Because most U.S. colleges grant college credit for AP scores, earning a "good" score on the AP exam is important -- not to mention the potential added bonus of earning additional awards and recognition for high scores. So now you know that you'll be rewarded for good scores, but you're not certain what qualifies as a good score. It fits into the exam's 1-5 point scale.

The 5-Point AP Score

A qualified AP score can get you much credit than a thumbs up.
A qualified AP score can get you much credit than a thumbs up.

On AP tests, scores are calculated based on a weighted combination of multiple-choice sections and free-response sections. The College Board defines scores as follows:

5=extremely well qualified 4=well qualified 3=qualified 2=possibly qualified 1=no recommendation

The College Board notes that "qualified" means a student has proven himself capable of doing the work of an intro-level college course.

The Multiple-Choice Section

For most AP exams, the multiple-choice section is scored by computer. According to the College Board, each answer sheet is scanned, and the multiple-choice score is based on the number of correct responses.That number is then combined with the free-response section for a composite score.

So What's "Good?"

In terms of the AP exam, "qualified" and "good" are pretty synonymous. Technically, it takes a score of a 3, 4 or 5 to be granted college credit at most schools -- although each college has its own policies on accepting AP credit.