If you've taken AP exams, you might be wondering how to send AP scores to colleges. How do you ensure that colleges get your AP scores? Is it possible to send official AP score reports?
Here, we give you a complete guide that goes over how to send AP scores, which colleges want to see these scores with your applications, and how you can save money on sending scores.
2021 AP Test Changes Due to COVID-19
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, AP tests will now be held over three different sessions between May and June. Your test dates, and whether or not your tests will be online or on paper, will depend on your school. To learn more about how all of this is going to work and get the latest information on test dates, AP online review, and what these changes means for you, be sure to check out our 2021 AP COVID-19 FAQ article.
Do You Need Official AP Score Reports for Your Applications?
First off, do colleges want the official AP score report when you're applying, or is it just for the purpose of verifying scores once you've enrolled? This is important to know before you spend any money to send your scores.
Turns out, AP scores often appear on your high school transcript. Ask your guidance counselor whether your school includes AP scores on its transcripts or not. Furthermore, there is a place on the Common Application where you can self-report your AP scores.
Given this information, and by looking at college websites and contacting admissions offices, we've learned that most colleges want applicants to self-report AP scores on their applications, and only send in an official report once they've committed to attending. This means you'll only submit one official AP score report in your life, once you've chosen the college you want to go to.
Here's what a Harvard admissions representative said when we called their office:
"For the application we need at least one official report for the SAT or ACT. If you take the SAT Subject Tests, you should send one as well ... For AP tests, you can self-report your scores."
Stanford and MIT said the same thing as well.
Princeton puts this policy directly on their website:
"We recommend that you self-report all of your AP or IB scores on your application. You must submit your SAT and/or ACT scores to Princeton directly from the testing firms."
Yale has a similar policy on its website:
"If you have Advanced Placement (AP) scores, we recommend that you self-report them in the space provided in the testing section of the Common Application, Coalition Application, or QuestBridge National College Match Application."
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Exception: Schools With Flexible Standardized Testing Policies
Although most colleges don't require AP scores and prefer applicants to self-report any scores they have on their applications, there is an exception to this if you're applying to a college that has a flexible standardized test policy. For example, if you're applying to NYU, you can submit three AP test scores in place of the SAT/ACT for admission.
If you're submitting AP scores as your standardized test scores, they must be on an official score report or on a report by a school official. In other words, you can't just self-report your scores.
Therefore, if you're a senior looking to send AP scores to your chosen college, or if you're applying to a school that has a flexible-testing policy, such as NYU, you'll need to know how to send scores. Keep reading to learn how!
You can use your AP scores, instead of the ACT or SAT, to apply to NYU.
How to Send AP Scores Using Your AP Answer Sheet
Every year you take AP Exams, you have the opportunity to send one free AP score report. You do this by entering the four-digit code of the college, university, or scholarship program on your AP answer sheet. (Your AP Booklet will include an index with codes for most colleges and universities, but you can also look up codes here.) This is a great way to get all your AP scores sent during your senior year to the college you've chosen to attend, free of charge!
I called the College Board and confirmed that when you use this service, it sends all AP scores you have ever gotten and not just that year's scores.
If you're a senior, you will have made your college choice by the time of AP exams (the reply deadline is May 1, and AP exams are held the first two weeks of May), so go ahead and send your scores to your future school.
You can send these free scores if you want during your freshman, sophomore, and/or junior year, but keep in mind that it's not really necessary to do this since you'll be self-reporting your AP scores on your college applications anyway.
Furthermore, I strongly recommend not sending your AP scores to your dream/reach schools when you're a freshman, sophomore, or junior for the same reason I'm hesitant about sending the free ACT/SAT score reports—you're sending your scores blind, and you don't want to send bad ones! Although one bad AP score isn't exactly going to ruin your college admission chances, I think it's safer to wait and report AP scores on your actual application.
If you're a freshman, sophomore, or junior, just focus on doing well on the AP tests—not sending scores.
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How to Order AP Score Reports Online, Anytime
If you forget to use the free score report option your senior year, or if you're sending AP scores for an application, follow the steps below to learn how to send scores online at any point in the year.
First, log in to your College Board account to view and send your AP scores. On the first page after you log in, click on the "Send Scores to Colleges Now" button to get started.
Your scores are right below this, organized by year.
Look up the college (or colleges) you're sending scores to, pay the fee, and then receive a confirmation and expected delivery date.
The fee for standard delivery of AP score reports is $15 per report, and the fee for rush delivery is $25 per report. Standard delivery takes about seven to 14 business days, while rush delivery takes approximately five to nine business days.
Standard delivery should be just fine since you are most likely sending these senior year in time for your registrar's office to receive them before classes start your freshman year of college. Check with your college's registrar to get the deadline for submitting AP scores.
