Don’t Stress About Getting A Five

Naomi Gan, Reporter

AP exam season is right around the corner, but before you start stressing about scoring a five on your exam, hear me out. Spending all your time and money on AP preparation is not worth it. In terms of college admissions, AP scores don’t actually matter. College admissions officers know how the College Board operates and know that AP scores often do not even accurately reflect a student’s knowledge of a subject. 

According to the College Board itself, “More than 75% of admission officers [the College Board] surveyed said that a low AP score on an AP exam would not harm an applicant’s admission prospects.”

 In fact, most colleges make it optional to report an AP score, so colleges may never know a student’s score anyway. Since not every student must submit their scores, colleges can’t compare each student evenly in the AP category, meaning AP scores don’t carry a lot of weight in the admissions landscape. It’s obvious that low scores don’t matter, but what about high scores?

Some say a high AP score reflects one’s readiness to succeed in college classes, and colleges will be more likely to admit them because of it. 

However, this is simply not true. A high grade in an AP class more accurately reflects a student’s college-level learning over time than one score on a single test. 

High AP scores can decrease college tuition as students may be able to use their score to skip some introductory courses, however this is difficult to do at many colleges and is not as effective for one’s actual learning. AP scores do not accurately indicate one’s level of knowledge, especially because AP courses are generally easier than actual first year college courses, which means students are not gaining the same amount of knowledge in a high school course and are taking the high school exam rather than the college version.

In conclusion, although high AP scores always feel good and seem impressive on a resume, in the long run they don’t matter as much as most people believe in college admissions.