How AP Exams Are Scored
Debunking the Myth of the Perfect 5

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Throughout a student’s academic career, they will be evaluated through many grades and standardized tests. The Advanced Placement Exam serves as much more than just an evaluation of knowledge that a student obtains during the course, but as an assessment of how much information was retained throughout the year. AP Exams can also earn students credit that will help place them out of introductory courses when they get to college.

According to College Board, AP Exams are scored on a scale from 1 to 5: 5 = extremely well qualified 4 = well qualified 3 = qualified 2 = possibly qualified 1 = no recommendation

Depending on the difficulty level of the exam, most colleges will give students credit for scoring 4 or 5 on an AP test. Some colleges give credit for scoring a 3.

A common misconception that many students have is that they think that they need to get a perfect score (100%) on their AP exams. Unlike the SAT, scaling is different per exam, but in general, if a student gets 70% of the questions correct, they can still end up with a 5. To learn more about how AP exams are scored, visit the College Board web page on AP scores.

AP exams are meant to showcase a student’s academic strengths. We suggest that students not take too many and focus on excelling at a few.

Dr. Yan, a tenured college professor and 7EDU instructor, has helped students achieve high test scores through her mentoring at 7EDU. Read about her tips for the AP Calculus and SAT Math on our blog page.

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