How to Prepare for College
- College Preparation Home
- Guide to College Planning
- College Action Plan Calendars
- College Entrance Tests
An Advanced Placement exam is a college-level test taken in May by high school students who have taken a year-long AP course at a participating Canadian, American, and international educational institution. By taking the AP exam you have the chance to earn college credit based on your score. In addition to college credit, which can save you time, money, allow you to study abroad or to graduate with a double major, taking an AP exam or course will also impress on a prospective college that you are willing to challenge yourself. AP classes are more challenging and students engage in discussions and solve problems collaboratively as you would in a college setting.
What is the format of the AP exam?
Most AP exams combine multiple-choice questions with a free-response section in either essay or problem-solving format, but there is an AP Studio Art course that instead prepares students to submit a portfolio for review. There are 33 different courses and exams. All AP exams are grade on point scale from 1 to 5.
AP Exam Scores 5 Point Scale
- 5 = Extremely Qualified
- 4 = Well Qualified
- 5 = Qualified
- 5 = Possibly Qualified
- 5 = No Recommendation
Do all schools accept AP exam scores?
Only 90% of colleges in the United States and in more than 60 countries give student credit for passing AP exam scores. Some schools accepting AP test scores will only give credit for 4 or 5's while others give credit for all passing scores 3-5 and some will possibly give credit for a score of 2, but all colleges will recognize a student with AP courses on their transcript and a high AP test scores regardless of granting credit.