Advanced Placement exams or commonly known as AP are exams offered by the College Board, an American not-for-profit organization that was formed in December 1899.
There are around 38 AP courses in seven subject categories and each AP course is modeled on a comparable introductory college course in the subject.
Each course culminates in a standardized college-level assessment, or AP Exam.
The AP program enables willing and academically prepared students to pursue college-level studies while still in high school. The exam is taken by each May by students all over the world.
Schools must be authorized by the AP Course Audit to offer approved AP courses and use the AP designation.
Why take the AP exam and courses?
Taking AP courses and exams helps students to stand out during the college application process. AP courses on a student’s profile shows that they’ve challenged themselves with the most rigorous courses available to them. And success on an AP Exam shows that they’re ready for college-level coursework.
Most four-year colleges and universities in the United States—as well as many institutions in more than 100 other countries—grant students credit, placement, or both for qualifying AP Exam scores, therefore you can skip introductory courses in college if you have undertaken the AP course or exam.
Some facts about AP exams
Each AP course concludes with an AP Exam. These assessments are designed by the same expert committee that designed the course.
The exams are scored on a scale of 1 to 5 by college and university professors and experienced AP teachers. Many U.S. colleges offer credit for AP Exam scores of 3 or higher.
AP Exams are administered at authorized schools and test centers. Most high schools that offer AP courses choose to administer AP Exams to their own students as well as external AP students. Schools that opt not to administer AP Exams can refer students to another AP testing location.
Who should take the AP exams?
All students who are willing and academically prepared to accept the challenge of a rigorous academic curriculum should be considered for admission to AP courses.
The College Board encourages the elimination of barriers that restrict access to AP courses for students from ethnic, racial and socioeconomic groups that have been traditionally underrepresented in the AP Program. Schools should make every effort to ensure that their AP classes reflect the diversity of their student population.
Certain AP courses have prerequisites. For example, students taking AP Physics 1 should have completed geometry and be taking Algebra 2 or an equivalent course. Check the individual course pages to see this information.
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