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When do AP Scores Come Out? Find All Details Here!

Apr 17, 2023

If you took up extra advanced classes this year to earn extra credit for your university/college, you are right to wonder “when do AP scores come out.” Fortunately, you have landed on the right page for it. 

For those who are not aware, these classes that can get you extra credit for college, are AP (Advanced Placement) classes. In today’s post, we will be telling you all about these classes and when their scores come out. So, without any delay on our part, let us get into the details of AP classes and their score release dates for the year. Keep reading. 


What is an (AP) Advanced Placement Class? 

Before we get to the details of AP Scores‘ release date for the year 2021, let us first tell you what these advanced placement classes are and why you need to take them. These are nothing but a program that is run by the College Board – the makers of the SAT. This special program allows young students to take up special courses in their school. 

These courses can further help them earn extra credit for their college application. Sometimes, students can also use their AP scores to take up more advanced classes when they begin college. Let us talk about this a little more clearly. The AP courses give learners an intro-level college class experience right in high school. 


There is a lot more we can tell you about AP classes, their origin, evolvement, and how they take place. However, our topic of discussion is not the same today. So, let us move on to the most important question – when do AP exam scores come out? Scroll below to find out. 

AP Score 2021 Release Date and Time 

If you would have asked the question – when are AP scores released, before the COVID period, the answer would have been simple. Over the past years (that were normal and free of any virus), AP scores generally came out in early to mid-July each year. The score releases happened over a few days. Also, each student received all their test scores at once only. 


Another crucial thing was the role of rough geographic regions in the AP score release dates. For instance, let us take the example of the AP Score for the year 2016. During this year, the colleges that got their scores first were the colleges on the east coast. The ones that were in the northwest, were the ones that got their scores at the very end. 

However, now that the pandemic is in the picture, the result release trends are not the same. From the AP testing schedule to the score release, there have been changes in everything. Still, one thing remains you will get your score depending on the date you took your exam. Typically, the first of these exams take place in May while the other two are conducted in June. 


When Do AP Scores Come Out for 2021? 

Now, let us discuss when the 2021 AP scores will be released. Well, for all those who are searching for – when AP scores come out in 2021, we have good news. They are already out. For the students who took their exams (Administrations 1 and 2) in May, the results came out on July 21 at 7 a.m. ET. On the other hand, for students who took their exams (Administrations 3 and 4) in June, the results came out on Monday, August 16. 

Here, students must note that for Administrations 1 and 2, the score came out in July. On the other hand, Administrations 3 and 4, came out in August. Again, the date when each student received their result may have been a bit staggered over several days. Some may have received their results a bit early while others, a little late. This information about the AP results at the time of the pandemic gives a brief idea about when you can expect your result next year. 


How Can You Get Your AP Scores? 

By now, you know your answer to – “When do AP scores come out?” Let us now discuss how you can get your AP scores. All students must know that their scores are only on the AP student website. To access them, they will need the username and password for their College Board account. Also, they will need to have their AP number or the Student ID number used on the AP answer sheet handy. 

One thing you must note here is that these scores are only available online. There is no other way to get them. It is impossible to get a letter or score report in the mail as it happened back in 2013 and before. We think this online score system is much better, more convenient, and faster. Also, there is no chance that your mail will get lost or be misplaced! 


Why Does It Usually Take Long to Grade AP Test Papers? 

Unlike earlier, now the AP scores come online. This sure does save a lot of time than getting the results in your mail. Still, the time from when you appear for the exam till the results are declared is a lot. So, whenever you search for “when do AP scores come out,” have you ever wondered why they take two long months to come out? 

Why do you have to wait for them so long even when SAT scores come after just a few weeks? Let us tell you why. The biggest reason behind this is that some of the questions in AP exams are in the form of free-response questions. It takes a lot of time to grade them. So, even though some of the questions in AP exams are multiple-choice and can be graded by computer, the results come after nearly two months. 


In fact, for the free-response question, the graders have to attend a special annual AP Reading conference. (During the pandemic, graders worked from home.) This conference is a huge event with thousands of high school teachers and professors. They all gather together to only grade all the free-response sections on AP tests. 

Further, this lasts for almost two weeks. Also, since teachers have to work all year round, and have only time to accommodate the conference in June, the scoring process of the exam takes so long. Then, after the conference is done, and all the free-response questions are graded, the College Board gets into action. 

They combine the scores of the free-response questions with the multiple-choice scores after the two-week process. Once all of this is settled, the final AP scores are posted online – usually in July. For the long duration of the checking process, you must also keep in mind that the real graders have to grade more than four million AP exams each year! 

