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Do AP scores matter for college admissions? Yes and No.

If you want to play it safe, work hard to ace your AP tests. Here’s one take on AP scores, and here are some facts:

Fact #1

For the many schools that place academic “rigor” at the top of their admissions criteria, high AP scores prove that your teen can handle college-level material. Scores of 4 or 5 (mostly the latter) leave no doubt that your teen is an honors student. These scores also help “bubble students” who need an extra edge to get admitted to their reach schools. Many admissions officers notice when students take (and ace) AP classes and their AP Exams.

Fact #2

When you arrive at many colleges or universities, you can start taking more advanced classes based on your AP Test scores. While standards vary from school to school, strong AP scores can help students skip entry-level and/or prerequisite courses, thus allowing them to get right into the heart of the academic program they choose. This is even true at Cal State schools.

Fact #3

High AP test scores can save you (or mom and dad) a lot of money and help you finish college in 3 years or on a more relaxed 4-year schedule. High scores on AP exams have other important benefits for students.

AP Exam Cram Puts You on Track for the Highest AP Scores

In light of these facts, it’s important that you prepare for your AP exams with a great “last minute” study plan. AP Exam Cram helps students review the topics that will appear on the AP tests. AP Exam Cram also includes AP test-taking strategies to ensure that you are mentally prepared to ace the AP tests. And the last piece of the AP study plan is one of our AP review packets that you can study at home right before the test.

Click AP exam prep to learn more about our AP Exam Cram program.

Overlooked Benefits of AP and Honors Classes

Honors classes progress at a faster pace and deal with course material in greater depth than do regular classes. Excelling in high school honors classes can transform students’ entire academic careers, allowing them access to top-notch colleges and universities. Once there, some schools allow them to skip entry-level and general-education classes and begin pursuing their studies at a more advanced level.

Many colleges and universities in the United States give college credit and/or advanced placement to students with outstanding grades in high school honors classes. In this way, graduation requirements can be completed early, or students can simply benefit from more course flexibility. Here are three more important benefits that are often overlooked:

1) Honors and AP students spend more of their time with higher achievers and mature into more responsible young adults;  2) Honors and AP students get a better high school education and are more prepared for college. AP classes, in particular, have strict educational guidelines, and students rarely get shortchanged by less-motivated teachers, and 3) When top students attend better colleges, they are once again surrounded by higher achievers. This often has short-term and long-term benefits. Think about how your peers and/or family have contributed to your own successes.

Everyone Is Not on an Ivy League Track … and That’s Fine

Before you walk away from this post with some cynicism,  I want to offer an important caveat: we are not encouraging every student to get on an Ivy League track! In fact, we hate to see children pushed to unrealistic levels when their innate abilities may not match the most elite students. As parents, it’s our job to carefully assess our children and help each one reach his or her potential. Our programs will help all students reach their potential, but it’s not our goal to turn everyone into an Ivy Leaguer.  Needless to say, there are a lot of hugely successful people who didn’t attend an Ivy League school and plenty of failures who did.


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