About AP Exams

AP Exams are standardized exams designed to measure how well you’ve mastered the content and skills of a specific AP course. Most AP courses have an end-of-year paper-and-pencil exam, but a few courses have different ways to assess what you’ve learned—for example, AP Art and Design students submit a portfolio of work for scoring.

Keep in Mind

Exam Schedule

AP Exams are given every year in May.

Exam Locations

AP Exams are administered at many high schools and at exam centers. Ask a teacher or school counselor if your school administers AP Exams.

Exam Scoring

AP Exams are created and scored by teams of AP teachers and college professors.

Benefits of Taking the Exams

Most U.S. colleges grant credit, advanced placement, or both for qualifying AP scores.

FAQs

AP Exams are only given once a year, but you may repeat an exam in a subsequent year. If you do, both scores will be reported unless you request that one be withheld or canceled.

You can take an AP Exam each time it’s offered. Exams are administered once a year in May. Your score report will include your scores for all the AP Exams you have taken unless you request that one or more scores be withheld or canceled.

If you have a documented disability, you may be eligible for accommodations on AP Exams. Learn more about testing accommodations for AP Exams and contact your school's AP coordinator.

You are not permitted to bring food or drink, including bottled water, into the exam room (unless approved as an accommodation by College Board’s Services for Students with Disabilities office). During the 10-minute break between Sections 1 and 2 of the exam, with the proctor’s permission, you can leave the exam room to get a drink of water or a snack.

If two of the exams you want to take are scheduled for the same time, ask your AP coordinator for information about taking one of the exams during the late-testing period. You may still register for both.

The mean score for the 2018 AP Exams was 2.89. Nearly 60% of all exams taken earned a score of 3 or higher. To learn more about individual exams, visit AP Score Distributions.

Talk to your counselor or your school’s AP coordinator. Schools have different ways to address this issue. For example, you may be able to take the exam at another local school. To learn how to arrange this, see Can I register for an AP Exam if my school doesn’t offer AP classes?

Yes. You can’t order AP Exams directly, but you should be able to arrange to take exams at a nearby high school that administers AP Exams. Here’s how.

Your first step is to contact AP Services for Students at 888-225-5427 (toll free in the United States and Canada) or +1-212-632-1780 or apstudents@info.collegeboard.org. That office can give you contact information for local AP coordinators who may be willing to test outside students. We recommend you do this no later than September 4.

You are then responsible for contacting coordinators on that list to see if one of them can arrange testing for you. You should do this no later than October 4. Note that schools may have their own local deadlines for receiving requests from outside students to test at their school.

When you find an AP coordinator able to administer your AP Exam(s), he or she is responsible for ordering your exam materials, telling you when and where to report for the exams, and collecting the exam fees.

Many schools across the world offer AP Exams. If your school doesn’t, and you want to register for an exam, you can contact AP Services for Students at 888-225-5427 (toll free in Canada) or +1-212-632-1780 or apstudents@info.collegeboard.org to find an alternate school for testing or take the exams at a local AP test center.

If you are registering for AP Exams in India without access to AP courses in your school, visit AP in India. For students in China, please visit AP in China. You can also find test centers authorized by the AP Program in Hong Kong, South Korea, and Singapore.

Yes. We recommend taking the AP course before taking an AP Exam—but it’s not required. We want to be sure homeschooled students and students in schools that don’t offer AP can take AP Exams.

You will have to arrange to take the exam at your school or, if your school doesn’t administer the exam, at a local school or testing center that administers it. See The AP Exam I want to take isn’t offered at my school. What should I do? and I’m homeschooled. How can I take an AP Exam? for details.

To prepare for the exam without taking the course, you should study the skills and content outlined in the course and exam description for your subject, which you can find on the specific course page. For most courses, this document also explains how your knowledge of the course content and skills is assessed on the exams.

Get to know the exams by reviewing free practice questions. The AP Program releases the free-response questions every year for exams that have them. We also offer free-response questions from past exams along with sample student responses and scoring guidelines so you can see why a real exam taker got the score they did.

Note: AP Seminar and AP Research are exceptions. Only students whose schools offer the AP Capstone program can enroll in AP Seminar or AP Research and submit performance tasks and/or take the AP Seminar End-of-Course Exam.

Yes. Although AP Art and Design students will submit portfolios instead of taking a traditional exam, they still need to register. You’ll need to join your class section in AP Classroom in order to register for the assessment. You will also need to create an account in the AP Art and Design Digital Submission web application, where you’ll be submitting your portfolio.

Students and parents can’t order AP Exams directly, but you should be able to arrange to take the exam at a nearby high school that administers them. Here’s how.

Your first step is to contact AP Services for Students at 888-225-5427 (toll free in the United States and Canada) or +1-212-632-1780 or apstudents@info.collegeboard.org. That office can give you contact information for local AP coordinators who may be willing to test outside students. We recommend you do this no later than September 4.

You are then responsible for contacting coordinators on that list to see if one of them can arrange testing for you. You should do this no later than October 4. Note that schools may have their own local deadlines for receiving requests from outside students to test at their school

When you find an AP coordinator able to administer your AP Exam(s), he or she is responsible for ordering your exam materials, telling you when and where to report for the exams, and collecting the exam fees.

Total 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.

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