Do Colleges Care About AP Scores? 

do colleges care about ap scores

In 2022, 3.95k students registered for over 770k AP Exams. Student registrations keep increasing every year.

Why would so many students undergo rigorous study and tough AP tests if colleges didn’t consider AP scores.

So my dear friend, YES, colleges do care about AP scores. Let’s read through to know how much colleges prefer AP scores.

Do Colleges look at AP Exam Scores?

The answer to this pivotal question is yes. While applying for colleges, some colleges ask for AP scores in the application form, some do not.

You do not need to submit an official report while applying, but you need to self-report it in your application form. Now, this is obvious; if it is in the form, the admission committee WILL take a look.

The admission committee finds the best student considering the good GPA and AP scores mentioned in the student’s application form.

How much does an AP Score matter in College Admission?

AP score does matter in college admission because of the manifold benefits of AP courses. But this is not the ultimatum to enter a college.

How the AP score matters during admission varies depending on a few factors. Such as;

What If You Score High

It is for sure that a high AP score will add value to your application.

Even though there are other essential matters that your chosen college or university considers, such as test scores and transcripts, AP can put you at an advantage compared to other brilliant students.

To earn college credit through AP, you need to score high, i.e., a perfect 5. (Some colleges prefer 4 or 3.)

But the score must be consistent. A couple of 5s will win no great impression from the admission counsel. A string of 5s is required to work in your favor.

What If You Score Low

If you score low on an AP test, you should not report it to the colleges. As the AP score is not a critical aspect of the process, you can choose not to disclose your score.

Moreover, if you choose to report your AP test score as your standardized test score, you can pay some extra to withhold the scores. You can withhold the scores when you do not want the college to see them.

In that case, one must submit the official scorecard instead of self-reporting.

What Does Test Flexible College Consider

AP scores become crucial for test-flexible colleges. If you want to enroll in a college that allows reporting any standardized test (SAT /ACT/AP test), your AP score becomes an important factor.

Such test-flexible colleges pay attention to the AP scores. And a consistent 5s in the scorecard seems quite appealing.

Universities such as NYU and the University of Rochester give privileges to AP scores to meet their requirement of the standardized testing score for admission.

Remember, as you submit the scores as standardized scores, you need to cite the official report card.

Do AP Courses Make Any Difference?

AP score is not an essential factor for admission to college. But AP courses are necessary. There are many benefits of AP courses as it makes a difference in students’ transcript.

Here are a few advantages of AP courses.

  • You need good grades if you want to get into a well-renowned college or university. And for good grades, you need a good GPA. AP courses boost GPA.
  • As the course structure and difficulty level of AP courses are equivalent to preparatory college courses, many colleges give credits. In short, AP courses help to earn college credits. It is undoubtedly an advantage for any student when being admitted to a college.
  • One of the excellent benefits of taking an advanced placement course is it is internationally accepted. Colleges in Canada and the United Kingdom also give importance to the credentials of AP courses.
  • As AP subjects involve rigorous study, it proves your prowess in the subject matter.
  • Many need to learn that AP can help them to win scholarships. As AP boosts your GPA, you can win scholarships for a good GPA.

AP Scholar or Not: What’s the Difference

AP Scholar or not makes no such difference while getting admission to the college. But there are a few advantages you can get being an AP scholar.

You can win rewards if you attain certain scores through the AP Scholar program. Such as, if you got 3+ on three exams, you can win an AP Scholar award and a National AP Scholar award if you got 4+ on eight or more AP exams.

You can get into the AP International Diploma Course, which similarly awards a diploma after fulfilling specific requirements.

All of these rewards are reported to the college when one applies to the school for admission. The international diploma program is helpful for those who want to study aboard.

Is AP Compulsory to Get into a College?

Now that you have come this far, you must wonder whether AP is compulsory to get into a college. The answer to the question is no. It is not.

Colleges prefer a standardized test; for example, few colleges prefer IB or Honors courses. It is a fact that AP courses are not easy and it is only fit for some.

In that case, you can prepare for other tests after doing some research and ace them.

More Resources

AP Classes Benefits: Things You Need to Know for a Bright Future Disadvantages of AP Classes: Are They Worth It?
Can You Get into College without AP? Where to Take AP Exams outside of School?



How much do colleges care about AP scores?

When it comes to finding out the best students from the pile of application forms for admission, the college council gives preference to students who self-report their AP results. A test score of AP makes them superior in competition with others.

Will colleges see my AP scores?

Colleges will see your AP score for sure. If it is mentioned in the application form and the college considers it a standardized test, they will look at AP scores to find out the best applicants.

Can I choose which AP scores I send to colleges?

You can choose AP scores before sending them to any college, university, or scholarship program. If you want to avoid the college seeing a particular test score, you can withhold it by paying extra costs.

Do colleges care about senior year AP scores?

AP score is not a crucial factor for your admittance to college. It can strengthen your application, but it cannot affect the process in any other way.

What do colleges look for in high school students?

There are a few factors that colleges look for in a high school student. These factors are grades, performance in college prep courses, test scores, and extracurricular activities.

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Bottom Line

AP courses are not prerequisites for college admission. But it has many advantages.

And for the benefits, it can boost your chances of getting into your dream college. You can skip some prerequisite courses of college with your high AP scores.

As you can see, there are many opportunities you can pick due to Advance Placement classes. You can choose one for yourself to make your future brighter!

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