The College Board’s Advanced Placement Program® (AP) enables students to pursue college-level studies while still in high school. Through AP courses in 34 subjects, each culminating in a rigorous exam, AP provides willing and academically-prepared students with the opportunity to earn college credit, advanced placement or both. Taking AP courses also demonstrates to college admission officers that students have sought the most rigorous curriculum available to them.
Each AP course is modeled upon a comparable college course. College and university faculty members play a vital role in ensuring that AP courses align with college-level standards by defining the curricular expectations of each course and reviewing all AP teachers’ syllabi. Talented and dedicated AP teachers help AP students in classrooms around the world to develop and apply the content knowledge and skills they will need in college.
Each AP course culminates with a college-level assessment developed and scored by college and university faculty members, as well as experienced AP teachers. AP Exams are an essential part of the AP experience, enabling students to demonstrate their mastery of college-level course work. An AP Exam score of 5 is equivalent to grades of A+ and A in the corresponding college course; a score of 4 is equivalent to grades of A-, B+ and B; and a score of 3 is equivalent to grades of B-, C+ and C. Most four-year colleges and universities in the United States grant students credit, advanced placement or both on the basis of successful AP Exam scores. Universities in more than 60 countries recognize AP Exam scores in the admission process and/or award credit and placement for qualifying scores. Visit the AP Credit Policy Tool to view AP credit and placement policies at more than 1,000 colleges and universities.
Performing well on an AP Exam means more than just mastering the material in a particular subject; it is a pathway to success in college. Research indicates that students who score a 3 or higher on an AP Exam typically experience greater academic success in college and are more likely to earn a college degree than non-AP students.