Important Resume Question: For non-target undergrad students, should impressive AP scores go on the resume?

Rank: Monkey | 31

I went for a very specialized degree at a non-target undergrad public university (very few schools have the program).

I am wondering whether AP scores should go on resume, particularly if I have them in the 3 hardest AP classes (Physics C: mechanics, E and M, Calc BC and some liberal arts ones).

I never considered putting them on there, but the only other forum on the topic at WSO says this in the comments:
"Only if you're a nontarget. Several recruiters told me to put test scores to subtly show I could've gone to a better school. If you go to an ivy, don't bother."

I feel like that is true. Probably not even half of incoming MIT student body has E&M credit. Should I put the AP credits just to subtly show I could have gone to an "elite" school?

Note: I wouldn't put something like "Physics C: Mechanics: 5, Physics C: .... etc." and give the exact scores because it seems too obvious/irritating, but I would have a simple one-line saying __ credits earned in high school for physics mechanics, E and M, etc.

Also, I am looking at trading/quant jobs in particular, not IB, if that matters, and I will be attending a target graduate school in the spring of next year if that matters as well.

Comments (23)

 
May 31,2017

If you crushed the GMAT or LSAT I might be somewhat impressed, otherwise I generally ignore test scores when I see them on resumes. I'd be more interested in things like relevant college coursework or exposure to the role/industry than test scores from high school. On the other hand, if high AP scores are the pinnacle of your existence thus far, make 'em big & bold.

Learn More

Side-by-side comparison of top modeling training courses + exclusive discount through WSO here.

 
May 31,2017

GMAT/GRE/LSAT. Maybe SAT if you killed it.

Honestly, AP scores are not impressive. You can get like half the questions wrong on physics E&M and get the max score. Plus, if you're going to grad school, I think you should highlight things you've done in, you know, the last five years.

Data point: I passed 23 AP tests with almost all 5s. I have never consider putting it on my resume.

 
Jun 30,2017

wow 23? what the hell? I hope you graduated in 3.5 years or less! That's actually crazy. Yeah but nobody takes E and M in the first place anyways lol

Again though, I'm not trying to brag about the AP scores at all. I realize they're trivial in comparison to college course work, but courses like E and M and mechanics DO matter a huge amount to getting into elite undergrad institutions. Since the undergrad school u went to matters a tremendous amount on wall street, then why not have one line saying you subtlety could have gone to an elite school?

 
Jun 30,2017

I see your logic in final point - but if that's the message you are trying to give ("could have gone to an elite"), you better back up elsewhere why you /did not/ go to one... i.e. full-ride, athletics programming for position you play, etc.

 
Jun 30,2017

Yeah I think I have a pretty good one. I studied a very niche engineering field. Only like 20 schools in country have it. At the time I was interested in it, but now I want to work on Wall Street.

 
Jul 31,2017

Nope. Don't emphasize high school.

Learn More

Side-by-side comparison of top modeling training courses + exclusive discount through WSO here.

 
Jul 31,2017

No. They don't care. The reason that quant recruiters like physics and engineering types so much is because they have a lot of statistics and programming knowledge relative to business students. That's what you need to convey. Put whatever programming languages you know or are working on on your resume. If you have decent experience (even academic) in statistical modeling/research, put that on. If you don't, start doing your own research. Think of some things in financial markets you're curious about, find a data set and crunch some numbers. You can briefly mention classes in your cover letter - purely for the reason of mentioning your math skills. Id omit the fact that they're highschool though.

 
Jul 31,2017

can't see why it would hurt - i think high SAT scores or SAT 2 scores in Math would be impressive.

www.salesandtradinginterviews.com

IVY for Life

 
 
Jul 31,2017
 
Jul 31,2017

IMO you should leave those off, use the space you save for other things on your resume that will stand out more

 
Jul 31,2017

i am wondering whether or not ap scores ought to go on resume, specially if i've them in the 3 toughest ap lessons (physics c: mechanics, e and m, calc BC and some liberal arts ones).

 
Jul 31,2017

No, it's coursework. Everyone knows engineers take calculus, etc. It's redundant.

 
Jul 31,2017

Yes I understand that, but the point was to essentially to show I could have gone to an elite undergrad school if I wanted to because apparently undergrad institution prestige matters A LOT.

 
Jul 31,2017

Put relevant coursework on your resume but leave the AP scores off. I would be more interested in what upper division courses you have taken and how you did in them rather than your AP scores. Especially if you want to do quant stuff. Your knowledge of probability, statistics and programming is going to be more useful than how you scored on a basic calculus/physics exam in high school. Yes, I know the AP exams seem hard/prestigious when you are in high school but once you are a year out of high school, they aren't really.

 
Jul 31,2017

Thanks for the answer. The point of adding them wasn't to say: "Look I can do first-year calculus and physics", but rather just to say "Look I could have gone to an elite institution if I wanted to" because apparently undergrad institution prestige matters A LOT.

 
Jul 31,2017

Not even too sure the average hiring manager is familiar enough with AP scoring scales to be impressed by scanning your resume, the space can be utilized better. And then you would also start to make me think something must be wrong with you; such impressive performance in AP classes, why non target? Just leave it off.

 
Jul 31,2017

I pursued a very specialized engineering field which only a select few institutions had.

 
Jul 31,2017

Only AP scores if you're a freshmen. After that, it means nothing - less than an A in an intro-level college course.

 
Jul 31,2017

Thanks for the answer. The point of adding them wasn't to say: "Look I can do first-year calculus and physics", but rather just to say "Look I could have gone to an elite institution if I wanted to" because apparently undergrad institution prestige matters A LOT.

 
Jul 31,2017