AP exams

AP Exams Can Make or Break your College Application

There are lots of factors that go into creating a college application that is perfect for you. Between extra-curriculars, the SAT or ACT, or those pesky French quizzes you take every Friday morning, it can be hard to know if everything that you’re doing is really worth it.

Is there a point of diminishing returns? Is there such a thing as too many exams? A good score on a hard test is never a bad thing, but a lackluster score may be the difference between your application being accepted or wait-listed. This makes it very important to focus on subjects and classes that will help you get accepted into your chosen major. While a well-rounded student is likely to be accepted into more majors, a specialized student that truly shines in a few subjects has a better shot at a specific major at his or her school of choice.

Advanced Placement (AP) Classes

Advanced Placement (AP) classes have many benefits for your college application and career. On top of exhibiting your skills in a given subject, AP classes can provide Gen-Ed credits and other benefits at colleges, reducing cost and fuss.

AP classes culminate with an exam that covers the content of the class in a strenuous test designed to show colleges everything a student has learned. AP exams bolster applications by showing prowess in specific subjects. If you can score high, you’ll be very well off. But, because of the difficulty of these AP classes and exams, as well as the time that could be spent on other parts of the application, it’s best to concentrate on AP classes that will show off your skills.

Focusing on a few Advanced Placement exams results in less stress for you and, if done correctly, a more impressive college application. No college will complain about you taking too many APs, but it is often better to have higher AP scores than more AP scores. While colleges want to see students apply themselves in many courses, middling exam scores make colleges think twice about your application. It’s better to not report a bad exam score at all.

Utilizing AP Exams for College

If you’re not reporting an AP exam score, much of the benefit of the class is lost. While AP classes are great, it’s the exam scores that impress colleges more often than not. It’s much more beneficial to ensure you do well on exams that truly matter. Exams are difficult and require lots of teacher support to master. The more you have to study and learn, the more stress you will be under, and the more you may struggle on each test. Study smarter, not harder.

If you want to go into a STEM major, concentrating on AP math and science classes would make for a very good college application, for example. If you’re interested in competitive majors like Computer Science and Engineering, you also need to make yourself stand out amongst peers. AP test prep is just the thing to give you an edge.

A college application should focus on your strengths. In showing that you can excel in specialized Advanced Placement classes, you are showcasing that you can excel in a particular major. AP test prep teaches this very thing and can help you succeed in specialized AP exams and classes. By giving you the tools to ace your AP exams, these types of prep courses give you the ability to impress colleges. Colleges will always look for the big numbers, such as SAT scores and GPA, but an AP student will always be an AP student.

A college application boosted by good AP exam scores will stand out amongst the competition, and AP test prep could make all the difference. Earning this advantage becomes much more important depending on your schools and majors of choice.

Interested in a Competitive School?

Students going for competitive schools need the most AP test prep, as those colleges want to see if their applicants can keep up with their rigorous education. You will have to take some hard classes before you graduate college, and those classes will have exams. Colleges want to see you do well on midterms and finals, even if finals week is next week. If you want to go to Yale, show Yale you have what it takes!

Throughout the college application process, you want to showcase yourself as the perfect pick for your chosen college and major. Showing that you have the skills to succeed in a specialized field is ideal. AP exams and classes are designed for this exact purpose. All you need is some focus and training to make that application shine.

A specialized student is an impressive student. While it is important to do well in every class and on every exam, the extra time and energy should go into your chosen subjects. While high schools want well-rounded students who can succeed in STEM fields, English classes, and social studies alike, colleges are on the lookout for specialized superstars who can rise to the top of the field of their choosing.

You already have the makings of a brilliant college student. All you need to do is specialize!


Livius Prep has been helping students prepare for their AP exams for almost 40 years. Whether you’ve taken the class or not, we can help you maximize your score on your APs this May. Give us a call to learn more!


Author: Hastings Davin