a year ago
Admissions Advice

If I take the an AP class without taking the exam will it count against me?

i'm a high school junior and I take AP courses from an online accredited provider, I'm currently taking AP psychology, AP environmental science, AP computer science principles and I'm also taking the exam.I was planning on taking more AP classes and not take the exam will that look bad to colleges.


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Accepted Answer
a year ago

Hi @scholar-_-

Taking the APs class and no exams may or may not count against you when you apply to certain colleges.

Some schools like Williams or Brown don't give college credit for AP test scores so what they are looking for is evidence of course rigor. If you get As in your APs, I'm sure that's okay with colleges that don't give out AP credit.

Other colleges that are more lenient and generous with giving out college credit are State universities like the UC system in CA. Submitting a 3, 4, or 5 will most likely earn you college credit applied toward your degree. So if you are competing for a spot at UCLA or UC Berkeley with other students from your school district that have taken 5-10 APs and have submitted all their APs test scores, they may weigh this as having more evidence that those other applicants mastered the material more than you did because they sat for the AP Tests and did well in them.

In college admissions, the more data points you bring to the table the better. So if you have high SAT or ACT test scores, submit them. If you have high AP or IB test scores, submit them. The applicant that has more evidence of course rigor, intellectual vitality, and love of learning will always stand out to an admissions officer.

Since you are directly competing with other students in your school, school district, and neighboring zip codes for the few available seats at top colleges, you have to make your own decisions on how you craft your academic and EC narrative to stand out. Sometimes deliberately choosing the path of least resistance is not what college admissions officers want to see. If you don't take any risks, they will see that behavioral attribute as debilitating to your future success as a college student. They may not view this as taking a shortcut but they might see this as a missed opportunity to challenge one's self because you can't be bothered with studying and completing AP curricula for what it was designed to be.

There are many people in academia who think the AP curriculum is 2 parts, the classroom coursework and the exam at the end of the year in May.

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