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What Is an AP Scholar? Advantages and Requirements

Jan 24, 2023

AP scholar awards are related to the AP exams conducted in culmination to advanced placement high school classes. These particular tests are allocated over two weeks in the month of May.

After this test phase, the time arrives when the students eagerly wait for their results, and the results are declared after two months. The procedure of score release depends upon the geography of your region over a few days. These scores are accessible through the College Board account. 


It is a matter of concern for both the students and the parents about how these AP classes come into play in the college admission procedure. The most basic fact is that colleges do not focus on a student’s GPA but analyze the stringency of the courses taken. Taking these tests as a challenge may provide an edge to the students when applying to college.

What do you mean by an AP scholar?

An AP scholar refers to one who has received an award from the college board for excellence in the AP exams. The AP scholar awards have several levels according to the number of exams a student gets his best score and average score. One who has got the golden opportunity of receiving an AP scholar award can list it on their CVs and college applications.


This will let your authority know about your capability. You will get the designation on your official AP scores and also receive a certificate in your mail ID. Yes, indeed, they do not offer you any money but this surely makes you recognize all your hard work! The more you work hard to get a higher designation, the more impressive it is.

Level of AP Awards:

The level of this AP scholar award depends mainly on three criteria.

  • An average exam score for the AP exam
  • The number of AP exams and the score ranges from 3 to higher ones
  • Location of your high school

One can easily acquire the next level of award in the ensuing years as one takes more AP exams. Look at the table carefully to know the criteria for different AP scholar award tiers.

Requirements for AP scholar awards:

Designation of awardLocation of school requirementsNumber or Score requirementsAverage AP Score on all APs taken
AP Scholar None3 or better on 3+ AP examsNil
AP Scholar with HonorNone3 or better on 4+ AP exams3.25
AP Scholar with distinctionNone3 or better on 5+ AP exams3.5
AP National scholarUnited States4 or better on 8+ AP exams4
AP National ScholarCanada4 or better on 5+ AP exams4
AP National Scholar Bermuda4 or  5+ AP exams4
AP Scholar DoDEA (Department of Defense Education Activity) school studentA considerable number of exams with scores of 3 or higher in DoDEA schoolsThe highest average of those who took the greatest number of exams with scores of 3+
AP State Scholar Each US stateThe greatest number of exams with scores of 3 or higher in the stateThe highest average of those who took the greatest number of exams with scores of 3+
International AP Scholar (granted to 1 male and 1 female student)Attends school outside US or Canada that is not a Do DEA schoolThe greatest number of exams with scores of 3 or higher in international schoolsThe highest average of those who took the greatest number of exams with scores of 3+

How Can You Become an AP Scholar?

  • Becoming an AP scholar is not an easy task but at the same time is not impossible too. If you want to become an AP Scholar, you need to take AP exams and practice a lot. As it is apparent, the key secret to success is hard work.
  • You need to put all your efforts to score a 3 or higher on every exam you take. Do not go just for the minimum number for the scholar designation, as if you go for lower scores, your average will get down. This will also limit your ability to meet the score average requirements to be an AP scholar.
  • Also, if you are eager to meet a certain level before applying to college, you will have to take the requisite AP exams by the end of the year to get the award in the subsequent years. But it is not recommendable to take too much stress for the AP Scholar program. Once you get to the highest level of your award, whether you get the award or not is entirely out of your control.
  • But it is great if you achieve an AP scholar. The colleges will look at your AP scores and know which AP is most challenging. You should take a rigorous course of study to increase your chances.

Details for Qualification

The AP scholar awards selection procedure takes over in two steps, and that only determines the award winners. The first step is to calculate the student’s average AP Exam score based on all exams taken this year in previous years. And the second step is to check the student’s AP exam scores that count towards the various AP scholar awards. The student needs to meet the criteria mentioned above to be eligible for this selection.


For example, if a student has a 3.25 AP scholar with an honor award because the minimum requirement is a score of 3 or higher on 4 or more exams.

Keep in your mind that the exams that are conducted multiple times count only once, and the highest score will be used for award calculation. The theory exams are not used in the AP Scholar awards calculations. They are academic distinctions that the students cite among their credentials on applications, resumes, and so on. The students will not receive any monetary award from the college board. Or else it will make your CV impressive for future goals.


How to Prepare for the AP Scholar Exams?

You can only become an AP scholar if you make sure that you will pass the AP exams, and this can become the key to creating a successful study habit. Every student can embrace unique study methods. So, here are some quick tips that can assist you in studying for your AP exams.

The AP testing season might seem very stressful, so always try to stay relaxed and stress yourself minimum. The best way to reduce your stress for this exam is by starting preparation well in advance so that you can avoid unnecessary rushing to cram information. 


You can try different methods of studying like reviewing notes, making flashcards, taking practice quizzes, and making flashcards. Also, start searching for mobile apps that provide additional study questions and quizzes. One more thing you can do is to build breaks into your study sessions, exercise, or can go outdoors when you feel too anxious. Start practicing basic test-taking strategies and evaluate the questions you answered correctly or not. 

Key Features of an AP Scholar Award

The AP scholar awards contain a series of awards that are offered by the college board for students who have got high scores on several AP exams. There are many levels of the award depending on the number of AP exams a student gets on high scores.


If you want to be an AP scholar, you have to take AP classes and get sure to score well on your exams. But, do never stress yourself about these awards.

Deadlines To Watch Out For

Therefore if a student is eager to qualify for any of the AP scholar awards before applying to college, they should take the requisite exams by the end of the previous year and receive the award in the coming years. Start preparing from your side, and do not underestimate your ability.

Without having the count how many tests you take, your aim should be to score at least 3 on every test you appear in. Because only scores that are above 3 or higher can help you earn AP scholar designation, whereas a score less than three can drag you down to average and imperil your chances of receiving this award.

Note:- However, these AP scholar awards will not make or break your opportunities for college acceptance, but they can boost your application grant chances.

ap scholar awards


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