Jul 8, 2013

2013 AP® Scores are NOW Available

NYU permits applicants to substitute AP scores for SAT/ACT scores
In case you didn’t get the email, Advanced Placement (AP®) scores for tests taken last May were officially posted this morning at www.apscore.org. 

With the launch of a new online system, old fashioned snail mail reports have been discontinued in favor of a system that requires you to have a College Board account to access your scores.

And as many on-the-ball students may have noticed, scores began rolling out in waves over the weekend during specific “early access” windows based on geographic location—a move designed to prevent a major clog in the system when AP scores officially became available to thousands of 2013 test-takers. 

So if you haven’t already accessed scores, now is the time to log-in and take a look. 

BUT, to get your scores, you will need
  • an online College Board account requiring registration, and
  • your username and password and
  • your 2013 AP number or student identifier (if you wrote it on your answer sheet)
Clearly the system has a few wrinkles, but unless there was a problem with identification, scoring or test administration, your scores should be waiting for you and will be added (unless you pay to have them removed) to a cumulative report of all AP tests you have taken to-date. 

But if you’re unlucky enough not to have a score report, feel free to contact Score Reporting Services especially if you haven’t received scores by September 1.

And what do the scores mean? AP exams are graded on a scale of 1 to 5:
  • 5:  Extremely well qualified to receive college credit or advanced placement
  • 4:  Well qualified to receive college credit or advanced placement
  • 3:  Qualified to receive college credit or advanced placement
  • 2:  Possibly qualified to receive college credit or advanced placement
  • 1:  No recommendation to receive college credit or advanced placement
You can also think of the five-point scale in terms of letter grades, with 5 equating to an “A” and 1—well, you get the picture.

And what are they worth? The awarding of credit and placement status is determined by individual colleges or universities. You can check directly with the school or on the College Board website to research this information.

In most cases, a student who scores a 4 or 5 will receive college credit. In rare cases, a school may require a 5, and almost no colleges will accept a score of 2. In fact, the most selective schools will not accept a 3 for credit.

Locally, George Mason University will accept a 4 or 5 for credit in specified courses, but will go as low as a 3 for languages, Music Theory, Human Geography, and Computer Science.  Neither Georgetown nor GW will award credit for any score below a 4. 

The University of Virginia generally awards credit for scores of 4 and 5, but allows a score of 3, 4, or 5 on the French exam to fulfill the foreign language requirement.  Students receiving a 3, who wish to continue to study French, may skip to FREN 3031.  That must be one tough test!

AP exam scores may also be used to meet standardized test requirements in the admissions processes of several colleges. Fair Test keeps track of this evolving trend on its Test Score Optional List and includes Bryn Mawr, Colby, Colorado College, Hamilton, Middlebury, and NYU among those colleges and universities allowing AP’s to be submitted in place of ACT/SAT scores.

And to get an idea of where your score stands relative to other students who sat for tests last May, check out Tweets that the College Board’s head of AP, Trevor Packer, has been sending out.

In his Tweets, Mr. Packer debunks the theory that AP Environmental Science is the “easy AP science exam”—in fact, it receives the lowest scores of any AP science.  Evidently, too many students take AP Environmental without taking the prerequisites of standard biology and standard chemistry first.

Teachers and AP administrators will be receiving scores later in the month, and many schools include score distributions in the high school profiles they send with transcripts. This is so colleges can put individual scores reported on applications in context with those earned by others in your class. 

And if you’re considering whether or not to take a specific AP course offered by your high school, these score distributions when correlated with grades can give you a pretty good evaluation of the quality of the class.  But not every high school will provide you with this kind of insider information.

Absent the requirement to register with the College Board, the new online reporting system seems like a more efficient, environmentally-friendly way to get scores.  But be aware.  The College Board can now connect your AP scores with PSAT and SAT scores as well as any information you provide on one of their net price calculators. 

And if you haven’t graduated from high school yet, expect to receive recruitment materials from colleges should the College Board sell your name and contact information to admissions offices anxious to get to know you.

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