The bare minimum tends not to impress colleges, especially elite ones. Academic rigor is a way for a student to prove they are up to the challenge of higher education, by adding additional difficulty to their high school schedules. The most common way of adding rigor is by taking AP classes. Rigor is in many ways just as important as the overall GPA of a student–though a balance between the two is ideal.

AP students must go above and beyond in their efforts to study and perform well. The material will be more demanding, there will be more reading, and the grading will be harder. As such, AP classes are on a different scale than that of general classes. Where the 4.0 GPA is standard, many AP classes grade on a 5.0 scale, and some colleges will take that into consideration while reviewing a student’s application.

Hope this was Helpful Hanna

John recommends the following next steps:

  • Different colleges use AP scores in different ways, so it is important that you go to a particular college’s website to determine how it uses AP scores.
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Yasemin’s Answer

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Hi Hanna, you may want to double check with your guidance counselor based on the college you are applying to. However from what I remember they are not mandatory to be sent. AP exams are helpful for you to get ahead a little in college and knock out a couple classes like Bio/Physics/Calc, etc. If you do take the exam and pass you can report them and get the credits but if you take it and let's say don't get the score for the credits I don't think you have to report them to the colleges. The worst thing that could happen would be to take the class in college once more, it would be a refresher that's all.

Best of luck!

Yasemin recommends the following next steps:

  • check with guidance counselor on AP scores
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Cicely’s Answer

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I would say it depends on the college as they all have different acceptance requirements. Good luck in your pursuit!
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Blake’s Answer

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Hey Hanna,

I think that it depends on the college, but I don't think it's mandatory for most.

Thanks,
Blake
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Brittany’s Answer

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While not mandatory, many colleges look to see if you have taken any AP courses. Not only does this show that you've maintained a rigorous course-load while in high school, many colleges actually allow you to use those AP courses to count towards certain credits in your degree.

I believe when you send in your AP credits, all of the exam results are shared with the college unless you specifically request that some scores are withdrawn.
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Kuei-Ti’s Answer

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It's not required, but without sending the scores, the school can't give you equivalent college credits.

Kuei-Ti recommends the following next steps:

  • Send the AP exam scores using the method(s) per the college's policy.
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