If I took a AP exam during the pandemic and received a 2 should I report it?
Im planning on applying to some ivy leagues and I hear that AP exams is going to be weighed more because of the new test optional policies. I am a senior and I am going to take 6 APs in total. I didn't do so well on my AP lit test and i'm wondering if I should submit it. My counselor says yes because it was a pandemic and that influenced my score, but I don't want to make excuses. If I report it, im scared it will reflect badly on me especially because i'm applying to really selective schools (5-13% acceptance rates) and other people got good scores in the pandemic. AP exam highest score is a 5.
Some of my stats:
Unable to take SAT & ACT
AP Literature 2
AP psychology 4 (outside of a pandemic)
4.35 GPA in the decile ranking at my school
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No, do not report the "2" in AP Lit. I can't imagine a circumstance where you would ever want to report a non-passing AP test score to an Ivy League college. If you were given the option to report a "D" on AP Lit on your official transcript versus a Pass/Fail, would you actually opt in to submit your "D"grade? I highly doubt it.
The pandemic affected everyone yet millions of kids took APs, SAT 2s, SATs, ACTs, and yes some have awesome scores. While you were not able to take the ACT or SAT, please remember than there are hundreds of thousands of kids that took them in 10th and 11th grade because they were pro-active and now they are submitting them and reporting their 34s and 35s and 1500s and 1550s because they all took them in 2019 or 2018. So while colleges are being very equitable on the surface for making std. tests optional, if you have a great test score, they will fold that into their admissions decision. So imagine it's a brownie baking contest where every year for the past 50 years, the recipe calls for a chocolate brownie with nuts. Then this year, they say since some of you can't find nuts due to the pandemic so you can submit your brownie without nuts because now nuts are optional. But if you have nuts, you can submit your brownie with nuts. Since all the judges are the same judges, they still have the muscle memory to remember that every single contest winner in the past submitted brownies with nuts but now they have to judge brownies with nuts and without nuts. How is the judging going to work out? Some are going to be fair, some are going to revert to what they feel makes sense to them regardless of what the rules or policies are. It's really a guessing game so the major rule is to err on the side of caution.
Did your college counselor share with you that all the Ivys got 20% to 60% more applications for ED/REA this November 1?
Did your college counselor share with you that the ED/REA admit rates are 33% to 90% harder than last year's. (MIT only accepted 4.74% and Havard 7.4% and Columbia less than 10%).
Did your college counselor share with you that you are competing for fewer seats this year because up to 20% of Ivy Class of 24' took gap years and now want their spot back to join the Class of 2025?
Did your college counselor share with you there are record numbers of deferrals this year?
I'm sharing this with you because you can't rely on what your counselor is telling you. He/she/they will have their job next year and so forth but you only apply to college once, so make it count.
Make sure things you can control like the quality of your essays are the very best you can produce. That matters
Make sure you get the very best recommendations you can possibly get. That matters.
Make sure your mid-year grades kick ass as well. Everyone will look at them.
Lastly, make sure you add 3 or 4 schools to your list because the stats are not going anyone's way. 1/2 the Ivys are going to be record low under 5% admit rates. I'm guessing the next 3 are going to be in the 6-8% rate and Cornell under 10% for the first time in history. Since there is a mad rush of applicants to crowd the Ivys, think about other alternatives where you can get an excellent education like CMC, Pomona, Williams, Swarthmore, Amherst, Vassar, Colgate, Hamilton, Haverford, Tufts, Bowdoin as well.
Good luck in your college application process.
I would strongly advise you not to report your score of a 2. First of all, very few schools would even give you college credit for this score. Second, Ivy league admission officers would view this score as quite concerning. AP scores maybe be slightly more important than usual this year, but they are still no where near as important as your grades in your AP courses. And even if AP scores were MUCH more important than usual, a low AP score (1-3) would still damage your applications to very elite schools. So long as you received a decent grade in the course, you have nothing to worry about.
I would most likely report your AP Lit Score.
-You will find conflicting opinions on whether to submit 2s or not; it partially depends on whether the school you apply for will accept a 2 as credit. It may be a good idea to report to some schools and not to others; I would do some research on which schools accept 2s on which tests.