If you're submitting AP scores for college applications, be mindful of deadlines so you can send your scores using standard delivery and save some money.
Note that since June/July is a busy time for score reports, orders placed between June 15, 2018, and July 2, 2018, won't be processed and sent until July 3. To make up for this, these reports will be processed on July 3 as rush delivery but will cost the cheaper standard delivery fee ($15).
If you're a senior, check your college's deadline for receipt of AP scores for credit and placement to make sure that your scores will arrive on time given the June/July score crunch.
Additional Ways to Order AP Score Reports
If you can't order AP score reports online for some reason, you may instead submit a request to the College Board by either mail or fax.
#1: By Mail
To order AP score reports by mail, submit a written, signed request with your payment method. Your request should include the following information:
- Your full name
- You mailing address
- Your phone number
- Your sex
- You date of birth
- AP number(s)
- Your Social Security number (if you provided it on your answer sheet)
- Name and address of your high school
- Full name(s) of the AP exam(s) for which you're sending scores
- Year(s) you took the AP exam(s)
- Credit card number with expiration date, check, or money order
- Name, city, state, and four-digit code(s) for the college(s) you're sending AP scores to
You'll then mail the request to the following address:
PO Box 6671
Princeton, NJ 08541-6671
#2: By Fax
If you'd rather order AP scores by fax, submit a signed, written request that includes all the information listed above to the AP Services fax number: 610-290-8979. You must also include your credit card number and expiration date in your request.
2 Other AP Score Report Options
You have a couple of additional options you can use if you don't want to send one or more of your AP scores.
#1: AP Score Withholding
You can withhold one or more AP scores from any college you're sending AP scores to. This is a helpful solution if you have a bunch of 4s and 5s but also a 2 you're embarrassed about.
It costs $10 per score per college to withhold a score. You have to mail an official request to the College Board to take advantage of this option.
The score you choose to withhold won't be included on any future AP score reports sent to that college, and it won't be deleted from your records. You can later release the score to that college (if desired) by sending AP Services a signed written request. Note that it won't cost you any extra money to release a withheld score.
Is this option worth it, though? Not if you're sending your AP scores to a college you've already gotten into. By the time you've gotten accepted, that school is probably more concerned with the tests you passed and aren't going to kick you out just because you have some lower AP scores.
However, if you're applying to a school with a flexible standardized test policy and only want them to see your top scores, this might be a good option for you. Especially since these schools often only require a few AP scores, it would be fine to leave off any lower scores you have so you can present your best case for admission.
#2: AP Score Cancellation
It's also possible to completely cancel an AP score. Canceling an AP test score deletes it forever. You can cancel an AP exam at any time, but you have to cancel by June 15 the year you take the AP test to prevent it from showing up on the score report being sent to the college you designated on your AP answer sheet.
While canceling technically doesn't cost any money, you're losing the money you spent to take the exam.
Our advice? Don't go through the hassle of canceling a score if you're just submitting your AP score report to your chosen college. Again, they're not going to revoke your admission thanks to one low AP score.
You can make your own call on this if you have a low score (1 or 2) you don't want a college to see, and you're submitting a score report for an application. That said, colleges generally want to see that you've taken the AP exam after taking an AP class. Withholding might be the better option since you'll still have access to that test score in case you decide you want to keep it.
Finally, never, ever delete a score of 3 or higher! Don't just assume that no place will accept your 3. The truth is that many colleges accept scores of 3 or higher on AP exams. And since you don't know how the college admissions process will shake out for you until senior year, you might regret hastily deleting a 3 you could have used for credit!
Taking AP exams is great, but did you know many colleges look for SAT Subject Tests as well? Get a complete list of colleges that require SAT subject tests for admission here.
Will taking AP classes help you get into Harvard? Maybe—but they're not the only component you need. Get an in-depth guide for getting into the nation's top schools by our resident SAT full scorer and PrepScholar co-founder, Allen Cheng.
One of the single most important parts of your college application is what classes you choose to take in high school (in conjunction with how well you do in those classes). Our team of PrepScholar admissions experts have compiled their knowledge into this single guide to planning out your high school course schedule. We'll advise you on how to balance your schedule between regular and honors/AP/IB courses, how to choose your extracurriculars, and what classes you can't afford not to take.
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Halle Edwards graduated from Stanford University with honors. In high school, she earned 99th percentile ACT scores as well as 99th percentile scores on SAT subject tests. She also took nine AP classes, earning a perfect score of 5 on seven AP tests. As a graduate of a large public high school who tackled the college admission process largely on her own, she is passionate about helping high school students from different backgrounds get the knowledge they need to be successful in the college admissions process.