JWU Answers All Your AP Questions

The Advanced Placement Program (AP) offers high school students some incredible opportunities to jump-start their future. Administered by College Board, AP courses encourage students to dive deep into subjects they are genuinely interested in, comfortably adjust to a college curriculum and develop healthy time-management and study skills.

Whether you’re starting to think about enrolling in some high school AP courses or you’re preparing for the AP Exams and looking to get some general information, we’re here to help!

We’ve compiled a list of answers to some of the most commonly asked AP questions. Additionally, highly regarded JWU Professor of Chemistry, Estelle Lebeau, Ph.D., has been the AP Reader for the Chemistry AP Exam for several years and shares valuable insight into the AP courses and exams. Let’s get started!

Frequently Asked Questions

Are AP Courses Worth Taking?

Enrolling in AP courses encourages students to engage in new ways of thinking, develop study habits that will be exceedingly helpful in college, strengthen their college transcript, learn from a college-level curriculum and get prepared for the AP Exams.

One of the major benefits of enrolling in AP courses, according to Professor Lebeau, is that students get a leg up on their college course requirements.

“ I always recommend to students that they should challenge themselves while in high school to be best positioned once in college.”

Professor Lebeau explains that the AP classes give students the background knowledge to help ease the transition to college.

“They [students] will become familiar with the pace and rigor at the college level, and they will ensure that there are no gaps in their background knowledge because they have taken the foundational courses that faculty expect in their major program.”

What is the Purpose of AP Exams?

Simply put, AP Exams are used to determine how much you’ve learned from your AP courses. These exams are better able to assess if students have absorbed the information from class and if they should receive college credit.

Should I Take the AP Exams?

Both AP Exams and courses are worth taking for several reasons. Passing AP test scores can lead to college credit, which means you’re already receiving credits before you begin your college classes. Some students even graduate early which helps them save on tuition.

High AP test scores can also increase your chances of receiving a merit-based scholarship and financial aid which are awarded to students who display academic success.

Are AP Test Scores Important to Colleges?

AP scores are not the deciding factor when it comes to college admissions, however, high AP scores will help you stand out among other applicants. Additionally, if you’re applying to a highly competitive program, submitting your AP score showcases your strength and interest in that field.

Professor Lebeau offers helpful advice on how to approach the AP Exam.

“My advice to students is to answer the questions asked and include your reasoning. Questions typically ask for an explanation of an answer. It is usually the explanation that earns the points.”

Can I Retake the AP Exams?

You can retake the AP Exams, but they are only administered once a year in May.

How Long are AP Exams?

Most AP exams are two to three hours long.

How are AP Exams Scored?

Free-response questions and through-course performance assessments are scored by relying on the expertise of thousands of highly qualified AP teachers and college faculty, and multiple-choice questions are scored by a machine. Most AP Exams are scored at the annual AP Reading, with some being scored online.

College faculty and AP teachers put in a significant amount of work to create the AP courses, exams, and scoring process which ensures that students’ AP Exam scores accurately represent their success in the corresponding college course. Computer-scored multiple-choice questions are combined with the weighted free-response questions and performance assessments. This score is then converted into an AP score which is set to a scale of 1-5.

5 = Extremely well qualified

4 = Well qualified

3 = Qualified

2 = Possibly qualified

1 = No recommendation

When Do AP Test Scores Come Out?

AP test scores are usually released in early to mid-July.

What If I Fail My AP Exam? Will This Hurt My Chances of Getting Accepted to College?

It’s advised not to submit AP scores of a 1 or 2 as they indicate that you did not grasp the material taught in your AP courses. You can submit an AP Score Withholding Form to exclude those scores from being sent to colleges. By doing this, you will not be hurting your chances of getting accepted to college.

How Can I Send My AP Test Scores to Colleges?

Many colleges prefer students to self-report their AP scores when applying and then provide an official report once they’ve decided to attend. The common app also has a designated area for you to self-report.

Some colleges use a flexible standardized testing policy where you can submit AP test scores in place of the SAT/ACT. If this is the case, you will need to send your official score report or your scores will need to be on a report by a school official.

There are several ways you can send your official AP scores to colleges:

  1. Sign into My AP through Collegeboard to send scores for free to one college each year. June 20 deadline.
  2. Order an unlimited number of score reports online. These can be sent any time online for a fee.
  3. Request your AP test scores from Collegeboard by fax or mail.

Advanced Placement Credit at Johnson & Wales University

JWU offers transfer credits to students with an AP score of 3 or higher. Credits are based on the score levels attained and applicability to their program of study. JWU's Physician Assistant program does not accept AP credits to fulfill prerequisite courses, however, AP credits are considered for one of the English prerequisite courses on a case-by-case basis.

Learn About AP Credit at JWU

Why Enroll at Johnson & Wales University?

JWU offers 80+ majors universitywide, state-of-the-art labs and 40+ study abroad sites. We have two beautiful campuses located in the heart of Providence, R.I. and Charlotte, N.C. Faculty at both campuses have years of industry experience and we offer small class sizes so you’ll have personalized attention. Our experiential education model ensures students receive an industry-focused education, opportunities to connect with the community and internship experiences that help bolster your résumé!

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