How to Send AP Scores to Colleges: Step-by-Step Guide

Learn how to send AP scores to colleges online or by mail or fax. Redeem your free score send and manage requests with the College Board's My AP tool.

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by Meg Whitenton

Published on April 13, 2022

Edited by Will Baker
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How to Send AP Scores to Colleges: Step-by-Step Guide
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Students who score high on AP exams can send their scores to colleges. They can potentially earn college credit and place out of select prerequisites.

The College Board, which administers AP tests and other exams like the SAT, provides students with easy methods to send their AP scores to colleges electronically or by mail.

Our guide walks you through the process of submitting AP scores with your college application.

What Is an AP Score Report?

Whenever a student takes an AP exam through the College Board, that exam is graded on a five-point scale. AP scores range from 1 (no recommendation) to 5 (extremely well qualified). To get college credit, students typically need to score a 4 or 5. Some colleges may accept a 3.

Colleges maintain their own AP policies. Advisors recommend sending only high AP scores, especially those most relevant to your major.

AP score reports include scores from all AP exams a student has taken in the last four years, except for withheld or canceled scores. Colleges typically maintain AP-optional policies. They may only expect to view the exam scores for AP courses included in a student's transcripts.

When Should I Send AP Scores to Colleges?

While colleges vary in their AP policies and deadlines, advisors recommend simply sending your AP scores as soon as you receive them.

The College Board offers students one free AP score report submission to a single college of their choice per year. You have a June 20 deadline to make the request. Once your score is released, it will automatically be sent to the school you designated.

Students can request to send additional reports at any time online, by fax, or by mail, for $15 (standard processing/shipping) or $25 (rush processing/shipping).

Applicants should send a college their AP scores only after being accepted into a program. Students should check their individual college's deadline for submitting AP scores.

How to Send AP Scores to Colleges: 4 Methods

The College Board offers a variety of methods for sending AP scores to colleges. This accommodates students with limited financial means or internet access. It also helps students who have different enrollment and scholarship deadlines to meet.

1. Use Your Free Score Send

The College Board provides students with one free score send to a single college per year.

To redeem it, students must create a My AP account at CollegeBoard.org. Once a My AP account is registered, students can go to their profile, visit the Score Send tab, and select the recipient to receive the scores. The annual deadline to redeem the free score send is June 20.

Note that AP scores generally don't come out until July, which means you'll be deciding whether to send them before you see your results.

2. Send AP Scores Online

After redeeming their free score send, students can request that additional score reports be sent to colleges anytime online for a fee.

To do this, sign in to your My AP account to get to the College Board's online score reporting system. From there, you can select "send AP scores" and pay a fee of $15 (standard processing) or $25 (rush processing) by credit card.

Turnaround times average 7-14 business days or 5-9 business days for standard or rush shipping, respectively.

3. Send AP Scores by Fax or Mail

Students can submit a written request for the College Board to send scores at any time. A faxed or mailed request must include the following:

Mailed requests must go to a specific address depending on the method of payment. Standard delivery costs $15 per report, with a turnaround time of 7-14 business days. Rush delivery costs $25 and takes roughly 5-9 business days. Checks and money orders should be payable to "AP Exams."

4. Send Archived AP Scores

Students must submit a request to view and/or send archived scores older than four years. The College Board requires a fee of $25 along with a completed Archived AP Score Request Form.

Students may request a personal copy of the archived score report or include the address for a school to receive the report. If sent to a school, the student will still receive a confirmation copy of the report at their mailing address. The College Board sends the report within 15 business days of receiving the request.

How to Withhold AP Scores

Students can formally request to withhold one of more AP scores from any college or scholarship program. This prevents the selected college or program from seeing those scores.

Students may choose to withhold an AP score if they question their performance on the exam or want to view it before their college does. Unlike canceling a score, withholding does not permanently delete that score.

The College Board requires students to submit a score withholding request form by June 15 of the year they took the exam. The form must be accompanied by a fee of $10 per score to be withheld and standard or rush processing/shipping payments of $15 or $25, respectively.

The College Board can reinstate the score for free at any time at the student's written request.

What Is AP Score Cancellation?

The College Board enables students to cancel an AP score, which removes that score from a score report. If the AP exam the student wishes to cancel is in the process of being scored, it will not receive a score. And if it's already been scored, that score will be excluded from the report.

Unlike withholding, canceling an AP score is permanent and cannot be reversed.

Students typically choose cancellation over withholding if they don't want a school to know they ever took that AP exam. To cancel an AP score, you must download the AP Score Cancellation Form.

Fill out and submit the cancellation form to AP Services by June 15 of the year you took that exam so the score isn't sent to the college you selected online through My AP. Otherwise, scores can be canceled at any time.

The College Board does not charge a fee to cancel an AP score.

Frequently Asked Questions About Sending AP Scores

true Will a bad AP exam score impact college admission decisions?

No, colleges consider many factors outside of AP scores when deciding whether to admit an applicant.

Generally, students should only submit high AP scores and for subjects related to their major. Colleges do not grant admission based solely on AP scores but instead weigh how those scores may impact a student's GPA and class rank.

High AP scores can enhance a student's transcripts and demonstrate their readiness for a college program. However, low AP scores should only moderately affect a school's holistic evaluation of that applicant.

true Do I need to send an AP score twice?

Generally, no. Unless you have retaken the exam in the last year and there is a new score to report, sending a score report for high/relevant AP scores once upon initial admission into a college program is enough.

AP scores have a declining impact on a student's overall performance once they enroll in a college-level course in that subject. AP score reports include scores from tests taken within the last four years, excluding any score(s) a student has requested be withheld or canceled.

Exams older than four years become archived and can be accessed at the student's request for a fee.

true Can you choose which AP scores to send?

Yes, students can edit their score report by choosing to withhold or cancel individual scores. While a glowing score report can benefit a student's college application, some unfavorable scores can taint the report.

Students can request to withhold certain scores from any college or scholarship program, for a fee. Students can reinstate the scores later if they so choose.

Alternatively, if a student wants to wipe a score from view permanently, they can request a cancellation, which cannot be reinstated. This option suits students who wish to hide from colleges that they ever even attempted that AP exam.

If you're in high school, you may wonder, "Which AP classes should I take?" Learn more about AP classes with our guide. Learn how to find the "easiest" AP classes, which have more flexible study requirements, and earn college credit through classes with high exam pass rates. What are the differences between IB vs. AP classes? Read about IB and AP classes in high school and learn more about how these programs work.

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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