what ap course

by Bud Gulgowski 9 min read

Advanced Placement (AP) is a program in the United States created by the College Board which offers college-level curricula and examinations to high school students. American colleges and universities may grant placement and course credit to students who obtain high scores on the examinations.

What are all the AP classes?

The AP Art and Design Program includes three different courses: AP 2-D Art and Design, AP 3-D Art and Design, and AP Drawing. In each course, you’ll investigate materials, processes, and ideas. You’ll make works of art and design by practicing, experimenting, and revising, and you will communicate your ideas about art and design through ...

How to take online AP courses?

Online AP courses are very much like regular AP classes. You have a teacher, receive a syllabus, complete reading and homework assignments, read or listen to lectures, take exams, etc. The difference is that you take the course online at home or school. A well-thought-out online course includes a combination of presentations, audio, video ...

Can you take AP courses or exams online?

You may be able to take AP courses online. If your school doesn’t offer AP courses, your teachers or school counselors can help you take AP courses through an approved online AP provider. Taking AP can save you time and money.

What are the AP classes in high school?

5 Benefits of Taking AP Classes in High School

  1. Prep for college. AP classes can be as challenging as introductory college courses. ...
  2. Rise to the top of the pile. Advanced Placement classes show admissions officers that you're ready for college-level work. ...
  3. Strengthen your transcript. ...
  4. Study what you love. ...

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What are AP courses good for?

The advantages of taking AP classes and examsTo prepare for college. AP courses are usually comparable to first-year college courses, so your student will be prepared for the workload and develop college-level academic skills. ... To boost their GPA. ... To save time and money in college. ... To receive merit-based financial aid.

What type of courses are AP?

Full List of AP SubjectsAP Art History.AP Biology.AP Calculus AB.AP Calculus BC.AP Chemistry.AP Chinese Language & Culture.AP Comparative Government & Politics.AP Computer Science A.More items...

What are AP classes and what do they do?

AP stands for Advanced Placement, which are college level courses that are operated by the College Board. These higher level courses are offered at high schools to provide students an opportunity to earn college credits. Each AP course is associated with a large test that the course is oriented for.

What is an AP course in high school?

AP courses allow high school students to take classes at the US university level. They allow students to study 38 subjects in-depth and prepare them for college-level work. Most US universities recognize AP credit as college credit. The AP Program offers several awards for high achievement.

How long is an AP course?

The AP Capstone Diploma Program is a two-year program based on two AP courses, AP Seminar and AP Research. Students who fulfill the requirements can earn academic awards recognized by colleges around the world.

Should I take AP classes in 9th grade?

Students can take AP courses and exams as early as 9th grade, but this is rarely recommended. Certain AP subjects, such as European History and World History, are great choices for 10th graders, but most AP classes are best suited to high school juniors and seniors.

Why do high schools take AP?

The main reason to take an AP exam is to demonstrate mastery of rigorous college-level material. And, by scoring a passing grade on an AP exam (3 or above), you can earn college credit at the majority of colleges and universities in the US and Canada.

Do I need to take AP classes to get into Harvard?

While Harvard will not grant college credit for your AP tests, the school does want to see that you have taken advantage of all of the opportunities that are available to you, including AP courses and tests. Some schools offer international baccalaureate classes.

What Is Advanced Placement?

Advanced Placement is a program run by the College Board (the makers of the SAT) that allows you to take courses at your high school, which can ear...

Why Take AP Classes? 3 Key Benefits

Now that you know what AP classes are, why should you consider taking them? Below, we give you three potential benefits of taking AP classes.

How to Sign Up For AP Classes and Tests

You can sign up for an AP course through your normal high school registration process. Keep in mind that some schools have prerequisite courses you...

What is AP in college?

Advanced Placement is a program run by the College Board (the makers of the SAT) that allows you to take special high school courses that can earn you college credit and/or qualify you for more advanced classes when you begin college. So what are AP courses? They are designed to give you the experience of an intro-level college class ...

What is an AP test?

An AP exam is basically a test of all that you learn in an AP class. You will typically earn college credit if you pass the exam given at the end of the year in May. ( AP tests are scored between 1 and 5, with anything above 3 considered passing.)

Why do colleges check AP classes?

Many colleges say that they check to see whether you took the hardest courses available to you at your school. Taking AP classes is often the best way to show that you are challenging yourself academically at your high school.

How much does an AP test cost?

If you're homeschooled or want to take an AP test for a class your school doesn't offer, contact your local school's AP coordinator. AP tests cost $94 each. Some schools offer subsidies, and the College Board has financial aid in the form of a $32 fee reduction.

