When Do AP Scores Come Out 2021


If you’ve taken an AP exam recently or plan to take one soon, you’re probably wondering:

when do AP scores come out?

Unfortunately, you have to wait a bit longer for AP scores than you do for SAT/ACT scores.

Keep reading to find out exactly when AP exam scores come out. In addition, learn where to find your AP scores and get tips on what you can do as you wait for them.


2021 AP Test Changes Due to COVID-19

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, AP tests will now be held over several different sessions between May and June.

Your test dates, and whether or not your tests will be online or on paper, will depend on your school. To learn more about how all of this is going to work and get the latest information on test dates, AP online review, and what these changes means for you, be sure to check out

our 2021 AP COVID-19 FAQ article


AP Score Release Dates for 2021

In normal years, AP scores are released

each year in early to mid-July


Each student would receive all their test scores at once, but score releases were rolled out over a few days. AP scores are typically released by rough

geographic region.

For example, in 2016 all the states on the east coast got their scores first, whereas those in the northwest got theirs last.

However, because of the pandemic and the resulting changes made to the AP testing schedule, AP scores releases are slightly different this year.

The date you receive your AP scores will be based on

when you took the exams


Exams are spread across four administrations, the first two in May, and the second two in June.

Here are when 2021 AP scores will be released:

Date You Took the Exam

Score Release Date


(Administrations 1 and 2)

Starting Wednesday, July 21 at 7 a.m. ET.

(Administrations 3 and 4)
By Monday, August 16

Note two key words:

For the first two administrations, scores are released


July 21, so score releases may be staggered over several days the way they typically are. For administrations 3 and 4, the College Board states scores will be released


August 16, so you may get them slightly earlier. Exact release times appear to still be slightly up in the air, but this info gives you a good estimate of when to expect your 2021 AP scores.

Learn more about the 2021 score release schedule at

the College Board website


How Do I Get My AP Scores?

AP scores are posted online on the

AP student website

. You’ll be able to access them through your College Board account, so make sure you have your username and password on hand.

You’ll also need

your AP number


the student ID number you used on your AP answer sheet.

AP scores are


available online—you won’t get a letter or score report in the mail. (Back when I was in high school, though, and as recently as 2013, scores were


mailed and usually arrived in mid-July. You should be excited about the online score system since it’s much faster!)

One of the single most important parts of your college application is what classes you choose to take in high school (in conjunction with how well you do in those classes).

Our team of PrepScholar admissions experts have compiled their knowledge into this single guide to planning out your high school course schedule.

We’ll advise you on how to balance your schedule between regular and honors/AP/IB courses, how to choose your extracurriculars, and what classes you can’t afford not to take.

Plan Your Course Schedule

Why Does It Take So Long to Grade AP Tests?

While the fact that AP scores come out online saves some time, why does it take the College Board two months to grade AP exams when you can get your SAT scores after just a few weeks?

The reason for this is that

it takes a long time to grade free-response questions.

Although the multiple-choice sections are graded by a computer, free responses aren’t graded until the

annual AP Reading conference in June

. (Graders will work from home this year due to the coronavirus.)

This event is basically a huge conference where thousands of high school teachers and professors gather to grade all the free-response sections on AP tests. The AP Reading usually lasts

about two weeks.

Since it doesn’t start until June (to accommodate teachers’ and professors’ schedules), this makes the AP scoring process take longer.


This is an actual picture from the 2013 Reading conference for AP Studio Art. Each portfolio is looked at by more than seven graders!

Read more here if you’re curious

about what happens during grading.

Once the conference is done, the College Board must work quickly to

combine the free-response scores with the multiple-choice scores;

this process involves weighing and then scaling them to the

final 1-5 scoring scale

. Readers have just

two weeks

to do all of this before final AP scores are posted online in July.

Even though the entire scoring process takes two months, it’s actually quite a feat for more than four million AP exams to be graded by

real people

every single year!

Still Waiting for AP Scores? What to Do in the Meantime

Since there’s no way to see your AP scores before they’re posted online, you’ll have to be patient and find a way to occupy yourself in the meantime.

AP exams typically end in May

(though they extended into June in 2020 and 2021), but because most school years last until late May or June, try to

finish the school year strong.

Your GPA is


important in college admissions

, so use your time (now that the AP tests are over!) to maximize your grades, especially in your AP classes.

Additionally, since you’ll likely be taking


around this time, make sure to

study hard for these

so that you can walk away from the class with a grade you’re proud of. Finals often count for a big percentage of your overall class grade, so don’t put off studying for them!

If you’re a freshman or sophomore, you might want to

use this time to jumpstart your ACT or SAT prep


It might seem early, but the earlier in your career you begin studying for these tests, the more familiar you’ll become with them (and the better you’re likely to do).

If you’re a junior, you’ve hopefully already taken the SAT/ACT at least once.

However, if you haven’t, definitely use the time


your AP test to study for one.

If you’ve already taken the SAT/ACT but plan to

retake the test

, try to dive into your studies once you’re done with AP tests.

If you’re a senior, you’ll likely have already gotten your college decisions by the time AP tests are done, so finish the year strong and enjoy graduation!

Looking for help studying for your AP exam?

Our one-on-one online AP tutoring services can help you prepare for your AP exams. Get matched with a top tutor who got a high score on the exam you’re studying for!

Get a 5 On Your AP Exam

What to Do After You Get Your AP Scores

If you’ve passed your AP exams,

start exploring the College Board’s college database

to see

where you can get credit for your scores.

You can also

read about the College Board’s score reporting service

and begin thinking more about the

college application process

(if you’re a junior).


It won’t be too long until you’ll be filling this out for the first time. Start researching your options now!

On the other hand, if you


pass an AP test, you might want to

consider retaking the exam next year, especially if it’s a course you want to get college credit for.

Talk to your guidance counselor and/or AP teacher to discuss your options.


check back online in August to see if you qualified for any of the

AP Student awards


These are basically awards you get if you earn a certain number of passing scores on the AP tests. If you win an award, it will be included on any score reports you send to colleges. Nice!

What’s Next?

Above, we mentioned using your time after APs are over to

jumpstart your SAT/ACT studying.

Here are some of our best resources you can use:

Aiming for a perfect SAT/ACT score?

Read our famous guides to scoring

a perfect 1600 on the SAT


a perfect 36 on the ACT

. Both were written by

a full scorer!

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