AP exam scores: How important are they for admissions?

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You may have spent hours studying for AP tests, but will they matter for college admission?


AP vs SAT II scores. AP scores will probably be treated similar to SAT II scores. Scores from these tests will be considered separately from your GPA. Good AP scores can help counter average SAT II test scores.


Prove toughness of your classes. If you received a 4 or 5, it would definitely be to your advantage to include those scores on your application. They can help show how difficult your classes were and could also be used as a sort of tie-breaker between two really good applicants.


It's optional. Not all applications will include a space for your AP scores. If you have the option of including them, you don't necessarily need if you don't want to. Admissions officers are probably more concerned that you took challenging courses and did well in them than your final score on the exam.


AP scores have other uses. There are clear advantages to taking AP exams besides including them on your application: if you do well on them you could possibly skip some requirements, save some money, and even graduate early. Once you’re accepted and have received all your scores, send them to the college and talk to your advisor about what you can do with them.


There are plenty of other factors that come before AP scores. But unless you've taken AP classes before your senior year in high school, you may not even have the AP scores before you apply to college. As long as you have good grades in your AP classes, low AP scores won't hurt your chances of admission.


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