How to Send Your AP Scores to Colleges
If you’re applying to college, you probably know that logistically you are going to need to manage your applications from multiple angles. Not only do you need to get the application itself filled out in time, but also you need to arrange for recommendations from teachers and counselors, along with score reports from your standardized tests.
Sometimes, we at CollegeVine hear from students who want to know how they can go about sending their AP scores to colleges. While this seems like a straightforward question, the answer is a little more complex than one might expect. To learn more about reporting your AP scores, don’t miss this post.
Who Needs to Report AP Scores?
Different colleges have different testing policies, so there is no single exact answer for who needs to report AP scores. It all depends on what colleges you’re applying to and what their individual testing policies are.
For the most part, though, we find that most colleges don’t request an official AP score report with your application. Instead, verification of AP scores often takes place once you’ve committed to attending.
One exception to this rule is when schools have a flexible testing policy that allows students to submit AP scores in lieu of SAT or SAT Subject Tests. For example, at NYU, applicants can submit three AP scores instead of SAT or ACT scores. In this case, students will need to send an official AP score report when they apply.
Before you decide exactly how you will report your AP scores, you’ll need to decide exactly which colleges you’re applying to, and do a thorough job of researching the exact test requirements at each school. If you can’t find the information on the school’s admissions website, it’s a good idea to call or email the admissions office to double check.
Once you know what type of score report is necessary for each of the colleges you plan to apply to, you can decide which of the following three methods to use for reporting your scores.
Self-Reporting AP Scores
Most applications, including the Common Application, Coalition Application, and QuestBridge National College Match Application, include fields for you to self report your AP scores. You can use these fields to report your own AP scores, but keep in mind that if you are accepted, you may be required to submit an actual, official score report. Obviously it would be ill advised to report anything other than your actual scores here.
While some colleges will request an official score report before you enroll, this is not always the case. For some colleges, you’ll only need to self-report your scores, even if you are accepted. An official AP score report would only be necessary if you wanted to receive college credit or use the tests to place out of introductory level classes.
Reporting AP Scores on High School Transcripts
Sometimes, particularly if you take your AP tests through an enrolled class at your school, your AP score will be included on your official high school transcript. While this isn’t a replacement for an official score report directly from the CollegeBoard, it is sometimes enough to verify your scores at certain colleges. Even if your transcript includes AP scores, you should still self-report your scores in the fields on your application, since this is the spot where the admissions committee will look first.
If your college requests a score report, ask your counselor if your AP scores will be included on your high school transcript and then verify if this type of report is sufficient for the college’s purposes. It is more likely to suffice for the purposes of placing out of introductory classes or earning college credit, but sometimes your college will still request an official score report.
Requesting Official AP Score Reports
The final option for reporting your AP scores is through an official AP score report, issued directly by the CollegeBoard. There are two ways to request this.
The first way to request an official AP score report is on your test day. Each year when you take AP exams, you are offered the chance to send one official score report free of charge. You can only take advantage of this by entering the four-digit code of your intended college on your AP score sheet in the appropriate box. There will be a list of school codes in your AP booklet, just in case you need to look yours up.
Keep in mind that it doesn’t make sense to send these official score reports during your sophomore or junior year, since they will be incomplete until you’ve taken all of your AP tests and because you won’t know for certain where you’re attending college. It’s best to take advantage of this option during your senior year when you are taking your final tests and already know where you’ll be attending. This is a free way to ensure that the college you plan to attend receives the official score report that they might request.
The other way to send an official score report is by requesting one through the CollegeBoard website. To do so, you’ll need to login to your CollegeBoard account online and then request a score report and input the school code. This service costs $15 per school, or $25 per school for a rushed report.
Remember that your official AP score report is cumulative, no matter when or how you request it. This means that unless you have gone into your account on the CollegeBoard website and specifically requested to withhold a test score, all test scores up until the time of request will be included on your report.
AP scores are just one piece of the bigger college admissions picture, and ultimately they are only considered by an admissions committee within a much larger picture. To learn more about fine-tuning your college list, perfecting your application, and polishing your final profile as an applicant, consider the benefits of the CollegeVine Mentorship Program, which provides access to practical advice on topics from college admissions to career aspirations, all from successful college students.
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