How are AP Exams scored?
After the AP Exams are administered, schools return all paper AP Exam materials to the AP Program. Then:
- The multiple-choice section is scored by computer. Each answer sheet is scanned and the total number of correct responses equals the multiple-choice score.
- The free-response section (essays and open-ended questions) and through-course performance tasks are scored at the annual AP Reading held during the first two weeks in June. Specially appointed college professors and experienced AP teachers score this section of the exam.
- The total scores from the free-response section and the multiple-choice section are combined to form a composite score. These composite scores are then translated into the 5-point scale using statistical processes designed to ensure that, for example, a 3 this year reflects the same level of achievement as a 3 last year.
The above is true for most AP courses. However, the assessments for AP Seminar, AP Research, AP Computer Science Principles, and the three AP Art and Design courses are different. See each course page for details.
Who receives my scores?
You, the college, university, or scholarship program you designated in My AP, and educators in your school and district, including your AP teachers, will automatically receive your scores once they’re released. You can also submit an online order to send your scores to additional colleges and universities for a fee. Your parents don’t have access to your scores, unless you’ve given them your College Board account login information.
If your school, district, or state partners with other educational organizations, your scores and/or personally identifying information may be shared with those specific educational organizations. To find out whether your scores will be shared with any of these organizations, ask your school.
If you’re a resident of the state of Kentucky, your AP Exam scores will automatically be sent to the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority (KHEAA). If you don’t want your scores sent to KHEAA, send us a request. Your request must be received by June 15 of the year you took the exam. Write to: AP Program, Educational Testing Service, 1425 Lower Ferry Road, 29Q, Ewing, NJ 08618. Be sure to include your full name, mailing address, date of birth, gender, eight-digit AP ID, and your six-digit high school code number.
Do colleges look at AP Exam scores when deciding whether to admit an applicant?
Check the admissions websites of the colleges that interest you to see if sending your official scores will help support your application. In general, colleges want to see that you’re taking the most rigorous coursework available to you. By enrolling in AP courses, you demonstrate that you’re interested in challenging yourself and learning at a college level.
If I don't get a good score on an AP Exam, will it hurt my chances for college admission?
When making admission decisions, colleges consider many more factors than just exam scores, including the strength of your coursework and your GPA in rigorous courses. By enrolling in AP courses, you demonstrate that you are interested in challenging yourself and learning at a college level. Taking AP Exams shows colleges you’re willing to work hard and complete college-level work, regardless of your score.
What’s the average score for AP Exams?
How do I save a copy of my AP score report?
A downloadable version of your score report is available in AP Scores for Students in PDF format. This is an unofficial copy of your score report intended for your own records and can’t be used to send to colleges or universities for granting credit or placement. To send an official score report to a college, university, or scholarship program you may also sign in to AP Scores for Students to order one.