Administering AP Exams
AP Exams are rigorous, multiple-component tests that are administered at high schools each May. High school students can earn college credit, placement, or both for qualifying AP Exam scores. Each AP Exam has a corresponding AP course and provides a standardized measure of what students have learned in the AP classroom.
In May 2015, more than 2.5 million high school students at over 19,000 schools worldwide took AP Exams. The majority of U.S. high schools currently participate in the AP Program, and most four-year U.S. colleges and universities grant credit and/or advanced placement for qualifying AP Exam scores.
For each curious and motivated student in your school, there's bound to be an AP course that matches their unique interests. AP offers 37 courses in a wide variety of subject areas, including art, computer science, world languages, government and politics, and more. AP Exams are an essential part of the AP course experience, and help students:
Stand out in the admission process
Earn academic scholarships and awards from colleges and universities
Experience college-level academics now, while they're still in high school
Save time and money once they get to college, providing them with more study options and allowing them to move directly into upper-level courses in their field of interest
Earn AP Scholar Awards, an academic distinction granted each September by the College Board to students with exemplary AP Exam scores.
Stand Out in College Admissions
Deciding to take an AP course lets colleges and universities know that you have what it takes to succeed in an undergraduate environment. When admissions officers see “AP” on your transcript, they know that what you experienced in a particular class has prepared you well for the challenges of college. Taking AP is a sign that you’re up for the most rigorous classes your high school has to offer.
Earn College Credits
By taking an AP course and scoring successfully on the related AP Exam, you can save on college expenses: most colleges and universities nationwide offer college credit, advanced placement, or both, for qualifying AP Exam scores. These credits can allow students to save college tuition, study abroad, or secure a second major. AP can transform what once seemed unattainable into something within reach.
Check out specific colleges’ guidelines on accepting AP scores for credit and placement by searching our AP Credit Policy database.
Skip Introductory Classes
If you already know your preferred college major, taking a related AP course and earning a qualifying score on the AP Exam can help you advance and avoid required introductory courses – so you can move directly into upper-level classes and focus on the work that interests you most.
Even taking an AP Exam unrelated to your major – whether or not you know what you want to major in – can place you beyond your college’s general education requirements. This opens up additional time on your schedule, enabling you to do a second major or minor, take exciting electives, or pursue additional interests.
Build College Skills
Taking an AP course builds the skills you'll need throughout your college years. You give your mind a rigorous workout while polishing up your time management and study skills. You also get better at handling challenging issues and problems, with the support of your AP teachers. AP courses let you know what to expect during the next phase of your educational journey, and help you build the confidence to succeed.