AP exams are scored on a scale of one to five. The score is calculated as a weighted combination of the multiple-choice and free-response scores. Some courses have additional assessments that are factored in, including AP Seminar, AP Research, AP Computer Science Principles, and three AP Art and Design courses.
Because there is no penalty for incorrect answers, students should guess even if it means filling in random answer choices.
While most colleges and universities factor in taking AP courses as a demonstration of academic strength, whether a high AP exam score strengthens admission decisions depends on the school. More than 75% of admissions officers surveyed by the College Board have stated that a low score would not negatively impact an application.
Colleges and universities typically do not grant college credit for AP scores below a four, though a score lower than a four may still impact course placement. Check with your specific schools of interest to understand how they consider AP scores.