How bad does a bad AP CS A score look for a CS major?Answered
I am a sophomore in HS, and I’m taking 2 APs this year, my first APs ever and they are APCSA and APWH. I was on track to do okay on both but suddenly our family’s mental situation spiraled as our extended family are in an area where covid is raging and our entire family is on edge. This has caused my mental aptitude to spiral and I simply cannot remember anything I learned this year because of it. I’m sure I am not going to score high on both exams this year. I’m so worried for AP CS A as a CS major. I have good grades but I’m so worried about how this test will look. My counselor is aware of what is going on. So do my teachers. How badly will these AP scores affect me? (Or voided scores affect me in college admissions?)
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AP Exam scores are not considered in the admissions process for the vast majority of colleges. For most places, you don't need to submit them until after you are accepted and you are enrolling for your classes. Even then, it is optional. Don't worry about it. I am sorry for the troubles you are going through, and I hope things get better!
I would advise you to take the AP CS A exam because it will look better than not trying. With that being said, if you have a situation that is impacting you academically, make sure to explain it when you apply to colleges. There is a section in the common app for example, that allows you to do that. By the way, this might sound insensitive but I want to tell you to aim for at least a 3 if you don't think you can score high on the AP exams. A 3 would tell the colleges that you are at least decent at the subject and in some colleges, still provide some form of credit. Regarding bad AP scores, they don't really affect you as long as you don't get so many of them. You can also try to prove your expertise in computer science in competitions (I think USACO is a good one) and other events to show that your AP CS A score doesn't reflect your abilities. For example, I took the Chemistry Subject Test to make up for my AP Chemistry grade if that makes any sense.
I hope this helped but if not, hopefully someone else provides a better answer.
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