2 years ago
Admissions Advice

Will reporting self-study AP exam scores make my application look bad?

I'm an M22 IB Diploma Candidate. Target majors are Biomedical Engineering or Electrical Engineering.

I self-studied for a couple of AP exams between my Freshmen and Junior years and got 5s in all of them. At the moment I'm thinking of reporting 4 (Physics C E&M, Physics C Mech, Biology, Stats). FYI our school doesn't offer any AP courses.

The main reason I took these are because AP Physics C exams are calculus-based physics unlike the IB Physics course, and since you can only take up to two sciences as part of the IB Diploma (I'm taking IB Physics and Chemistry in school), I'm not taking a Biology course in school. Stats because I'm taking the Math AA course and so we do very little statistics in school. Reckoned these will supplement my school courses well..

However I've read on some other forums that self-studying for APs are a turnoff for admissions officers. Should I still report the four scores?

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3 answers

Accepted Answer
2 years ago

Firstly, Welcome to CollegeVine!

A lot of the information I had read from a google search about reporting self-study ap exams seems to be all over the place, so I can't answer this one with a 100%.

However, a trend I saw in those who said it is bad is that self-studying is bad compared to taking the class itself. Which, is true in some senses. However, seeing as you have taken IB Physics and other classes that roughly align with the AP test (ex. AP Phys C), this shouldn't be a problem.

Lastly, submitting 5's is a great way to get college credit for free if your college offers it!

Ultimately, whether you report your ap test scores depends on your risk tolerance. Are you willing to take the bet on the scores will only help / won't change my app? Or will you stay safe and impress admission officers with your IB classes? It depends on you. Overall though, AP test scores are valued less and less over the years, so this choice likely won't be the biggest of your app. Good luck and stay safe!

2 years ago

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2 years ago

Self study AP can be a turn off like you said because if the admissions committee wants to see your grades throughout the class they don't have access to that. I think you should still submit because self studying and getting 5's in all of this is quite impressive. If you do get accepted and haven't reported your AP scores I think you'll have to end up taking those classes again so it is better to submit them. I think this would help rather than hurt you. Good luck!!

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Duke University
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Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
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