The AP Exams are right around the corner, so you’re probably wondering: when do AP scores come out?
Unfortunately, you have to wait a bit longer than you would for SAT or ACT scores. Find out exactly when AP exam scores come out, where to find them, and what you can do in the meantime.
AP Score Release Date for 2017
AP Scores are released each year in early July. You’ll get all of your scores at once, but scores are rolled out over a few days. Scores are released by geographic region. For example, last year the east coast states got their scores first, and the northwest got theirs last.
Scores will be released the second week of July. The first scores come out on July 5, and they will all be released by July 9. (Except for late testing exams, which will be released in August).
2017 Release Schedule
|Wednesday, July 5||Connecticut, Delaware, DC, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia
|Thursday, July 6|| Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming
|Friday, July 7|| Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee
|Saturday, July 8 7AM Central Time||Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington
|Sunday, July 9
5AM Pacific TIme
|Alaska, California, Hawaii; U.S. Territories and International|
All release times unless otherwise noted are 8AM Eastern Daylight Time.
If you take a late or alternate exam date, your score will be ready by Mid-July at the earliest and late August. Learn more about the score release schedule at the College Board’s website.
How Will I Get My Scores?
Your scores will be posted online at the AP student website. You will be able to access them through your College Board account, so make sure you have your username and password handy. You’ll also need your AP number of the student ID you used on your AP tests.
Scores will only come out online, you won’t get a letter. (Back when I was in high school, and as recently as 2013, scores were only mailed and usually arrived in mid-July. You should be excited about the online score system, it’s much faster!)
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Why Does It Take So Long to Grade AP Tests?
Okay, so the fact that scores come out online saves some time, but why does it take them two months to grade AP exams when you can get your ACT and SAT scores after just a few weeks?
The reason is that it takes a long time to grade the free response. The multiple choice sections are graded by computer, but the free responses aren’t graded until the annual AP Reading conference in June.
The AP Reading is basically a huge conference where thousands of high school teachers and college professors gather to grade all of the AP free response sections. The AP reading lasts two weeks. Since it doesn’t start until June (to accommodate teachers’ and professors’ schedules), it makes the scoring process longer.
Once the conference wraps up, College Board has to work quickly to combine the free response scores with the multiple choice scores, weight them, and then scale them to the 1 to 5 score. (For more on AP scoring, see our article.) They have just two weeks to do all of this before scores are posted in July!
So even though it takes two months, it’s actually quite the feat for over 4 million exams to be graded by real people every single year.
What To Do In The Meantime
In case you’re wondering, there is no way to see your scores before they get posted online. You’ll have to be patient and occupy yourself in the meantime.
Since AP exams end in early May but most school years last until June, make sure to finish the school year strong. Your GPA is very important in college admissions, so use your time now that the AP tests are over to maximize your grades, especially in your AP classes.
If you are a freshman or sophomore, you should also use this time to jumpstart your ACT or SAT studying. It may seem early, but the earlier in your career you begin studying for these tests, the better you will do.
If you are a junior, hopefully you’ve already taken the SAT or ACT at least once, but if you haven’t, definitely use the time after your AP test to study for one or the other! Or if you have taken it already but are going to retake it, make sure to study once you are through with AP tests.
If you’re a senior, you will likely have already gotten your college decisions by the time APs are done, so finish the year out strong and enjoy graduation!
What To Do After You Get Your Scores
If you pass your exams, you can start exploring AP’s college database to see where you can get credit for your scores. You can also read about AP’s score reporting services and begin thinking about the college application process.
It won't be too long until you'll be filling this out for the first time. Start researching your options now!
If you don’t pass, you can think about retaking the exam next year, especially if it’s a course you want to get college credit for. Talk to your guidance counselor and/or AP teacher to discuss your options.
Finally, check back online in August to see if you qualified for any of the AP Student awards. These are basically awards you get if you earn a certain amount of passing scores. If you get an award, it will be included on any score reports you send to colleges. Learn more at the AP awards page on the AP student site.
We mentioned you should use your time after APs are over to jumpstart your SAT or ACT studying. Get started with the following resources:
- Develop your SAT/ACT studying timeline to maximize your score
- Learn about strategies to improve SAT Math, Critical Reading, Writing, and Essay sections
- Learn the most common ACT mistake and learn to write a perfect essay
- Find practice tests for both the SAT and the ACT, for free online
- Use your dream schools to come up with a target SAT or target ACT score.
Want to improve your SAT score by 160 points or your ACT score by 4 points? We've written a guide for each test about the top 5 strategies you must be using to have a shot at improving your score. Download it for free now:
Have friends who also need help with test prep? Share this article!
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.