One website notes: "This score is usually not accepted by colleges unless there are extenuating circumstances. A 2 means that you may have studied hard and prepared; however, something may have gone amiss while taking your exam. Perhaps you did not truly understand the material or did not utilize it properly."
-A few things to keep in mind:
~The College Board says that a score of 2 = "possibly qualified" for college credit.
~An article by College Board noted this: "𝘐𝘧 𝘐 𝘥𝘰𝘯'𝘵 𝘨𝘦𝘵 𝘢 𝘨𝘰𝘰𝘥 𝘴𝘤𝘰𝘳𝘦 𝘰𝘯 𝘢𝘯 𝘈𝘗 𝘌𝘹𝘢𝘮, 𝘸𝘪𝘭𝘭 𝘪𝘵 𝘩𝘶𝘳𝘵 𝘮𝘺 𝘤𝘩𝘢𝘯𝘤𝘦𝘴 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘤𝘰𝘭𝘭𝘦𝘨𝘦 𝘢𝘥𝘮𝘪𝘴𝘴𝘪𝘰𝘯?
𝘔𝘰𝘴𝘵 𝘭𝘪𝘬𝘦𝘭𝘺 𝘯𝘰𝘵. 𝘞𝘩𝘦𝘯 𝘮𝘢𝘬𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘢𝘥𝘮𝘪𝘴𝘴𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘥𝘦𝘤𝘪𝘴𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘴, 𝘤𝘰𝘭𝘭𝘦𝘨𝘦𝘴 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘴𝘪𝘥𝘦𝘳 𝘮𝘢𝘯𝘺 𝘮𝘰𝘳𝘦 𝘧𝘢𝘤𝘵𝘰𝘳𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘯 𝘫𝘶𝘴𝘵 𝘦𝘹𝘢𝘮 𝘴𝘤𝘰𝘳𝘦𝘴, 𝘪𝘯𝘤𝘭𝘶𝘥𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘴𝘵𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘨𝘵𝘩 𝘰𝘧 𝘺𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘤𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘴𝘦𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘬 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘺𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘎𝘗𝘈 𝘪𝘯 𝘳𝘪𝘨𝘰𝘳𝘰𝘶𝘴 𝘤𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘴𝘦𝘴. 𝘉𝘺 𝘦𝘯𝘳𝘰𝘭𝘭𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘪𝘯 𝘈𝘗 𝘤𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘴𝘦𝘴 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘥𝘦𝘮𝘰𝘯𝘴𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘵𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘪𝘯 𝘤𝘩𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘦𝘯𝘨𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘺𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘴𝘦𝘭𝘧 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘭𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘯𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘢𝘵 𝘢 𝘤𝘰𝘭𝘭𝘦𝘨𝘦 𝘭𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘭. 𝘔𝘰𝘳𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘯 75% 𝘰𝘧 𝘢𝘥𝘮𝘪𝘴𝘴𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘰𝘧𝘧𝘪𝘤𝘦𝘳𝘴 𝘸𝘦 𝘴𝘶𝘳𝘷𝘦𝘺𝘦𝘥 𝘵𝘰𝘭𝘥 𝘶𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘢 𝘭𝘰𝘸 𝘴𝘤𝘰𝘳𝘦 𝘰𝘯 𝘢𝘯 𝘈𝘗 𝘌𝘹𝘢𝘮 𝘸𝘰𝘶𝘭𝘥 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘩𝘢𝘳𝘮 𝘢𝘯 𝘢𝘱𝘱𝘭𝘪𝘤𝘢𝘯𝘵’𝘴 𝘢𝘥𝘮𝘪𝘴𝘴𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘴𝘱𝘦𝘤𝘵𝘴."
~The fact that you took the AP Exam at all, especially in 2020, will look favorably to colleges.
~As you mentioned, colleges will probably be more lenient due to the special circumstances of COVID-19.
-If there is space on your application I would try to write something about how the AP Exam experience challenged you and helped you grow academically.
-Here is an article by CollegeVine about reporting poor AP scores: https://blog.collegevine.com/how-to-report-bad-ap-results/
-Other users may disagree with me: weigh the various arguments and opinions carefully and make your own rational decision.
Hope this helps!