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Advanced Placement FAQs

Last updated January 6, 2020

What is Advanced Placement?

An Advanced Placement course or AP for short is a class taken in high school that is designed like an introductory college class. AP courses are separate from honors classes, where there isn't the opportunity to get college credit. Taking an AP exam in a specific subject and passing with a certain score can count for college credit which allows for placement in higher level college classes. AP courses also count towards high school credit requirements.

Who can take AP courses? 

Any high school student can if they have shown from previous course loads that they can succeed in harder classes. The classes are free to take as long as the school has them available.

Why should I take an AP course? 

You'll have the opportunity to get college credit. Think of it as not paying tuition for a class you would take in college (you pay an exam fee, which can be reduced - keep reading to learn how). Your college application will stand out with AP classes on your high school transcript. AP classes show that you are ready for academic challenges. 

When are the AP exams?

The AP exams are in May, but tests are ordered in March. The dates vary slightly from year to year so be sure to check the dates/ deadlines.

How much does the exam cost?

$94. All exams must be paid for and ordered separately. For up to date costs and details  click here. Some schools pay for student testing! Check with your school counselor or AP teacher to see what your options

Is there a fee waiver?

The College Board provides a $32 fee reduction for eligible students with financial need. Some schools and states also offer financial assistance to bring these costs down further. For more details click here and choose your state.

How many colleges offer credit for AP grades/test scores?

Most colleges and universities will give you credit for AP courses if you meet the AP exam scores required by that institution. Check with the school(s) you’re applying to or use this  College Board tool, to see what their requirements and parameters are to submit AP scores for credit. For a quick search of  international AP recognition check here.

What score do I need in order to get college credit?

Many schools will accept a score of 3 or higher, but some of the more competitive universities require scores of 4 or 5. Be sure to check with your college of interest and on this College Board tool .

How do I submit my exam scores to the college(s) I’m applying to?

When you take the test you will be able to designate the schools you want to receive your scores. Additionally, through The College Board website, you can create an account and  view your scores. On this site you can get your scores and add other schools you may have forgotten to include when you took the exam. Please note there’s an extra fee for this, $15 minimum, so it’s best to add the schools on the day of the test.

What should I do to prepare for the exam?

College Board has practice questions and other resources to get you ready here .

Can I retake the exam?

It is possible to retake an AP exam but since you can only take the exam once per year (when it's offered in May), this isn’t a very common option.

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