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Articles / Applying to College / Sophomore Score on Calc BC AP Exam

Sophomore Score on Calc BC AP Exam

Sally Rubenstone
Written by Sally Rubenstone | May 28, 2020

Question: I'm in 10th grade and just took the AP Calculus BC test. I'll probably get a 3. Will this in any way affect my admission to elite schools? Will admission officials make note of my age and fact that I swiched into BC calculus mid-year rather than staying with the AB course because I found BC more challenging?

You've already answered your own question. You seem to understand that elite-college admission officers are more gleeful when they see scores of 4 or 5 than 3, however, they will also take into account that you were a mere sophomore when you tackled the daunting Calc BC exam. While the dates of your AP tests will be included when you submit your scores to colleges, if you indeed score below a 4, you might want to enclose just a brief supplementary note with your applications and point out to colleges what you’ve just told us: in other words, that you jumped up to the more challenging BC class in mid-yearâ€"and all of this when you were just a 10th grader.

Moreover, we can only assume that, since you’ve now completed what is typically the highest math class offered to most high school students, then perhaps you will continue math by either taking classes at a local college while still in high school or via distance learning. If you do elect college math classes in your junior and senior years, admission officials will most likely be very impressed by the mathematical heights you will have scaled by graduation, and this will be far more significant to them than the AP score you earned as a sophomore.

Best of luck to youâ€"both on this exam and throughout the rest of your school career.

Written by

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone knows the competitive and often convoluted college admission process inside out: From the first time the topic of college comes up at the dinner table until the last duffel bag is unloaded on a dorm room floor. She is the co-author of Panicked Parents' Guide to College Admissions; The Transfer Student's Guide to Changing Colleges and The International Student's Guide to Going to College in America. Sally has appeared on NBC's Today program and has been quoted in countless publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Weekend, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek, People and Seventeen. Sally has viewed the admissions world from many angles: As a Smith College admission counselor for 15 years, an independent college counselor serving students from a wide range of backgrounds and the author of College Confidential's "Ask the Dean" column. She also taught language arts, social studies, study skills and test preparation in 10 schools, including American international schools in London, Paris, Geneva, Athens and Tel Aviv. As senior advisor to College Confidential since 2002, Sally has helped hundreds of students and parents navigate the college admissions maze. In 2008, she co-founded College Karma, a private college consulting firm, with her College Confidential colleague Dave Berry, and she continues to serve as a College Confidential advisor. Sally and her husband, Chris Petrides, became first-time parents in 1997 at the ripe-old age of 45. So Sally was nearly an official senior citizen when her son Jack began the college selection process, and when she was finally able to practice what she had preached for more than three decades.

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