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Help contribute to a discussion I am having with a friend.  Having taken an AP class (does not matter if homeschool or B&M) and knowing you are likely to get a 3 at the most and quite possibly a 2 on the AP exam, does it "look better" to not take the exam at all?  A local-to-my-friend's district has a large number of AP students that are historically scoring 2s and 3s.  We are discussing it as her ds is now pleading to not take the exam as he feels it will look better than taking it and scoring low. 

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Well, at a lot of colleges, you can get college credit for a score of 3. Therefore I wouldn't really scoff at at three - though my kids aim for higher.

I think there are lots of factors to consider when deciding to take or not to take the exam in this situation:

  • Do you need an AP exam listed on the transcript to make the transcript more competitive?
  • Will a 3 get the student college credit?
  • Does the student need more college credit?
  • Is is in a subject the student needs to be competitive in? (for example AP Calculus is probably more important than AP history for getting into Georgia Tech, especially as an engineering major)
  • How does this look compared to the rest of the courses/grades the student received?

I think you can make an argument either way - in favor or not of taking the test.

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Look better for admissions?  My understanding is that scores are self-reported on the common app.  It's unclear to me whether officially-sent AP scores are even seen by admissions or are sent directly to the registrar's office for credit and placement.

When self-reporting, a low score can be omitted, looking as if the student didn't take the test, or took it and scored poorly - colleges are not going to know which was the case.  While I've seen some people suggest that the college will assume the worst (low score), intuitively I imagine that app readers aren't devoting time to conjecture on whether the test wasn't taken or whether the score was low, but simply moving on as there's no data point - too little time.

Some colleges award credit for a 3.  I'd suggest taking the test to see what happens.

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If he does take the test and scores a 1 or a 2, (my boys both managed that for at least one test!) then you can write and request the score be removed from the record. That way if a college does require test scores to be sent from the Collegeboard (and the schools my youngest has just applied to did all request that), that one won't show up.

If he is doing a number of APs you definitely want to remove the 1s and 2s as those will make it hard for students to an AP Scholar, AP Scholar with Distinction etc

 

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23 minutes ago, merylvdm said:

If he does take the test and scores a 1 or a 2, (my boys both managed that for at least one test!) then you can write and request the score be removed from the record. That way if a college does require test scores to be sent from the Collegeboard (and the schools my youngest has just applied to did all request that), that one won't show up.

Mind if I ask what colleges asked for AP scores to be sent from College Board?  I was under the impression that no colleges require an official AP score report for admission purposes, but only later, for placement and credit.

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I was intrigued to see that even a 1-2 On a couple exams would earn credit for some courses at our local university system.  There is a wide variety of credit practices.

One thing I'd suggest before he decide is to run some possible mc and frq scores through a score generator.  Students don't have to be anywhere near perfect to get ok scores on the exam.

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The first year DD16took an AP exam, she did horrible - she had the crud and had just got off the airplane a few hours before after traveling all night (couldn’t be helped). We had that score removed from her AP record.  She took the test again the next year as part of her BC Calculaus exam and scored a 5 on th AB portion, so it psid off to remove the score.

With an expectation of a 2 or 3? Sure, DD would go ahead and take the test.  Since AP Scores are self-reported (you have to request to have them sent to the school) just wait to send them until you see the scores and whether it will make any difference to admissions or credit.

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2 hours ago, mirabillis said:

i know this has been shown before and i could search, but others following this thread may be interested.

Can you tell us how to remove an AP score from your record?

There's info on the AP site here on Score Withholding and Score Cancellation.

 

Score Withholding

You can withhold one or more scores from the college specified on your registration answer sheet (the first answer sheet you filled out) or from any other college to which you want to send a score report. The score will be withheld from any future score reports sent to that particular college. A request to withhold a score does not permanently delete your score. You may later release the score to that college by mailing or faxing a signed written request to AP Services for Students. There is no charge to release scores.

To withhold your score(s), send the AP Score Withholding Form to the address on the form based on your payment method.

