Test Prep

What to Do With A High AP Score

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You worked hard to get a 4 or a 5 on your AP Exam — and you succeeded! Treat yourself by taking some time to celebrate and feel free to share the news with parents, advisors, teachers or friends who helped. Then when you're ready, get back to work by looking at these three key things to do with that high AP score.


Consider the Credits

If you know where you'll be attending college, check your school's coursebook or website to find out what credits you can earn from your AP scores. Most schools grant some type of credit for a score of 4 or 5 (some accept 3s as well), and this can help you avoid taking some of the required general education courses and get right to the classes in your major or area of interest. However, you may still choose to take courses you get AP credit for if you're planning to continue with that topic and want to make sure you are ready for the next courses in the sequence. Alternatively, your school may offer placement instead of course credit, letting you take second-semester or second-year courses as a freshman. In any case, do your research to find out what your score can do for you.

Send Your Scores

This might seem obvious — and if you're attending college in the fall, you probably had your scores sent automatically — but be sure to send your AP scores once you know where you'll be attending. If you held off on sending your scores, either because you didn't yet know where you wanted to attend or because you wanted to see your results first, that's totally understandable. But now that you know, don't let your good scores go to waste! Send them on their way and check that off your college to-do list.

​Adjust Your Schedule

If you earn enough college credits before even starting college, there's a chance you could actually graduate a semester— or even a year! — early. And less time in school means more money saved, which I know most of you can get on board with. But to pursue this, you'll want to make sure to plan your course schedule carefully in order to complete your major and/or minor requirements in that shorter period of time.

You could also choose to spend that extra time enrolling in other courses that interest you, potentially picking up a double major or another minor along the way to your regular four-year graduation instead. Either way, a little time saved by AP credits can hold great benefits for you.

So with that high score in your hands, take a moment to celebrate and then buckle down to ensure you knock the rest of your college applications out of the park. And if you haven't yet taken an AP Exam, or if you're planning to take more next year, check out our line of AP Exam prep books, and position yourself to be able to reap these high-score benefits when the time comes.