Advanced Placement Program


The Advanced Placement Program (AP) provides high school students with an opportunity to earn college level course credit by passing specially approved courses while still studying at school. Colleges often grant placement and credit to students who obtain high scores on Advanced Placement exams. This program is created and administered by College Board. For a high school course to have the Advanced Placement designation, the course must be audited by the College Board to ensure it satisfies the Advanced Placement curriculum. Read more to learn about AP exams, AP scores and AP classes.

Why Take AP Courses?

Taking up AP courses helps a student acquire the skills and accumen need to be successful in college. AP classes essentially assists students in preparing for college level education. Students who complete and pass an AP test like AP calculus or AP English Language and composition can often benefit from colleges granting them credit for an equivalent college course. This can enable students to skip few first and second year courses, allowing them to get ahead in their college studies.  In addition, if students are granted credit for a college level course, they may end up saving substantial amount of money by not having to pay for those units of credit.

Test Structure

To continually enhance alignment with current best practices in college-level learning and help students develop the knowledge and skills essential for college majors and subsequent careers, AP is undergoing a number of key changes, including the re-design of several courses in each discipline and the introduction of new courses over the next few years. Visit College Board for detailed information.

There are currently 36 courses and exams available through the AP Program. A complete list can be found below:

Art History
Calculus AB
Calculus BC
Chinese Language and Culture
Computer Science A
English Language and Composition
English Literature and Composition
Environmental Science
European History
French Language
German Language
Government and Politics: Comparative
Government and Politics: United States
Human Geography
Italian Language and Culture
Japanese Language and Culture
Latin: Vergil
Music Theory
Physics 1: Algebra Based
Physics 2 : Algebra Based
Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism
Physics C: Mechanics
Spanish Language
Spanish Literature
Studio Art: 2-D Design
Studio Art: 3-D Design
Studio Art: Drawing
Research *(New course launching in fall 2015 at participating schools.)
United States History
World History

These exams contain both multiple choice questions and free-response items that require essay writing, problem solving and other skills. The content of AP courses is more rigorous and sophisticated than the typical high school honor courses. Therefore, students need expertise in analyzing content, drawing comparisons, and reasoning through problems. They should be able to read perceptively and independently. Additionally, students need to be proficient in writing clear, concise essays. Students who are not skilled in these areas must commence their preparation much early and develop a strict study habit and plan. In addition, students should seek help from their counselors to provide specific guidance and advice on successfully completing AP courses and exams. 


Scoring on the AP exams are called grades and are reported on a 5 point scale. The scale is as follows:

5= Extremely Well Qualified
4= Well Qualified
2=Possibly Qualified
1=No Recommendation

Most colleges consider a minimum score of 3 on one of these exams as an acceptable level of achievement. Scores on the multiple-choice section are based on the number of questions answered correctly. Points are not deducted for incorrect answers and no points are awarded for unanswered questions. After 5-6 weeks  from the test date AP score reports are released to designated colleges, students, and their high schools.


The AP exam cost is $92 for each course. Also, the fee is $122 per exam at schools outside the U.S., U.S. territories, and Canada
 There are  however fee reduction programs available for students who need financial help.


If a high school offers AP, students should contact their AP coordinator to register for the exams. The coordinator will order the necessary materials, collect fees, and let students know when and where to appear for the exams.

Test Dates

The 2016 AP exams will be administered over two weeks in May: May 02 through 06 and May 09 through 13. Coordinators are responsible for notifying students when and where to report for the exams.