When Do AP Scores Come Out? All Your AP Questions Answered

Notebook with 'January' written in blue and black ink inside it
August 28, 2023


Reviewed by:

Former Admissions Committee Member, Columbia University

Reviewed: 5/4/23

When it comes to college, most students do everything they can to ensure their acceptance to their dream school. Often, this involves taking Advanced Placement (AP) courses and the subsequent exams during high school to prepare for a college-level education. Read on to learn more about these classes and when you'll receive your scores for them.

Rigorous AP classes demand a heavier course load, but you can earn college credit for that course if you pass the exam. Most students spend months preparing before their exam dates to ensure they receive a good score. 

Once you’ve taken the exam, you’ve probably agonized over your score, debating if you did well, if you were fully prepared for the exam. But one question plagues your mind more than any other. When do AP scores come out? How long does it take to determine your score? 

So, when will AP scores be released? The waiting period can be difficult, especially if acceptance to your dream schools rides on the success of your score. We’ve devised this guide to answering all of your AP score-related questions to keep you as informed as possible while you wait. 

You’ve studied intensively, and you finally took the exam. But when do AP scores come out? Learn more below. 

About AP Classes and Exams

AP classes cover a wide array of subjects, ranging from Psychology to European History and even English Composition. Your high school decides which AP courses they’d like to offer, so you should seek your school’s guidance counselor if you’re interested in pursuing advanced classes like honors, IB, or AP courses.

These courses are different from the regular high school classes you’re used to. The AP courses provide a college-level education because these classes are intended to take the place of college courses if you pass the exam. Though the classes seem intimidating, this gives you a chance to show yourself to your dream schools and show that you can handle college stress. 

Though these classes end with the threat of an intense exam, you won’t fail your AP class if you fail the exam. If you pass the AP exam, that’s one less college course you have to take throughout your career. Most students take AP classes to potentially cut costs and prove they can handle higher education. 

If you don’t do as well as you hoped, you don’t have to share your score with colleges. Even if you don’t pass the exam, the admissions team will see your overall class grade to show that you understood the material but didn’t do well on the exam. 

But don’t let this scare you away from pursuing an AP class. With the proper amount of dedication and studying, you’ll be prepared to pass the exam. 

When Do AP Scores Come Out?

Unfortunately, the dates that the AP scores are released vary from state to state, but they will all be available in July for the 2023 cycle. In the past, because tests were administered in three different ways due to the COVID-19 pandemic, scores were released at varying times. 

Fortunately, the College Board is returning to standard testing administrations for the 2023 tests, with students taking the exam via paper and pencil at their school. Testing will take place over a two-week period in May. 

If testing goes as planned, students will receive their scores between mid-June and early July, allowing them to enjoy the remainder of their summer instead of stressing about their scores.

What is a Good AP Score?

The AP scores range from one to five, with five being the highest possible score. 

If you score a five on the AP exam, you essentially exceed the expectations and are almost guaranteed exemption from that course when you attend college. 

A four on the AP exam shows that you are very qualified as well. Scoring a four tells the admissions team that you scored either an A- or a B on the exam and shows you have a firm grasp of the course material. 

A score of three is the final accepted score on an AP exam. This score is like a grade of B- or a C. You’ll have to review the requirements of the colleges you apply to, but most colleges will accept a three as an exemption from the college course. 

If you score a one or two, you aren’t qualified for course exemption, but don’t let this scare you away. A low score will not be detrimental to your acceptance if you still maintain a high grade in the class. 

As stated before, your final grade in the class is not affected if you fail the exam. A failed exam does not equate to rejection from your dream school. You won’t be exempt from the college course, but if you keep your notes from the AP class, you’ll have a head start on all of the material.

How AP Classes and Scores Impact College Admission

AP classes carry a lot of weight when colleges begin looking at applications. Taking AP classes and earning high grades in those classes shows admissions teams you can handle a rigorous education. A high AP score helps your admissions chances, but the admissions team also considers your overall GPA, SAT, and ACT scores. 

But what happens if you pass the class but fail the exam? Does this ruin your chances of getting accepted into your dream school? It’s important you try and take AP classes if you’re able and do your best on the exam, but the AP score doesn’t matter as much as you might think.

Your score on the AP exam determines if you’re exempt from that subject when you attend college. For example, if you score a five on the AP Psychology exam, you earn college credit for that class. 

Of course, this varies from school to school, so you’ll need to look into the requirements for the college you’re applying to, but essentially your score shows your mastery of the subject at a college level. 

If you do poorly on the exam, it does not ruin your chances of acceptance. There are many factors that admissions teams look at when considering prospective students. 

Don’t let the fear of a potential bad grade steer you away from pursuing an AP course. Your exam score won’t hinder your chances of acceptance, and these courses give you a glimpse of what to expect in college. 

Try your best to earn a high score, but it’s not the end of the world if you don’t. Some students suffer from testing anxiety, so you must understand that you’re not judged solely on your exam scores. If you receive a less than stellar score, that’s okay! You can still apply to the desired schools, and at least you’ll have a headstart on the subject.

AP Score Release Date FAQs

Are you looking for more info about AP scores and when they come out? Here are our answers to some frequently asked questions about AP scores, including “when will the 2022 AP scores be released?”.

1. When are AP scores sent to colleges?

According to the College Board, your scores will be received by mid to late July after designating a college or university in their “My AP” section. The deadline for using your free score send in “My AP” is June 20th, 2023. 

2. When will AP scores be released in 2023?

Although it varies state-to-state, in 2023, AP scores should be released between mid-June and early July. While the exact times and dates aren’t certain, all scores will be available by the end of July.

From 2020 to 2022, AP score release dates were delayed due to the covid-19 crisis, with some states experiencing greater delays than others.

3. Can I send AP scores after the deadline?

Yes, you can submit AP scores anytime after the June 20th deadline through the college board for a fee. Before June 20th, students may use their “free score send” to send their AP scores to a college or university free of charge.

4. Did AP scores come out?

The 2023 AP scores have not yet come out. If you are wondering how long AP scores take to release or what time they come out, we’ve got you covered! 

How long it takes to get your AP scores will vary depending on your state. All AP scores will be out before the end of July 2023.

5. Will my previous AP scores be included in my score report?

Yes, all of your previous AP scores are available for your college, scholarship program, or university to see when you send your score report. However, you can choose to withhold or cancel your scores if you do not want them to be shown. 

6. Can I retake the AP exam?

AP exams are only administered once a year, but you can retake an exam if you’re unhappy with your score, and you can take the exam as many times as it’s offered. Keep in mind that each score you receive is reported unless you specifically ask for scores to be canceled out. 

Unless you have the means to retake the exam, we wouldn’t recommend it. Your score is not as detrimental to your admissions as you think, and the process can be rather expensive if you retake the exam multiple times. 

Final Thoughts: When AP Scores Come Out

AP exams can be frightening. The test encompasses everything you learned from that class, and the material is taught at an introductory college level. But the process can be rewarding if you put in the hard work. Keep this guide in mind as you begin your AP journey, and you are sure to succeed. Good luck and happy testing!

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