The long wait for the AP results is valid. Here is a quick look at when the results came out for the year 2020: 

  • On July 5, 2020, the colleges in the states of Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas received their results. 
  • Alabama, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Oklahoma, and Virginia received the results on July 6, 2020. 
  • The states of Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, the District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, and West Virginia received the AP scores on July 7, 2020. 
  • On July 8, 2020, California, Michigan, Oregon, and Ohio got the results. 
  • The results for the states Arizona, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Missouri, Montana, Alaska, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Utah, were uploaded on July 9, 2020. 
  • Lastly, on July 9, 2020, Canada, the U.S. territories, and International AP scores were uploaded. 

Is It Possible to get AP Scores Early? 

No, as far as we know, you cannot get your AP score before their first release which usually happens online. However, if the scores in your state are released earlier than the others (it has happened previously), you sure can see your score a little earlier than the others. Further, you can also try traveling to another state (where the release is done) to get early access to your scores. 

Alternatively, if you have a friend in that state, you can ask them for your result. However, for this, you need to give them access to your college account (username and password) and AP ID you have fille ind. Then, you can also make use of the VPN feature. It allows you to set your location to a state where the test scores are already out. 

While all the methods we have told you to get early access to your results can work, we would say that they are not worth it. If the results are out in a particular state, chances are, it is only a matter of a day or two before the results will be out in your state too. Along with this, students also need to keep away from scam sites for AP scores. 

Yes, there are sites out there that claim to provide you with your score early. Some may even ask you to pay the price for it. Whenever you come across any such website, make sure you do not fall into the trap. Never give away your login information to any such third-party sites. Always remember that apart from the College Board, no other website can show you your AP results. 

What AP Score is a Good AP Score? 

Typically, when it comes to the AP scores, the minimum score you will need to get extra credit for your college applications is a 3 or 4. While most schools accept a score of 3, some selective schools need you to have a score of 4 on your AP exam. Then, there are certain colleges that only award credit for certain subjects only 

Also, some colleges use the scores for placement in courses like Mathematics and Foreign Languages. If your AP 2021 score is out and you want to compare your results to your peers, we have the percentage of students who have earned a score of 3 or more in AP Exam 2019 and 2020. Have a look at these percentages and get an insight into how well you performed. 

AP Scores 2019

  • 91.1% got an AP score of 3 or higher for Studio Art: Drawing this year. 
  • The students who got the same score for Chinese Language and Culture were 89.9%. 
  • For Spanish Language and Culture, 88.7% of students got a 3 or higher score. 
  • For Studio Art: 2-D Design, students who scored 3 or higher were 86.4%. 
  • In Spanish Language and Culture (Standard), 82.4% belonged to the category. 
  • For Physics C: Mechanics, 81.8% had a good AP score. 
  • The students who scored 3 or higher for Seminar and Calculus were 81.1% and 81.0% respectively. 

The percentage of students who received an AP score of 3 or higher in other subjectsise is as follows: 

  • French Language and Culture: 77.1% 
  • Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism: 73.0% 
  • German Language and Culture: 72.3% 
  • Computer Science A: 69.6% 
  • Microeconomics: 69.6% 
  • Italian Language and Culture: 66.1% 
  • Physics 2: 65.4% 
  • German Language and Culture (Standard): 65.1% 
  • Psychology: 64.5% 
  • Latin: 62.9% 
  • Italian Language and Culture (Standard): 62.0% 
  • European History: 58.1% 
  • Chemistry: 55.6% 
  • World History: 55.3% 

For some other subjects in the AP exam 2019, this percentage is as given below: 

  • English Language and Composition: 54.3% 
  • English Literature and Composition: 49.7% 
  • Physics 1: 45.4% 
  • Japanese Language and Culture: 79.3% 
  • Research: 75.9% 
  • French Language and Culture (Standard): 73.9% 
  • Spanish Literature: 72.3% 
  • Computer Science Principles: 71.9% 
  • Studio Art: 3-D Design: 70.0% 
  • Chinese Language and Culture (Standard): 66.8% 
  • Government and Politics – Comparative: 66.0% 
  • Biology: 64.7% 
  • Music Theory: 63.7% 
  • Art History: 63.1% 
  • Japanese Language and Culture (Standard): 62.4% 
  • Statistics: 59.7% 
  • Macroeconomics: 58.9% 
  • Calculus AB: 58.4% 
  • Government and Politics – US: 55.1% 
  • United States History: 53.7% 
  • Environmental Science: 49.2% 
  • Human Geography: 49.1% 

From the above percentage, you can see that the score distribution varies for each of the given exams. As a general rule, you can consider a score of 3 or more, a good score in the AP exam. Now, let us take a look at the percentage of students who got this score in 2020. 

