How Important Are AP® Scores for Test-Blind College Admissions?

A high school student submitting a college application to a test-blind college
With more institutions of higher learning becoming test-blind colleges, many students wonder if AP scores are important when applying to these schools.
A high school student submitting a college application to a test-blind college
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You may be wondering why some schools are increasingly becoming test-blind. One apparent reason is the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic disrupted in-person testing and compelled many schools to reconsider their admissions criteria. But another reason for test-blind schools is the ongoing debate about the merit of standardized tests and the accuracy of the notion that standardized test scores are indicators of academic success in college. This article will explore the importance of AP scores when applying to test-blind colleges. 

Are AP Scores Relevant to Test-Blind Colleges?

Like the SAT® and ACT®, much has been made ado about the value of Advanced Placement® (AP) courses and AP exams for high school students aspiring to go onto college after graduation, and for good reason. However, just how important are AP exam scores for test-blind college admissions? 

The short answer is that AP exam scores themselves won’t make or break your acceptance into your dream school. The obvious reason is that colleges don’t factor AP exam scores into their admissions criteria. Simply put, they will not accept standardized test score submissions from applicants, meaning that your AP scores by themselves are irrelevant to your admission chances.

Other factors such as your GPA and extracurricular activities like volunteering, leadership, internships, membership in community organizations, letters of recommendation, etc., play a more significant role in your admission decision. 

However, your AP exam scores are not all there is to AP courses. So, let’s explore a few reasons why taking an AP class itself is important for college admissions, especially for test-blind colleges:

1. Boost Your Grade Point Average (GPA)

Most high schools give AP courses a significant weighting, so performing well can boost your overall GPA, arguably the most critical factor in college admissions. If your goal is to increase or maximize your GPA, taking AP classes and getting a good grade is worth the effort. 

Still, you don’t have to take the AP exam just because you take the AP course; taking the class alone will benefit your GPA and transcript as there will be assignments, quizzes, and tests, all of which contribute to increasing your GPA.

Keep in mind that because test-blind colleges don’t accept SAT and ACT scores, they are likely to put more emphasis on your GPA. Test-blind colleges are also more likely to evaluate your candidacy based on your extracurricular experience, so it’s crucial not to exhaust yourself with too many AP classes but leave room to strengthen your profile via other activities that demonstrate you are well-rounded. 

2. Demonstrate College Readiness

Studies show that students who take AP courses are generally more prepared for the rigor of college and more likely to graduate in four years than their non-AP students. Taking on the difficulty of a college-level AP course will demonstrate to admissions committees that you are better prepared for the courses you will take in college and are serious about your academic success at the next level. 

Preparing for College With UWorld 

While the above points are legitimate reasons for taking AP courses when applying to test-blind colleges, there are also benefits to you. Preparing for college with online practice for AP Courses and Exams like UWorld offers is an excellent strategy to enhance your AP learning experience and become a better student.

  • Earn college credit – Getting a good AP score means earning college credit – replacing classes you would have to take in college.
  • Replace the need for a tutor or even a class – Former AP teachers and experts write the content. It is great for self-study, and there is no need to spend money on a tutor with UWorld.
  • Study on your time, in your budget – We offer flexible options, affordable subscriptions, and it’s all mobile so you can study when you want around your busy schedule.

Our online practice for AP Courses and Exams offer you the following key features:

  • Hundreds of exam-like questions
    • Mimics the exams
    • Aligns to the course
  • Detailed explanations
    • Teach you the content
    • Help correct mistakes
    • Illustrations and visual aids boost learning and retention
  • Study support
    • Flashcards, My Notebook, definitions, formulas, hints, and more support your learning and maximize study time
  • Performance Tracking
    • Measure mastery and target weaknesses
    • Compare results to other students

We invite you to study smarter for your AP courses and exam with UWorld – check out our AP Practice Exam Prep Questions.

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