Will it affect my application?
This is a very interesting question. Many universities award college credit for a good AP exam score. If you are looking at going to such a university, then we would recommend taking the exam. Also there might be questions about why you are not taking the exams.
An AP exam score can also help set your application apart from others as well. With schools becoming test-optional or test-blind now, a good AP score can help boost your chances of admission.
I agree with the poster above. I also would recommend that students strive for 4s or 5s. In some cases, including an explanation as to why an AP exam was not taken at the culmination of a course in the Additional Information section of an application may be helpful to an applicant (again, given the circumstances).