College Board Advanced Placement Program (AP)

The offers students the opportunity to take college-level courses and exams in high school and earn , , or both at many colleges and universities in the U.S. and around the world.

By earning college credit in high school and skipping introductory courses in college, your child can save time and money as they work toward a college degree.

Fast Facts

  • There are 38 AP subjects.

  • AP Exams take place each May and are scored on a scale of 1–5.

  • Most colleges grant credit, advanced placement, or both for AP Exam scores of 3 or higher.

  • AP courses are free.

  • 85% of selective colleges and universities report that a student’s AP experience has a positive impact on admission decisions.

Benefits of Taking AP

In addition to saving time and money on their way to a college degree, your child can benefit in the following ways just by taking an AP course:

  • They'll dig deeper into subjects that interest them.

  • They'll stand out in the college admission process.

  • They'll build the confidence and skills they need to tackle challenging college coursework.

  • They'll increase their chances of completing a college degree in 4 years or less.

AP Course Grades and Exam Scores

When your child takes an AP course in school, they'll get a grade just like when they take any other course. Taking AP courses will help your child stand out to colleges and universities, but it won't earn them college credit.

When your child takes an AP Exam in May, college faculty and experienced AP teachers review your child's responses and give the exam a score of 1–5. Your child will get credit at many colleges and universities for AP Exam scores of 3 or higher.

AP Exam scores are available in July. If your child already has a College Board online account, all they have to do is with the username and password they used when they created their account.

If they're asked for their AP number, they'll find it on the labels that came with their AP Student Pack when they took the exam.

Students should send their AP Exam scores to the colleges they're planning to attend to be eligible for college credit or placement in an advanced course.