AP Scores 2020 

  • In the AP Exam for the subjects Spanish Language (Total), Art and Design: 2D, Art, and Design: Drawing, Chinese Language (Total), and Physics C Mechanics, the percentage of students who got a score of 3 or higher is 90.0%, 89.5%, 89.1%, 88.7%, and 84.3% respectively. 
  • The percentage of students who has the same result for Spanish Language (Standard), Japanese Language (Total), French Language (Total), Calculus BC, French Language (Standard), Seminar, Art and Design: 3D, and Italian Language (Total) is 84.2%, 83.6%, 83.3%, 81.6%, 80.9%, 80.7%, 75.6%, and 75.4%. 
  • For English Language, English Literature, German Language (Standard), Spanish Literature, German Language (Total), Italian Language (Standard), Japanese Language (Standard), and Chinese Language (Standard), 62.1%, 60.1%, 67.9%, 75.1%, 73.8%, 72.2%, 71.4%, and 70.9% of students got a 3 or higher score. 
  • In the AP Exam for the subjects Calculus AB, World History, European History, Human Geography, United States History, and Government & Politics: in the United States, this percentage was 61.4%, 60.2%, 59.3%, 59.0%, 58.7%, and 57.5%. 

Here, for different subjects, you can notice that the number of students who got a high score varies. For instance, for the English Language, only 62.1% of them got a 3 or higher score. On the other hand, for English Literature, this percentage is only 60.1%. Similarly, for the Spanish Language (Total), 90.0% of students got a 3 or higher AP score. For Spanish Literature, this percentage was 75.1%, and for Spanish Language (Standard), it was only 62.1%. 

Here are the Percentages for Same for Other Subjects in the AP Exam 2020: 

  • Biology: 69.1% 
  • Chemistry: 56.1% 
  • Physics 1: 51.6% 
  • Physics 2: 73.3% 
  • Physics C E&M: 74.4% 
  • Environmental Science: 53.4% 
  • Research: 72.5% 
  • Economics-Micro: 68.9% 
  • Art History: 68.7% 
  • Computer Science Principles: 71.6% 
  • Computer Science A: 70.4% 
  • Government & Politics: Comparative: 70.2% 
  • Psychology: 71.3% 
  • Economics-Macro: 63.2% 
  • Latin: 69.2% 
  • Music Theory: 69.2% 
  • Statistics: 60.0% 

What to do When you are Still Waiting for Your AP Scores? 

The wait for your AP scores is long. Also, there is no way to see them before they get posted online for your state. In such a case, the only way out for you is to be patient and have a way to occupy your time during the wait. Earlier the exams ended in May. (For the years 2020 and 2021, they were extended till June due to the virus.) 

Now, the school year lasts until after that. So, once you are done with your AP exams, put effort into your studies at school to end your school year strong After all, your GPA also plays a major role in your college admissions. With the AP exam done, you can put all your effort into maximizing your grades. Also, give special attention to your AP classes. 

Then, you will also be taking your finals nearly around this time only. For these, as well, you need to study well. Only then, you can walk away from your final year of high school with a grade that you are extremely proud of. Keep in mind that your final scores count for a big percentage when it comes to your overall class grade. Always avoid putting off studying for them! 

What to do During this Time if you are a Freshman/Sophomore? 

For all the freshmen and sophomores who are waiting for their AP scores, the best way to use this time is by doing their SAT or ACT preparations. Sure, you may think that it is too soon. But always remember that the earlier you start, the more time you will have, and the easier it will be for you to prepare well. After all, you will have started much before the other students in your batch. This way, the chances of your getting a better score on SAT or ACT exams are much high. 

What to do During this Time if you are a Junior? 

Now, if you are a junior, chances are you have already taken your SAT or ACT once. In such a case, you can rethink taking the test again, and start its preparation. In case you have not opted for the test even once, now is the time to dive into your studies, prepare well for the SAT / ACT exam, and ace it. 

What to do During this Time if you are a Senior? 

For all the seniors who are waiting for their AP score results, chances are you already have your desired college decisions by now. The only thing you can do while waiting for your results is to study well and finish your final year of high school strong and enjoy your graduation finally after a long journey. 

Final Thoughts: What’s Next? 

Lastly, we would like to conclude by answering the question that comes after “when do AP scores come out,” – what to do after you get your AP scores? Firstly, if you got your results and passed the exam, congratulations! You deserved all the success. With the score in hand, you can start exploring where you can get extra credit for your score. Simply surf the College Board’s database for it. 

For all those who did not pass the exam, the world does not end here. You can retake the exam next year if the course you want to pursue in college needs extra credit. We also suggest you have a talk with your AP teacher or guidance counselor about your options. If you decide to retake the test, good luck in advance!

When Do AP Scores Come Out?


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