Advanced Placement Tests – AP

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Purpose of assessment: There are 38 AP courses in disciplines such as the arts, English, history and social science, math and computer science, the sciences, and world languages and culture. 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. In Spring 2021, during the second and third testing windows, many subjects’ exams will be given on computer.

Grades Taking the assessment: High School students taking AP courses

Dates: See the AP website for details on the date. 

What to expect during the assessment: 

Each of the 38 exams has its own unique requirements; however, almost all of the exams have several things in common:

  • Most exams are 2–3 hours long.
  • The first part of the exam usually consists of multiple-choice questions.
    • You will choose 1 of 4–5 answer choices for each question and use a pencil to bubble in your choice on your AP answer sheet.
    • Your total exam score on the multiple-choice section is based only on the number of questions answered correctly. You won’t receive or lose points for incorrect answers or unanswered questions.
  • The second part of the exam usually consists of free-response questions that require you to generate your own responses. Depending on the exam, your responses could be in the form of an essay, a solution to a problem, or a spoken response. In most cases, you’ll be writing your response in pen in the free-response exam booklet.

Practice links:

College board has a number of practice options. Please visit the Practice for the Exams – AP students page for more information.

What Does the Scores Mean: 

You can get your scores here.

The final score for each AP Exam is reported on a 5-point scale that offers a recommendation about how qualified you are to receive college credit and placement—but each college makes its own decisions about what scores it will grant credit or placement for. For most AP Exams, your score is a weighted combination of your scores on the 2 sections, multiple-choice and free-response. Some AP courses have assessments that include other scored components. Please click here to see more information on AP scores

Resources based on the results: 

The AP website has a lot of information about scores, how to send them to schools and credit placement. Click here to go to the AP site. We highly recommend also talking to your APS counselor and the colleges you are applying to to determine the process for using and reporting your AP scores.