AP tests occur at the end of AP classes to measure what you learned from the advanced placement classes. Doing ap from any college or institution is not mandatory; you can do it independently outside any proper academic course.
Also, AP test is a measurement to understand whether you deserve the credit or what you actually learned and how much you absorbed during the classes.
In this guide, we will tell you the AP (advanced placement) test scoring scale, how they got structured, and what percentage is a 3 on the AP exam.
Let’s get started!
How is Advanced Placements Exams Graded?
There are basically two sections in the Ap test: multiple choice and free responses. The number distribution in the two areas is not the same every year.
Sometimes one part holds more numbers than the other part. So to check the format each year, you have to go to the official AP courses pages.
The computer grades the multiple-choice section. There is no negative marking for the wrong or blank answers. So whatever scores you collect from the correct answers will be your total marks for multiple choices.
There are thousands of teachers who will check the free-response part. It is a massive task as this part is handwritten; that is why it is a time-consuming process.
Now the job will be transferred to the college board. They will calculate the score and scaled them according to the AP test scoring scale so that the result may occur even from year to year.
It takes time to publish the AP result for so many processes even though students give the exam in May.
What is the grading scale and format look like on different AP exams?
The format and grading scale is almost the same in the exams, but you may find differences in the score percentages and in times based on specific tests’ questions.
But here, we’ll try to give you a comprehensive overview of the process. We hope you will understand.
AP test’s grading scale is divided into 5 scales. Number 1 is the lowest score that makes number 5 the highest score. The divisions are:
- 1: no recommendation
- 2: possibly qualified
- 3: qualified
- 4: well qualified
- 5: extremely well qualified
So ‘qualified’ or the number 3 scale means you are capable of the work that required college-level introductory courses in AP subjects.
Most of the colleges want the students who 4 or 5 number in the AP test. Some will gives credit to the number 3 holders too.
It really depends on the students. If you give a comparatively difficult AP test, you will get credit for a 3, or if you had an easy AP test, you might score 5.
As we mentioned above, there are two sections of each AP test. So the score will be the combination of those parts and form a score on the scale of 1 to 5.
You do not have to correct all the answers to get a score of 5. The system is different from other exams. Only 70% marks can get you a score of 5.
How to obtain a scaled AP score of 1 to 5?
Once a teacher and multiple choices check your free-response are checked by computer, the numbers are combined with a composite score. This is a way of combining the numbers so that they can be evaluated correctly.
Then it is time to convert the number in the score 1 to 5. But there is a matter you should keep in your mind.
Scaling is not the same every year, so there are no specific scores AP test. The colleges do not reveal the scoring process due to confidential issues.
Still, if you are stuck, what is the process, and how they worked. Let’s breakdown it into an example.
Let me remind you again; it is just an estimation cause I already told you the scoring process varies every year.
This example will give you an idea though it is impossible to know the score only by calculation.
Step 1: Add all the correct answers to get the idea of rough marks.
Let’s assume you have 55 multiple questions. You got 40 correct answers and 10 wrong. And the other 5 answers are blank. So your complete response will be 40.
And in the free section, there are three essays. You got 4, 8, 7 in the following questions. So your total answer will be 4+8+7=19.
Step 2: Convert your rough scores into a composite score
Converting into a composite score is a tricky part. You have to convert the number between 0 to 150. There is a formula you can use to converting the raw score. That is:
Composite score = (multiple choice raw score * 1.23) + (Essay rough score * 3.05)
So, according to the formula in this example, your composite score of multiple choice would be 49.2, and your composite essay score will be 57.95.
The total score will 107. It is a round-up score.
Step 3: Use a chart to calculate the scaled score
This is a comparatively easy step. You have to search on the internet for a scaled score. So from the chart the 107 will help you to earn a score of 5.
It is a very bare estimation. But in some years, it will make your score of 4 that will depend on the scoring process for that particular year.
We have estimated the process only for the English language. However, it is not the same for every AP test because of the question pattern.
So, how can you figure out the AP tests that are graded?
If you are taking classes for the test you want to give, then ask your teacher. Cause every teacher has a particular formula.
Suppose that is not possible for you. Then collect a prep book for the test, or you can search online.
So if you want to aim to score 5, then remember the formula and prepare yourself according to that. Or if you’re going to pass the exam anyway, then aim for the 4 or 3.