To Report an AP Score or Not to Report an AP Score, Tips to Answer the Question

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Independent education consultant Mandee Heller Adler, CEO and founder of International College Counselors, weighs in on AP grade reporting for high school students taking any AP exam.

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International College Counselors

It is not likely that any one AP grade submitted, no matter how low, will fatally wound a student.

To report the AP exam or not to report the AP exam, that is this week’s question. Starting on May 4, over 2 million students will take almost 4 million AP exams. After taking one of the many various exams, there are usually three ways a student will feel: Great. Good. And awful.

Students who think they did great or good, congratulations. Students who believe they scored a 1 or a 2, or are not sure how they did, should know they can withhold or cancel their score.

Because AP grades are released in July, any request for changes in reporting must be received by June 15 of the year in which a student took the exam. Said independent education consultant Mandee Heller Adler, CEO and founder of International College Counselors, “It is not likely that any one AP grade submitted, no matter how low, will fatally wound a student.”

Canceling vs. Withholding

Canceling AP scores

Canceling an AP score permanently means the grade will never, ever be seen again and it’s deleted from a student’s record forever.

The option to cancel a score helps a number of students. Some of those students took an AP course but found that the class didn’t cover all the information on the test or they didn’t study for the test as much as they should have. (And this happens more than one would think.) This option also encourages the risk takers, the students who take an AP exam in a subject they might not have taken the class for. (They’re the ones who study a lot on their own).

To stop a score or scores from being sent to the college indicated on an AP registration answer sheet, a student must send the College Board a Score Cancellation Form – filled out correctly with a parent/guardian’s signature -- and mail or fax it to the address on the form by June 15 of the year in which a student took the exam.

Keep in mind, if a request for a score cancellation is made before a score is received, the exam will not be scored, and a score for that exam will never be available.

Withholding AP scores

Withholding a score means students may have one or more scores withheld from the colleges indicated on their answer sheet. This gives a student the chance to see their scores before the colleges. The score may be later released to that college by sending AP Services a signed written request.

Educational consultants at International College Counselors suggest not sending scores to any colleges before the beginning of July. The reasoning is as follows: with a test, as explained to our education consultants by an AP representative, a student only gets to send scores to one school free, any others are $15. In other words, if a student chooses to withhold his or her scores from all the colleges until the scores are known, the student is only “losing” $15. Many students can think of the $15 as “insurance”. It is easy to see the scores and then send them in if this is desired.

A student can withhold a score if it was already in, but if a student took one or more AP tests this year, the recommendation is to wait until early July. Sometime during the first two weeks of July, scores for the 2015 exams can be viewed online at apscore.org.

To withhold a score, a student must notify the College Board by sending them a Score Withholding Form – filled out correctly with a parent/guardian’s signature -- and mail or fax it to the address on the form by June 15 of the year in which a student took the exam.

Note that unlike a canceled score, a request to withhold a grade does not permanently delete the grade. A withheld AP grade will be sent to the student’s high school. It will count in the AP average and affect AP scholar designations. This means students can choose the scores that work to their advantage and feel confident taking some extra AP exams.

Make sure a copy of all correspondence with the College Board is kept.

Additional Resources

From Public School to the Ivy League: How to Get Into a Top School Without Top Dollar Resources by Mandee Heller Adler, Founder of International College Counselors

About International College Counselors

The college advisors at International College Counselors help students from all over the world find, apply to, and gain acceptance into the college of their dreams. The expert educational consultants at International College Counselors are dedicated to helping students and their families successfully navigate the college admission process.

If you have questions on AP exams or other college admissions (SAT word alert) conundrums, please contact our expert college advisors at http://www.internationalcollegecounselors.com or call 954-414-9986.

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