With many colleges and universities making SAT and ACT scores an optional part of the admissions process, you might be wondering whether AP scores are still required and how much they matter as part of your application. Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions about AP exams:

  • Do colleges even look at AP scores? Most colleges do not require official score reports for AP exams, but there is a place on the Common Application for you to list the exams you’ve taken and the scores you’ve received. If you choose to list scores, admissions officers will look at them as part of the evaluation process.
  • Do I have to submit all of my AP scores? No! If you received a low score on an AP exam (typically a 1 or 2), it is okay not to report your scores on the application. However, we recommend reporting all scores of 3 or higher.
  • How much do AP scores matter? As with most pieces of the application, this can depend on the institution you’re applying to. Generally, AP scores are not a significant part of the review process. In fact, much more weight will be given to the fact that you pursued an AP course and the grade received in that class than the exam score itself. If you are applying to highly selective institutions, however, having many 4’s and 5’s on your exams can be very helpful.

As has always been the case, the courses you take throughout high school and the grades you receive in those courses will far outweigh a single score on a standardized exam.

About the author
Kyle Cortley

Kyle received a BS from Vanderbilt University and a certificate in college advising from Columbia University. Kyle has more than five years of admissions experience, including at the State University of New York as well as Rice University, where she was an Assistant Director of Admissions and oversaw the BS/MD program with Baylor College of Medicine. Kyle manages a caseload of clients as well as a team of AcceptU counselors. She is an IECA Associate Member.

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