About AP Exams

AP Tests are internationally-recognized standardized exams taken by high school students in and outside the United States to demonstrate mastery of university-level course content. The Advanced Placement Program gives students the opportunity to earn credit (points towards an undergraduate degree) or advanced placement (chance to skip introductory classes, enter higher-level classes and/or fulfill general education requirements). Universities do not require students to submit AP scores, although success on these exams indicate strong interest in challenging themselves and learning at a college level. In fact, the AP program is acknowledged in the admissions process by more than 4,000 universities worldwide; outside the United States, more than 600 universities in more than 60 countries recognize qualifying AP Exam scores.

AP Exam Content

Administered in May each year, AP Exams are generally two to three hours long and divided into two sections: a multiple choice part with 4 or 5 answer choices and a free-response part that requires an essay, solution to a problem, or spoken response. Note that while most exams require the traditional pencil and paper method, there are exceptions. Exams such as AP Studio Art ask students to submit art portfolios, while AP Chinese Language and Culture and AP Japanese Language and Culture are CD-based and taken on computers. There are currently 34 AP exams offered:

  • Art History
  • Biology
  • Calculus (AB & BC)
  • Chemistry
  • Chinese language and Culture
  • Comparative Government & Politics
  • Computer Science A
  • English Language & Compostiion
  • English Literature & Composition
  • Environmental Science European History
  • French Language
  • German Language
  • Human Geography
  • Italian Language and Culture
  • Japanese Language and Culture
  • Latin
  • Macroeconomics
  • Microeconomics
  • Music Theory
  • Physics B
  • Physics C: Mechanics
  • Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism
  • Spanish Language
  • Spanish Literature
  • Statistics
  • Studio Art (2-D, 3-D, & Drawing)
  • U.S. History
  • U.S. Government & Politics
  • World History

Why you should take the AP tests

More so than the SAT II’s, taking AP Exams allow students to develop a global perspective and skills such as critical thinking and problem solving. Success on these AP Exams give colleges the impression that the students are taking and succeeding in the most rigorous course work available.It also follows that admission officers at highly selective universities appear to consider a low score as a cause for concern in the admissions process.
At many universities around the world, success on the AP exam allows students to earn credit (points towards an undergraduate degree) or advanced placement (chance to skip introductory classes, enter higher-level classes and/or fulfill general education requirements).In fact, more than 4,000 universities worldwide recognize the AP Program, while more than 600 universities in more than 60 countries (outside the U.S.) recognize qualifying AP Exam scores. To see the AP Credit Policy at a specific school, go to the link: https://apscore.collegeboard.org/creditandplacement/search-credit-policies.

College Admissions/College Credit

The final score for each AP Exam is reported on a 5-point scale that offers a suggestion about how qualified students are to receive college credit and placement:

5 = extremely well qualified
4 = well qualified
3 = qualified
2 = possibly qualified
1 = no recommendation

Exam scores of 5 are, supposedly, equivalent to grades of A+ and A in the corresponding college course. AP Exam scores of 4 are equivalent to grades of A-, B+ and B in college. AP Exam scores of 3 are equivalent to grades of B-, C+ and C in college.
Typically, a score of 3 or higher is a requirement for credit or advanced placement. Students must sendtheir official score report to the college if they wish to pursue these options.

Other Info

  1. Other than the 34 AP Exams currently offered, take note of the following lists.

AP Exam to be Removed:

    • Physics B

AP Exams in Development:

    • Physics 1
    • Physics 2
    • Russian Language and Culture

Former AP Subjects:

    • Computer Science AB
    • French Literature
    • Latin Literature
  1. Students can take an AP Exam each time the AP Exam is offered (once a year in May). The score report will include scores for all the AP Exams the student has taken, including yearly repeats of the same subject exam. Students have the option to withhold or even cancel a score.
  2. Homeschooled students and students whose schools do not offer AP can still take the AP Exam. It is in their best interest to study the skills and content outlined in the Course Description for that specific subject (link to Course Description: http://apcentral.collegeboard.com/apc/public/courses/descriptions/index.html)
  3. The mean score for the 2012 AP Exams was 2.91. Nearly 60% of all exams taken earned a score of 3 or higher.
  4. Calculus exams: Students cannot take both the AP Calculus AB and Calculus BC Exams within the same year.
  5. Exam conflicts: If two exams are scheduled for the same time, ask the AP Coordinator at the student’s school for information about taking one of the exams during the late-testing period.
  6. Studio Art portfolios: Students may submit more than one Studio Art portfolio, but each one must be a different type of portfolio. Students can neither duplicate works nor combine portfolios.

AP Test Tutoring

If you are looking for tutoring for a particular AP test, Veritas Prep can help. Veritas Prep’s instructors also have mastery of a wide array of academic subjects applicable to SAT Subject Tests and AP tests. As a result, Veritas Prep SAT instructors can not only prepare you for the SAT, but also for a number of other standardized tests required by most colleges for admissions. In order to tutor a student in an AP test or SAT Subject test, instructors must have either:
For further questions about our AP Test tutoring, please call to speak to an academic advisor at 800-925-PREP (7737). To enroll in private tutoring, use ‘Enroll Now’ button.