To release your score, send your signed written request to:

AP Services
P.O. Box 6671
Princeton, NJ 08541-6671
Fax: 610-290-8979

 

 

$10 per score per college to withhold, plus $15 per report for standard delivery or $25 per report for rush delivery to send the score report to the college. June 15, 2018 to withhold scores from the college indicated on your 2018 AP registration answer sheet. AP Score Withholding Form (.pdf/536KB)
   
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Score Cancellation

Canceling your AP Exam score permanently deletes it — it cannot be reinstated at a later time. Scores may be canceled at any time. Once you request a cancellation, the exam will not be scored, and a score for that exam will never be available. (Archived scores cannot be canceled.) While there is no fee for this service, your exam fee is not refunded.

To cancel your score, send this form to:

AP Services
P.O. Box 6671
Princeton, NJ 08541-6671
Fax: 610-290-8979

 

No fee. June 15, 2018 for scores not to be sent to the college indicated on your 2018 AP registration answer sheet. AP Score Cancellation Form (.pdf/520KB)
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On 4/12/2018 at 2:50 PM, merylvdm said:

If he does take the test and scores a 1 or a 2, (my boys both managed that for at least one test!) then you can write and request the score be removed from the record. That way if a college does require test scores to be sent from the Collegeboard (and the schools my youngest has just applied to did all request that), that one won't show up.

If he is doing a number of APs you definitely want to remove the 1s and 2s as those will make it hard for students to an AP Scholar, AP Scholar with Distinction etc

 

 

it seems score CANCELLATION is before you even know the score yourself. it seems meryl knew her boys' scores before she requested removal. so i don't think it was score cancellation.

WITHHOLDING would still affect your AP Scholar status... so i don't think she did score withholding either.

is there a 3rd option?

my ds is retaking an AP this year (got a 3 last year) and if he scores better, would love it scrubbed from the official record for AP Scholar purposes...

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@mirabillis  We canceled the scores after receiving them. It was cancelation and they both became AP Scholar's with Distinction which they could not have done if they had kept those scores. One got it in 9th grade and one in 10th. If you got to this page - https://apscore.collegeboard.org/scores/score-reporting/  you will see it says "June 15, 2018 for scores not to be sent to the college indicated on your 2018 AP registration answer sheet." As my boys were in 9th and 10th grade they didn't put down any schools to send the scores to at that point.   A 3 isn't a bad score - my kids all kept their 3s. And even got college credit for some of them.  And I think all my kids had at least one 3 and all have been AP scholars with Honors or Distinction. 

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OP back.  Thanks for the input.  My friend did not know that AP scores are self-reporting so I think that changes the game for them.  She also now highly suspects that her ds would like to be off the hook for the final preparations for the exam.

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20 minutes ago, Janeway said:

If he does not want to take it, then don't bother. A 2 or a 3 won't transfer to most 4 year colleges. 3's will often transfer to community colleges but not 4 year ones.

Many four year universities give college credit for a 3. I spent five minutes checking five different state universities (IL, NM, MO, OK, OR) and all grant credit for a score of 3 on AP exams in some subjects.

 

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26 minutes ago, Janeway said:

If he does not want to take it, then don't bother. A 2 or a 3 won't transfer to most 4 year colleges. 3's will often transfer to community colleges but not 4 year ones.

While some schools don't grant as much AP credit as others, and there can be restrictions based on major, I think it goes too far to say that MOST 4 year schools won't grant credit for a score of 3.

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On 4/14/2018 at 4:36 PM, yvonne said:

Withholding SAT subject exam scores is much easier. You just click on the individual scores you want to include while you're filling out the online score report sending form.
 

Although some (at first glance most highly selective) colleges request all scores. My understanding is you can't delete any SAT scores taken in high school, and for colleges asking for all scores, every single one needs to be released even if there was a retake. If anybody knows otherwise, please chime in. I am always blurry about those things. 

