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AP Scores Available July 1st

Posted by Vin Gaeta on Thu, Jul 01, 2010 @ 09:07 AM

AP qualifying scores 3If you took an AP exam this spring, scores will be available by phone beginning July 1st. A little later in July you, your high school, and any designated colleges will receive your scores by mail. But if you can't wait a few days, you can take advantage of the College Board's AP Automated Score Reporting Services. As far as college admissions go, getting your scores a few days early makes no difference. But if you're losing sleep wondering whether you got a 4 or 5 on that AP History exam, it may be worth the $8 to get the score over the phone.

Question: Is My AP Score Good Enough?

Answer: AP scores are much more straight-forward than SAT scores or ACT scores since the AP is graded on a simple 5-point scale. However, not every college treats AP scores the same way.

Students who take the AP exam will get a score ranging from 1 to 5. The College Board defines the numbers as follows:

  1. 5 - Extremely well qualified to receive college credit

  2. 4 - Well qualified to receive college credit

  3. 3 - Qualified to receive college credit

  4. 2 - Possibly qualified to receive college credit

  5. 1 - No recommendation to receive college credit

The five-point scale, probably not coincidentally, can also be thought of in terms of letter grades:

  1. 5 - "A"

  2. 4 - "B"

  3. 3 - "C"

  4. 2 - "D"

  5. 1 - "F"

The average score on all AP exams is slightly below a 3. In 2008, of the nearly 3 million AP exams administered, the grades broke down as follows:

  1. 5 - 14% of test takers

  2. 4 - 19% of test takers

  3. 3 - 24% of test takers

  4. 2 - 22% of test takers

  5. 1 - 21% of test takers

Now for the bad news: Although the College Board defines a 2 as "possibly qualified" to receive college credit, almost no college will accept a score of 2. In fact, most selective colleges will not accept a 3 for college credit.

In the majority of cases, a student who scores a 4 or 5 will receive college credit. In rare cases, a school may require a 5. The exact guidelines vary from college to college, and they often vary from department to department within a college. At Hamilton College, for example, a student can receive credit for a 3 in Latin, but a 5 is required in Economics.

by Allen Grove, About.com