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AP scores - what do colleges see?

I am a rising Junior. During my sophomore year, I studied AP CSA from an online school and took AP CSA exam this June. I would like to study computer science, however, I did not do very well in AP CSA exam even though my class grade is an A in this subject. I am not sure what we should do now.
I may have also missed the deadline for canceling or hiding AP class scores from colleges. What are my options now? I know AP exam scores are self reported but colleges can still see all the scores or might ask for them. Can you please guide me on what to do here? I am targeting UCs and CSUs but of course not sure where I'll get admission. Thanks #college-admissions #college

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Arshia’s Answer

Hi Rimi,

Thank you for your question. AP scores don’t go on your college application because they don’t count towards your GPA or become a part of your transcript. They are also not required, although you can self-report the scores you'd like to self-report. I recommend to not self-reporting scores of 3 or lower and only reporting scores of 4 and 5. AP exams are generally used in placing you out of an introductory course and sometimes can be used for general education credit. At the end of the day, it's not a big deal if your application and GPA is strong. You should be proud of yourself for the "A" you received in the AP course.

Thank you,

Thank you for the response, Arshia! Your answer is very helpful in taking some stress off. Another related question- if I do not self-report the score, is there any way for colleges to see this score? Wondering if there is anything I need to do to make sure this score is not visible to colleges? Rimi T.

Hi Rimi, I'm happy to hear that. Don't worry about the scores as that is a very tiny part of your admissions profile. Here is some information from CollegeBoard regarding withholding scores: Arshia Malek, M.Ed.

Thanks Arshia! Looks like we have already missed the deadline for withholding scores from colleges. The deadline to request this was 6/15. Is there anything we can do now or need to just risk colleges seeing this score? Rimi T.

Another question - if we do not self-report the score, then how do colleges see it? Can they request this score directly from college board? Or does college board include scores for all subjects by default when requested unless I ask them to withhold certain scores? Rimi T.

That's a question for CollegeBoard. Seeing a lower AP score doesn't have a significant bearing on your admissions. Don't stress this one! :) Arshia Malek, M.Ed.

Thank you so much , Arshia! Rimi T.

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Ingrid’s Answer

Hi Rimi,
I think one thing that you have to remind yourself is that you were brave enough and driven enough to take the AP course! In HS I took somewhere around 9 AP courses but I didn't pass a few... and that was ok!! I focused on the fact that A. I qualified to take it B. My grades were great! C. Exams don't test your true understanding or mastery-- clearly you have an A in the class!
So don't be hard on yourself. If it's too late to "hide" the score, I'm sure you have plenty more to showcase-- like that A! :) College apps are what we call "holistic". They look at ALL of you. What else have you been up to? Book worms are easy to make, but driven and exciting people are special-- be special & good luck!

Ingrid recommends the following next steps:

Join Clubs
Start a Club
Sports? It's ok if you skip this
Volunteer work
Keep those grades up! You're doing great!

Thank you Ingrid for the inspirational words and guidance here. You have some very good ideas on how I can showcase my strengths in other ways. I'll explore more on these. Rimi T.