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What are AP Scholar Awards?

The College Board offers AP Scholar Awards to students who perform exceptionally on AP Exams. But what are the benefits of these awards, and how do students apply for them?

In this article, we’ll explain all of that and more. We’ll start by summarizing what AP Exams are and follow that up with a short description of AP Scholar Awards. Then, we’ll get into the benefits these awards have for students and give you some other resources for AP Exams. Let’s get started!

Also read: Do you have to take the AP Exam if you take an AP Class?

What are AP Exams?

The College Board offers AP Exams to assess a student’s proficiency in a particular topic. These exams are made to match AP Courses, a set of course curriculums that the College Board designs to be taught at high schools all over the United States. After a student completes their course, they can take an AP Exam that assesses their knowledge of everything they learned.

These exams can award the student with class placement and/or class credit in college. Although they do not impact the student’s grade in the class, they can help bolster their college application if the student chooses to showcase their score. And beyond that, they can qualify students for AP Scholar Awards.

Also read: What happens if you fail an AP Exam?

What are the AP Scholar Awards?

The College Board offers AP Scholar Awards to students who perform well across multiple AP Exams. There are a few different AP Scholar Awards for different levels of AP achievement. Here are the different descriptions of the award according to the College Board:

Types of AP Scholar Awards

Award Criteria
AP Scholar Must earn scores of 3 or higher on three or more AP Exams.
AP Scholar with Honor Must earn an average score of at least 3.25 on all AP Exams taken, and score 3 or higher on four or more of these exams.
AP Scholar with Distinction Must earn an average score of at least 3.5 on all AP Exams taken and score 3 or higher on five or more of these exams.
AP International Diploma (APID) Visit APID to see the criteria for this award.

Related: Why you should take Advanced Placement Tests

How to receive your AP Scholar Award

If you meet the College Board’s criteria listed above, you should get your AP Scholar Award automatically. They will contact you when they send you your scores and inform you that you’ve won an AP Scholar Award.

If you believe that you have met these criteria, but haven’t heard from the College Board, try contacting them. This could occur if you are using scores from multiple years and there was an incongruence in your account.

Benefits of receiving an AP Scholar Award

The benefits of an AP Scholar Award all come in being able to put it on your resume and college applications. It’s an impressive achievement that demonstrates to colleges, universities, and internships that you have completed several college-level courses and excelled in them.

This could help tip the scales on admissions decisions by colleges and potentially even on scholarships. The benefits of the award also come in the form of the college credit and placement that those AP scores may grant you. This advantage depends on the university you choose, however.

Frequently asked questions

Do I have to take all my AP Tests in the same year to win an AP Scholar Award?

You do not! You can combine AP Test results from multiple years to qualify for an AP Scholar Award.

Does the AP Scholar Award come with a scholarship?

The AP Scholar Award does not come with a scholarship or any type of monetary award. However, it may make schools more interested in you, and convince them to offer you additional merit scholarships.

Do colleges care about the AP Scholar Award?

In a short answer – yes! An AP Scholar Award shows that you’ve been successful in completing several college-level classes and suggests that you’ll continue to succeed should they admit you to their school.

However, it’s worth noting that its significance may vary by school. Some schools weigh AP Test scores more heavily than others. So although an AP Scholar Award is definitely a boost to your application, it may be a heavier advantage at some universities than at others.

How do I get a good AP Exam score?

The best way to get a good AP Exam score is to stay on top of your coursework all semester long. If you do well in your AP Course, you should do well on the exam. And if you are self-studying, make sure to start studying early and maintain a constant schedule. Our guide to self-studying for AP Exams can help you come up with a good pace and keep working towards your goal. And for some tips to make sure you’re in great shape on the day of the exam, check out our tips for reducing test anxiety.

How much do AP Exams cost?

AP Exams cost $95 per test, or $53 if you qualify for a reduced fee waiver. If you wait until the last minute though, you’ll have to pay an additional $40 late fee. So, ensure that you talk to your school’s AP Coordinator well in advance in order to avoid this fee.

Also see: How to pay for AP Exams