What Is AP?

The AP Program offers college-level courses and exams that you can take in high school.

An Edge in College

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

Earn College Credit and Placement

Your AP score could earn you college credits before you even set foot on campus. In fact, most AP students who enroll in four-year colleges start school with some credit.

Save Money and Time

Earning credit or placement can open up time on your schedule or even let you graduate early.

Stand Out to Colleges

“AP” on your high school transcript shows colleges you're motivated to succeed, and taking the exam demonstrates your commitment to tackle and complete college-level work.

Keep Your Options Open

Earning college credit with AP can give you the flexibility to change majors, pursue a second degree, study abroad, or seek internships.

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 female student smiles on the quad

The AP credits I received allowed me to skip straight to higher-level, more demanding courses in my major.

Tyler V., University of Washington

A Head Start in High School

Research consistently shows that AP students are better prepared for college than students who don’t take AP, regardless of their exam score. They’re more likely to enroll and stay in college, do well in their classes, and graduate in four years. Taking AP can help you:

Get a Taste of College

Get familiar with college-level work—and boost your confidence by tackling it.

Develop College Skills

Time management, critical thinking, scholarly writing—AP courses and exams help you hone the skills you’ll need in college and career.

Discover Your Passion

Studying a subject in depth could give you new insights and even put you on the path to a career.

Boost Your GPA

Taking an AP course and exam can boost your GPA. Check with your school for more information.

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.

Hear From Students

Learn how the AP experience helped these students once they got to college.

Find a Path

Taking an AP course in high school helped Gaby find her major.

Make the Most of College

By earning college credits through AP, Kevin freed up time for extracurriculars.

Your AP Journey

Here are the steps on the path to college credit and placement.

Sign Up

See which courses your school offers, choose the course you’re interested in, and talk to your teacher or school counselor about signing up.

Take the Course

First join your class in our online system. Then work hard in the course. You can practice for the exam with our free online resources.

Take the Exam

Register for your exam by the fall deadline. Exams are given in May. When you take the exam, you’ll have a chance to choose a college or scholarship program to send your scores to.

Send Scores

Check your scores when they’re released in early July. You can send additional scores—or send scores for the first time if you haven’t sent any yet.

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.