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05/19/2020 at 10:09PM
Admissions Advice

Should I retake AP Computer Science A next year?

I took APCS this year and received an A both semesters. However, I know I didn’t do well for the exam. The thing is, my high school puts all your AP scores on your transcript (so you can’t hide them) and I’m very passionate about the subject. My question is, should I cancel my score before it comes out so it won’t look bad, retake it next year to get a higher score, or do nothing knowing that it doesn’t look good for someone planning on majoring in Computer Science in college. I would really appreciate your feedback on this issue because it has been driving me crazy the past few days. Thank you.


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2 answers

Accepted Answer
05/20/2020 at 05:14PM

colleges care way, way more about your grades in the actual class than the AP score. colleges do want to see you do well in your areas of interest, but AP scores are very low on the totem pole of things they care about. like, at the very bottom of it—for example, they care about your freshman year grades way more than your AP scores. if you got an A in the class and have other activities or experiences that affirm your interest in CS (like a club or a website you've built or something like that), i really wouldn't worry about the score that much.

also not sure whether you're talking about retaking the class or just the exam. if you mean the class, you should think about what it would look like to colleges if you retake an AP course that you received an A in. the only readings of that are 1) you thought it would be an easy-A to take it again, which they won't like, or b) you retook it just to raise your AP score to look better, which they also won't like. so definitely do not take the class again. the exam is more something you could absolutely do if you wanted, but i wouldn't worry about it when you could be taking other things.

05/19/2020 at 10:23PM

Depending on how bad your score was, I'd say retake it if it's below a 4 because colleges want to see that you excel in subjects that interest you. By the way, are you allowed to retake only the exam? If so, you should retake it although you'll have to pay another ~$100. Honestly, AP scores only matter if you want college credit; nonetheless, if you are interested in pursuing a prestigious CS school like MIT, then I suggest that you retake the exam next year. I hope this helps! Good luck!


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