How important are AP scores in comparison to the AP class grade itself?

By Maxine Seya

How important are AP scores in comparison to the grade you receive from the actual AP class itself?

– Jennifer, a high school student in Illinois

Hey Jennifer. If you are trying to get ahead in your college classes or even graduate early from college, AP scores are way more important than the grade you earn in the actual AP class. We broke down AP scoring and why it matters.

Some people might think AP scores aren’t important because they’re not on your high school transcript. But there are reasons why you should still pay attention to that score.

One of the biggest reasons AP scores still matter is that it gives admissions officers an easy-to-use benchmark to compare applicants’ academic preparation and performance. Since AP tests are administered nationwide, student scores are standardized across the board. For example, a student earning a 3 on an AP Calc exam in Texas probably performed similarly to the student who also earned a 3 on the same exam in Maine.

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Maxine Seya
Maxine Seya is a former investigative journalist, college consultant, and admissions interviewer. She studied at Peking University (Beijing, China) and Université Paul-Valéry (Montpellier, France) and investigated for CNN and Huffington Post before graduating from Northwestern University. She founded SocratesPost to share the human stories behind the admission gates and offer parents clarity as they help their teens with college.