Founded almost 150 years ago, Stanford University is one of the world’s leading private research universities. The institution aims at educating students to demonstrate creativity, fundamental knowledge, purposeful contribution, and leadership. Understandably, it is a dream school for many students who go out of their way to improve their chances of securing admission. Keep reading as we consider what AP scores does Stanford accept and everything else you need to know regarding them.
Why AP Scores Matter in College Admissions?
While AP test scores don’t directly affect admissions decisions, submitting them has several advantages. Let’s take a look at how AP scores influence your Stanford admission probability:
Increase Scholarship Eligibility
You might not get admitted into the college of your dreams with excellent AP scores, but they’ll help you secure financial aid, as private college scholarships are offered to applicants who’ve done well on AP tests.
AP scores of 3 and higher definitely help you in the admissions process, and save money on your university education. If you’ve taken AP tests and scored well, don’t forget to research if the colleges on your list have any scholarships you qualify for. Additionally, a college you’ve applied to may give its own scholarships depending on your AP scores.
Suppose you score a 5 or 4 on an AP test. In that case, you should submit the score to the schools you intend to apply to. These high scores are typically allotted a credit equivalent, meaning you can bypass specific introductory courses. Being ahead of the game when starting college as a freshman certainly doesn’t hurt.
But wait, it gets better: along with skipping some introductory courses, you can decide to graduate early and reduce tuition costs. For instance, college freshmen who’ve received a 5 or 4 on their German Ap test can skip the first one or two years of German and meet their foreign language requirements much sooner than usual.
Some colleges even give credit for an AP score of 3, so take time to find out what scores qualify for credit at the schools you wish to apply to; every institution is different, so contact their admissions office separately.
Make Your Academic Resume Stand Out
Sure, you might not be in a hurry to graduate from college, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t submit your AP scores with your college application. Admissions teams appreciate finding out that you worked hard and challenged yourself in high school, showing them that you’re dedicated to your education and ready to take college level classes.
Ensure that you list your high AP test scores and any rewards you’ve won as a result in your resume’s Awards and Honors section. You might be an AP Scholar who scored 4 or higher on at least three exams- add it to your achievements because it’ll help you stand out from other applicants!
Does Stanford Accept AP for Admissions?
So, does Stanford look at AP scores for admission? The short answer is yes. While high school students enrolled in AP courses aren’t required to submit their scores for the admissions process, Stanford encourages them to self-report high AP scores in the additional information section of their application.
If you’re pursuing an IB Diploma program outside America, you have to provide the university with your predicted IB marks, including essay/TOK bonus points. In contrast, individuals enrolled in the British Education system must submit their predicted A-level marks and GCSE results for consideration.
What is Stanford’s AP Credit Policy?
To understand how AP credit at Stanford works, let us describe the bigger picture of what it can do for you when you arrive on campus. You may be eligible for the following things:
- Graduate an entire academic year or a semester early
- Graduate on time even if you take a semester off
- Take more interesting classes by skipping introductory ones
It’s in your best interest to send your AP scores to the university as soon as possible if you wish to opt out of lower-level courses and wait until mid-September of your first year for the student record to be posted. As for alternatives to earning advanced standing at Stanford, you can take:
- British A-level exams
- International Baccalaureate (IB) higher-level exams
- Placement tests offered by certain academic departments
- SAT subject tests
What AP Credit Will You Get at Stanford with Your AP Scores?
The question does Stanford accept AP credit is often followed by another: how much advanced testing credit is transferred towards your undergraduate degree? Let’s take a look at some examples of accepted Stanford AP scores:
|Subject||Score||Quarter Units||Duplicating Courses|
|Calculus AB||5||6||MATH 19,20|
|French Language||5||10||FRENLANG 1, 2, 3, 1A, 2A|
|Physics C-Mechanics||5||4||PHYSICS 21, 41|
We recommended going through Stanford’s AP credit chart on their official website and looking through the Stanford AP scores admission policies, so you know what to expect and what AP scores to aim for. At Stanford, you can submit a maximum of 45 quarter units of coursework transfer credit.
Are there Specific AP Credits that Stanford Prefers Over Others?