What does a 5 on AP class mean?

An AP class on your transcript signals stronger academic training, especially with high passing scores of 4 and 5 on the test. In particular, getting a 5 on an AP test shows that you are more advanced in a subject than 80%-90% of advanced students —which looks very impressive to colleges!

When was AP created?

AP classes were created in the mid-1950s as a response to the widening gap between secondary school (high school) and college. A pilot program in 1952 had 11 subjects, but AP didn't officially launch until the 1956 school year, when the College Board took over and named it the College Board Advanced Placement Program.

Does Stanford accept AP credit?

Similarly, other schools might let you earn college credit but have limits on which AP exams they'll accept. As an example, Stanford University accepts AP credit from many science, language, and math AP courses but not any from history or English courses.

Keep in Mind

You don’t need to be top of your class to be an AP student, but you’ll want to be prepared for the AP course you choose. Some AP classes have recommended courses you should take first, and all AP courses ask that you come willing to do your best work.


Some AP classes have recommended courses you should take first—check the specific course page for that information. Your high school may also have requirements for specific AP courses. Talk to your school counselor or a teacher to find out more.


This four-page worksheet helps students prepare to talk to their teacher or counselor about taking AP courses.

What Is AP?

Taking AP courses in high school could give you an advantage in college by letting you:

An Opportunity to Earn Credit

Nearly all colleges and universities in the United States grant credit and placement for qualifying AP scores. Use our tool to find colleges you’re interested in and see what you could earn with AP.

A Path to Your Future

Use our tool to see which AP courses can help you on the path to specific careers or college majors.

Next Steps

There are AP courses in arts, English, history and social science, math and computer science, sciences, and world languages and cultures. Whatever your academic interest, you’ll find a course to match it.

What is an AP exam?

AP Exams are a great way to begin exploring future college and career options. They are also a great way to signal on your college applications that you are considering what you want to study in college and are developing the skills for college classes.

What happens if you don't take AP classes?

However, if you don't choose your AP classes wisely, you could end up in a class that is overwhelming, boring, and/or drags down your GPA because you can't get a high grade in it. By carefully considering which AP classes to take, you can maximize the benefits you get from them while minimizing the drawbacks. ...

Is it hard to take AP classes?

AP classes can be very difficult even if you're interested in the subject material, so it would be especially challenging to get yourself to study for something you really dislike, even if you think taking a particular AP class will look good on a college application.

Do AP classes have to be in the spring?

AP classes are big time commitments, especially in the spring ( see our post on test dates for tips on dealing with the spring time test crunch) . Some teachers require extra study sessions, including on the weekends, to give you time to take practice tests.

What are the hardest AP classes?

The hardest AP classes to self-study: are Chemistry, and Physics C – Electricity and Magnetism . These are also rated among the hardest and most time-consuming AP exams, so taking these on as self-study is not to be taken lightly – good luck! Whatever you’re studying, wishing you every success in your AP exams!

What are the easiest AP classes to self study?

The easiest AP classes to self-study are: Computer Science Principles, Psychology and Environmental Science. These are also rated as the easiest and least time-consuming AP classes overall, so you should be OK.

Is your profile on track for college admissions?

Our free guidance platform determines your real college chances using your current profile and provides personalized recommendations for how to improve it.

Updated May 21, 2020

Due to COVID-19, 2020 both AP exams and classes are being held online. Students can access live classes and recordings on the AP YouTube Channel. Visit their website to view the daily course schedule.

Complete List of AP Classes

Let’s get started with the complete list. Here, we include all AP classes, regardless of whether or not they culminate in an AP exam.

So, Which AP Exams Are Most Popular?

For a little bit more of the bigger picture, take a look at this data from the 2018 test administrations. Here you’ll be able to see the top ten most popular AP exams, and how many students took each is nationwide.

Discover your chances at hundreds of schools

Our free chancing engine takes into account your history, background, test scores, and extracurricular activities to show you your real chances of admission—and how to improve them.

Which AP Exams Have the Highest Pass Rates?

Some of our students are very eager to figure out which AP tests have the highest pass rates, but we provide this data only accompanied by a disclaimer. High pass rates are not the equivalent of easy tests.

Go to the AP Course Ledger

The AP Course Ledger lists secondary school courses offered worldwide that are authorized to include the AP designation when listed on student transcripts.

Or search for online providers

Type the word “online” into the High School Name or College Board School Code field to see authorized online providers.