Admit it, this is the season of the AP (the Advanced Placement exam). The College Board’s Advanced Placement , or AP, curriculum is a standardized high school curriculum equated with university-level rigor. College admission officers expect to see transcripts laden with AP courses and assume these courses represent an advanced level of achievement. This has many students clamoring for AP courses. Crisp Consulting + Coaching would like to examine the value of the AP courses and their exams.
Represent. Students represent their academic talents by doing well in AP courses and their subsequent exams. Receiving an A in the course and scoring a 3 or lower on the exam can adversely affect a student. Worse, receiving an A in the course and not taking the exam will raise many red flags with admission officers. Doing well in the course and on the corresponding exam allows students to acquire college credit–a very obvious reason to do well on both.
If your school offers few to no AP courses, you are allowed to take these courses at a neighboring school or through an on-line option. Admission officers seek motivated students who have self-studied because it demonstrates intellectual curiosity.
Report. Reporting your AP scores can be confusing. As mentioned, The College Board, the same company responsible for the SAT and SAT Subject Tests, are responsible for the AP exams. Important to remember is that sign up and score delivery are different. Here are your options:
Score Cancellation: If you are confident that your AP exam score is low then you have until June 15 to cancel your score. You must notify the College Board in writing and the score will be deleted (recently, one of our students was incorrectly advised that the date was July 15 and that you COULD see your score before deciding to cancel).
Score withhold: Students with the majority of their AP exam scores in the 4 to 5 range have the option to withhold low scores from schools. The, College Board provides this for a price. The cost is option $12 per school per score. This is a positive option for students taking an AP exam without taking the AP course.
Reserve. Students should reserve the right to NOT list any colleges on their AP exams. This gives the students more options about score reporting. This will require extra fees to receive scores and then send them to select schools. Yet, it will advantageously provide students with a positive academic profile and peace of mind. For more information go to: AP Score Choices.
Remember. One final note: AP information is tough to find on the CollegeBoard.com website. Remember, you have to request your AP scores separately from your SATs. Head here for more info: APCentral.collegeboard.com.
Crisp Consulting + Coaching has information regarding admission, education and school options on our YouTube Channel.
Brian D. Crisp is an independent educational consultant with Crisp Consulting + Coaching who works with families in Asheville, Charleston, and Savannah to optimize and realize their unique educational fit and admission success. As a former professor, administrator, and teacher, Brian has the knowledge and skills to counsel families in all aspects of educational planning.