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Chasing the Perfect AP Test Score

What Is an AP Test Perfect Score Do You Need One

You might have heard your friends or teachers talking about the AP test “perfect score” and that one should be extremely lucky to get such scores. So, what is the deal with these “perfect scores” and what does it mean for you?

What are AP Test Perfect Scores?

AP test scores are usually given in the range of 1 – 5, 5 being the highest and 1 being the lowest. These are composite scores of the raw scores from MCQs and free-response questions, which means they have no direct substitution for the number of questions you got right.

On the other hand, a perfect AP score is based on the raw marks, so, if you have answered all the questions correctly only then you get the perfect score. In short, your maximum marks ( both in MCQ and free-response ) are your AP perfect score.

Is it necessary to get a perfect score?

You may already be worried about scoring a 5 in the subject, which is comprehensible but worrying about perfect scores should remain your last concern. 


Because there is absolutely no requirement of scoring full on full here! Yes, you will achieve a 5 if you score a perfect score but the truth is that you will also be able to achieve a 5 without getting all the answers correct. And the only valid score that is taken into consideration is from that range up to 5 and not your raw score, in fact, the raw score doesn’t even appear in the mark list!

There is no need to waste your money and effort on something that has no return value. Unless you need a reason to be cocky around your neighborhood and friends or just show off for college application. It is indeed a huge deal to get such kind of marks because of the rarity, but never necessary.

Also Read: AP Lang Score Calculator: Tools for Assessing Language Exam Performance

Here is a table to show you the chances of achieving a perfect score from AP test score 2021

AP Subject Perfect Scores Test Takers % 5s
Art History 0 18,552 11%
Biology 1 212,198 7%
Calculus AB 0 249,762 18%
Calculus BC 0 124,335 38%
Chemistry 2 134,316 11%
Chinese Language 51 13,328 57%
Comparative Govt and Politics 2 17,750 17%
Computer Science A 345 63,980 25%
Comp Sci Principles 281 102,610 13%
English Lang & Comp 11 476,735 8%
English Literature 3 297,009 5%
Environmental Science 0 149,106 6%
European History 0 74,202 14%
French Language 1 18,312 13%
German Language 14 4,275 18%
US Gov and Politics 31 260,941 11%
Human Geography 0 193,660 15%
Italian Language 0 2,098 21%

Before you continue with the table, also remember to keep in mind that even if you score one mark less than the total marks, you wouldn’t be informed. There is no rule in AP to show the raw scores, it is only in cases like perfect scores they inform the school via the board to the student of the extraordinary attempt.

Say you scored a 149/150 and your friend scored 150/150, only your friend would be noticed and instructed.

Japanese Language 3 2,208 47%
Latin 2 4,892 10%
Macroeconomics 60 112,644 18%
Microeconomics 10 73,461 20%
Music Theory 0 16,169 20%
Physics 1: Algebra 4 136,238 7%
Physics 2: Algebra 1 18,449 15%
Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism 2 19,944 33%
Physics C: Mechanics 2 48,171 23%
Psychology 6 262,700 15%
AP Research 375 24,049 14%
AP Seminar 24 46,840 11%
Spanish Language 77 148,080 17%
Spanish Literature 0 21,787 8%
Statistics 2 183,181 16%
Studio Art 2-D Design 152 34,481 19%
Studio Art 3-D Design 46 4,568 7%
Studio Art Drawing 219 18,907 14%
United States History 6 399,676 11%
World History 0 264,254 10%

Now you may have understood the unimportance of such an effort considering the rarity and difficulty.

This article has no intention to demotivate you but to show you the better path, even students who scored a perfect score never aimed at having one.

Here is what Marvin Li (2019 ) one of the perfect scorers has to say about the achievement, “Coming out of the exam I felt prepared like I had gotten a four or five but I was very surprised by my results”.

”I looked at two AP review books, reread the material, and did practice tests. “My teacher, Mr. Magaha, was also a great help in terms of AP preparation. He taught us how to format the essays, how to work through multiple choice questions, and what material to review.”

There might not be a particular need to set your goal that high if there is a possibility of exhausting yourself, because it may not be worth it. But if you are going for it, go with full strength because there is nothing wrong with dreaming big. If you are yet to find your Mr. Magaha, head over to our tychr website to get guidance for your AP tests.

Also Read: Prospective Student: Navigating the College Application Process

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1: What is an AP perfect test score?

A: An AP perfect test score is a score of 5 on the Advanced Placement (AP) exam. It is the highest score that can be earned on the exam and signifies mastery of the subject material.

Q2: Do you need an AP perfect test score to get college credit?

A: Not necessarily. College credit is typically awarded for a score of 3 or higher on the AP exam, although this varies by college and subject. However, earning a perfect score can demonstrate a high level of mastery in the subject and may be beneficial for college admissions or scholarship applications.

Q3: How common is an AP perfect test score?

A: An AP perfect test score is relatively rare. In 2020, only 13.9% of students who took AP exams earned a score of 5, according to the College Board.

Q4: What are the benefits of earning an AP perfect test score?

A: Earning a perfect score on an AP exam can demonstrate a high level of mastery in the subject, which can be beneficial for college admissions, scholarship applications, and future career opportunities. Additionally, it can provide a sense of personal achievement and satisfaction.

Q5: Can anyone earn an AP perfect test score?

A: While anyone can potentially earn a perfect score on an AP exam, it requires a high level of preparation and mastery of the subject material. It is important to study diligently and practice regularly in order to achieve a perfect score.

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