2 years ago
Admissions Advice

How can I show course rigor if I am a junior


So I recently turned my thoughts on high school around. I didn't care until now. However, I am facing the consequences. To make up for low course rigor, I planned to take the AP courses offered on Khan academy and take the exams. I completely forgot that you could only take the AP exams during May, which means I won't be able to submit them by the time applications come. As for my senior year, I am taking all honors and 3 AP classes. But again, I won't be able to submit the exam score by the time applications come around.

If anyone has a solution to this, it would be hugely appreciated. And for more info, I was planning on studying during the summer. Even if I can't submit my test scores, if I could show it on my transcript that would be hugely beneficial for me too.

Thank you.

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2 answers

2 years ago

The AP exams only take place in May, so I don't think that there's any real workaround to that problem. You could include the Khan Academy classes in your college applications if you don't find a different way to get credit for them.

As for your classes senior year, you can either say that you're going to take them in the application (This can be questionable because as you said, they don't get the grades/AP scores) or rely on your grades from the Fall semester of senior year to show your work on improving yourself, as the colleges will use these in the application (unless you apply ED).

What I would ultimately recommend is:

1. Contact the AP support at College Board to make sure that you can't find another way to get AP scores

2. Make your maturing/becoming more academically focused a big part of your personal essays, as this will help to show how much you have grown and wish to grow at college in the future

3. You can include a portfolio of the online classes you take that don't give credit/appear on your transcript with your college applications. This will of course be less effective than an actual class, but it helps to show your eagerness to learn outside of the classroom. Also, make sure to write an accompanying paragraph with each included class about why you took it, what you learned, how much it interested you, etc.

Good luck! I hope you find success with your applications next year.

2 years ago

I recommend reading this CollegeVine guide to self-studying for AP exams. One of the tips there is reaching out to your AP exam provider - they may be able to help you submit your scores early.

In any case, you can explain your situation in the Additional Info section of your applications. Be sure to explain why you became motivated to turn your high school performance around and demonstrate how you have done so across the board, even beyond taking AP classes. If your efforts result in being waitlisted, the waitlist notification will come late enough for you to be able to update the school with your AP exam scores. You will be able to do so by writing a letter of continued interest to the school. Hope this helps!

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Duke University
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Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


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