In this section, we’ll list down some general guidelines regarding Stanford’s AP Credit policies:
- Requesting AP credit requires a student to get in touch with the College Board and have their scores sent to Stanford. Incoming freshmen can submit a Service Now Ticket to the Registrar if their scores don’t appear on their transcript by late September
- Stanford only awards credits for certain AP exams (for example, Calculus AB and Physics B), and we reiterate that you thoroughly scan the Stanford Ap credit chart provided above to determine what score you need to receive credit
- An AP score of 4 may fulfill your undergraduate language requirement for some AP language exams but won’t earn you any credit units. However, a score of 5 ensures that you earn 10 credit units and fulfill your language requirement
- A Stanford class duplicating the same material as an AP exam will earn you units for the course, but you’ll lose all or some of your AP units in the subject
- Stanford is famous for its business and engineering programs, showcased through its accepted AP credits that exclude most humanities subjects. If you wish to attend the school as a STEM major, it’s in your best interest to take various STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) AP classes while in high school
AP vs. IB Scores: How Stanford Assess Credit Differently?
We’ve already looked at how Stanford assesses AP credit in the previous section, so now we will consider how the institution rewards IB scores:
- The only higher-level IB exams that award credits for incoming Stanford freshmen have a score of 5 or above. If you’re an IB student, check out the IB Credit Chart to determine whether your IB exam score qualifies
- AP scores of 5 or higher on the accepted IB language exams can be used to meet your undergraduate language requirements
- You should contact International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) to request IB credit to send to Stanford
- If the same material you’ve taken on an IB exam is duplicated in a Stanford class, you will earn class units but lose all or some of your IB units in the subject. Go through Stanford’s IB Credit Chart to see the list of duplicating courses
Regarding the debate of AP vs. IB scores, Stanford does not prefer a particular curriculum over the other. While the AP and IB credit lists are mostly the same, with math and language earning the same credit, you can obtain greater credit for IB Chemistry than AP Chemistry.
Still, as there is a significant difference in AP/IB course grading, many colleges want to know that you can tackle the most challenging courses offered at your high school. So, rather than worrying about which curriculum to opt for, you should focus on taking the most rigorous classes at your high school and scoring well in them.
AP vs. IB Scores: Which One Should You Choose?
AP and IB programs function on contrasting goals and philosophies. Here are some prominent differences between the two programs to help you decide which one to pursue during high school:
IB Programs Cost More Than AP Programs
As a student in the US, IB exams will cost you more than AP ones. AP tests cost $94 per exam for US and Canadian students, whereas an IB exam has a fee of $119 per exam. Additionally, most schools offer fee-waiver programs and financial aid for AP exams, which will be even cheaper.
If you want to learn more about testing costs, talk to your guidance counselor and remember that these fees will cost you much less than their equivalent college courses.
AP Programs Are More Popular
The AP program has been around for a while, so it’s no surprise that it’s much more common than the IB program. In order to host an IB program, schools have to offer enough classes for the diploma, which costs them more to integrate.
Program Goals Are Different
AP programs focus on testing students and their knowledge through exams on specific content they’ve learned in the classroom. The tests incorporate multiple choice, and emphasize meeting the material’s goals.
On the other hand, IB revolves around developing critical thinking skills and writing- exams are not the most important thing. You must also maintain extracurricular requirements and write a lengthy, college-style research paper (the extended essay).
What Are Stanford’s Undergraduate Academic Requirements?
Stanford expects undergraduate students to meet the following requirements during their time at the institution :
- Earn a minimum of 9 units every quarter (incomplete units are not included)
- Register for at least 12 units every quarter
- Maintain a CGPA of 2.0
- Earn a minimum of 36 units in the most recent three enrollment quarters
- Take ‘Thinking Matters’ courses that help students address a genuine problem or question and find disciplined and creative solutions
- Participate in Stanford’s ‘Ways’ program, which teaches students to look at the world from different perspectives and merge them with their existing ones
- Take Writing and Rhetoric courses that enable students to mature as thinkers, presenters, researchers, and writers over their four-year degree
If you meet these requirements every quarter, you can meet the school’s minimum standard of satisfactory academic progress and reach a good academic standing. In the case that you don’t meet these requirements in any quarter, you might be subjected to an unsatisfactory academic status.
In your academic program, you are expected to complete 180 units if you wish to graduate in four years, including requirements for General Education, your major, Language, and Writing.
Wrapping Things Up: What AP Scores Does Stanford Accept?
Does Stanford look at AP scores for admission? What AP scores does Stanford accept? What are Stanford’s undergraduate academic requirements? All these questions and more might be plaguing your mind as you prepare for your senior year of high school and college applications. Although taking AP courses is not mandatory for applying to the university, it’s a way to improve your chances of getting in and finishing your undergraduate education early.
Go through the comprehensive guide provided above if you have any questions, and ensure that you give AP exams for the subjects accepted by Stanford as given in the school’s AP credit chart.