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20 minutes ago, Roadrunner said:

Although some (at first glance most highly selective) colleges request all scores. My understanding is you can't delete any SAT scores taken in high school, and for colleges asking for all scores, every single one needs to be released even if there was a retake. If anybody knows otherwise, please chime in. I am always blurry about those things. 

That’s a good question. Personally, I don’t know if I’d have any qualms about cancelling a score, even after the fact, and not reporting it, but I haven’t btdt yet.

Is there a list of colleges/universities that require all test scores? I’ve heard this, but I don’t think I came across it in any of the LACs or UCs my kids applied to.  That may just be because it isn’t an issue for my boys. Might matter for my dd, though.  

That’s another question... Does “all test scores” include APs and SAT subject tests?  

 

ETA: Missed that it’s mostly highly selective colleges. It would still be interesting if there were a list somewhere. 

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31 minutes ago, yvonne said:

That’s a good question. Personally, I don’t know if I’d have any qualms about cancelling a score, even after the fact, and not reporting it, but I haven’t btdt yet.

Is there a list of colleges/universities that require all test scores? I’ve heard this, but I don’t think I came across it in any of the LACs or UCs my kids applied to.  That may just be because it isn’t an issue for my boys. Might matter for my dd, though.  

That’s another question... Does “all test scores” include APs and SAT subject tests?  

 

ETA: Missed that it’s mostly highly selective colleges. It would still be interesting if there were a list somewhere. 

Don't take my word. We haven't dug enough to say that it's just highly selective ones, but I have seen that from some of the highly selective ones. I was under the impression that the requirement to submit all applies to only SAT scores both subject and regular (but again, I am so not sure about this and I am hoping somebody with more knowledge chimes in) and not AP. 

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1 hour ago, yvonne said:

That’s a good question. Personally, I don’t know if I’d have any qualms about cancelling a score, even after the fact, and not reporting it, but I haven’t btdt yet.

Is there a list of colleges/universities that require all test scores? I’ve heard this, but I don’t think I came across it in any of the LACs or UCs my kids applied to.  That may just be because it isn’t an issue for my boys. Might matter for my dd, though.  

That’s another question... Does “all test scores” include APs and SAT subject tests?  

 

ETA: Missed that it’s mostly highly selective colleges. It would still be interesting if there were a list somewhere. 

And now I wonder if this is where I got it, and they have UCs on the list. 

 

https://blog.prepscholar.com/colleges-requiring-all-sat-scores-complete-list

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I think when schools refer all scores they are mostly talking about the ACT and the SAT Reasoning Test.  However the SAT Subject Test scores are on the same score report as the SAT Reasoning Test.  So unless you withhold or cancel a score it goes with the rest of the score report.

When CB introduced Score Choice, I looked at what colleges had as their policies and it seemed like Score Choice made a lot of money for CB and didnt have that much benefit for the student.

 

Fwiw, my kids did not have all 700+ Subject Test scores and still had good college acceptances results.  (The one place it probably mattered was for my kid who applied to Carnegie Mellon. The average student there is quite high stat. My kid hit their averages  but didn't  stand out.) 

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So just to triple check. It’s not possible to cancel SAT subject score, but it’s possibke to withhold it even if schools are asking for all scores because they are asking for all reasoning test scores and not the subject ones. If this is correct, it certainly helps reduce some  pressure!

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Thanks for hunting down a list, Roadrunner. I don't see anything specifically about whether SAT subject scores  or AP scores are included in "all SAT/ACT scores must be reported."  Stanford, for example, says that SAT scores are required, but SAT subject scores are optional. Guess one just has to check for each school.

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48 minutes ago, yvonne said:

Thanks for hunting down a list, Roadrunner. I don't see anything specifically about whether SAT subject scores  or AP scores are included in "all SAT/ACT scores must be reported."  Stanford, for example, says that SAT scores are required, but SAT subject scores are optional. Guess one just has to check for each school.

And now I am wondering if this only applies to schools that require SAT subject tests, and those schools are really few. 

This was a useful exercise. :)

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