As we march on through AP test season, many questions arise, some more than others, especially during a second unfamiliar pandemic cycle.
However, most questions come down to which AP scores to report. Let’s break it down!
First, understand that not all colleges treat AP scores the same. You need to check via the AP Credit Policy Search: https://apstudents.collegeboard.org/getting-credit-placement/search-policies
For example, UC Berkeley gives credit for a 3 or higher, but students will need a 4 on AP Biology to satisfy UC Berkeley’s equivalent of Biology 1A/1AL & 1B.
Second, remember that AP scores are numbers that mean nothing without context. Schools that expect high scores will want to see high scores, so yes, reporting a low score can actually hurt. Consider the schools that you are applying to. If we revisit our previous point about different schools having different minimum score requirements, think about using that as your baseline for determining which scores to report to which schools. After all, AP scores are self-reported.
Third, be familiar with average test scores for each AP test. If your score is higher than the average, it could still be worth reporting. Reference the following:
Fourth, think about your collection of scores; you may qualify for some awards! Keep in mind that the National AP Scholar award has been discontinued. https://apcentral.collegeboard.org/exam-administration-ordering-scores/scores/awards/scholar-awards
To summarize, consider how competitive the school you’re applying to is; then, see if your scores meet their minimum requirements. As an easy rule of thumb, report all 4s and 5s, and do more homework about your 3s.