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Advanced Placement

What is AP in High School? Getting Started With Advanced Placement!

Written by Apoorvaa Agarwal

1AP Overview2AP Courses3AP Exams4AP Scores5AP Credits6AP Credit Policy7AP Biology Credit Policy8AP Biology Exam9AP Biology Practice Tests10AP Calculus AB Credit Policy11AP Calculus AB Exam12AP Calculus AB Formula Sheet13AP Calculus AB Practice Tests14AP Calculus BC Credit Policy15AP Calculus BC Exam16AP Calculus BC Formula Sheet17AP Calculus BC Practice Tests18AP Chemistry Credit Policy19AP Chemistry Exam20AP Chemistry Formula Sheet21AP Chemistry Practice Tests22AP Computer Science A Credit Policy23AP Computer Science A Practice Tests24AP Computer Science Principles Practice Tests25AP Computer Science A Exam26AP Computer Science Principles Credit Policy27AP Computer Science Principles Exam28AP English Language29AP English Literature30AP Human Geography Exam31AP Macroeconimics Practice Tests32AP Microeconomics Practice Tests33AP Physics 1 Credit Policy34AP Physics 1 Exam35AP Physics 2 Exam36AP Physics 1 Formula Sheet37AP Physics 1 Practice Tests38AP Physics 2 Credit Policy39AP Physics 2 Formula Sheet40AP Physics 2 Practice Tests41AP Physics C E&M Formula Sheet42AP Physics C Electricity and Magnetism Exam 43AP Physics C Mechanics Exam 44AP Physics C Mechanics Practice Tests45AP Physics C Electricity and Magnetism Practice Tests46AP Physics C Mechanics Formula Sheet47AP Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism Credit Policy48AP Physics C: Mechanics Credit Policy49AP Psychology Exam50AP Statistics Exam51AP Statistics Practice Tests52AP Statistics Credit Policy53AP Statistics Formula Sheet54AP US History Practice Tests55AP Spanish Language56AP Enviornmental Science57AP World History Modern58AP US Government and Politics59AP US History Exam60AP European History Exam61AP Comparitive Government and Politics62AP Microeconomics63AP Macroeceonomics64AP PreCalculus
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What are Hardest AP Classes?

The Advanced Placement (AP) program, offered by the College Board, is a popular choice among high school students in the United States. Advanced Placement has been taking place since 1955.

AP courses engage students into rigorous academic coursework. Helps them earn college credits while still in high school. AP program provides a standardized curriculum across different schools. Students can choose from 38 subjects including Maths, Science, Foreign languages, etc.

This article helps you decide on the AP course you need to take and which ones are worth your time and effort.Read this article to understand the advantages of taking AP courses and the range of options available.

What are AP courses?

Advanced Placement (AP) courses are a kind of high school course offered by the AP Program from the College Board ( the same organization that produces the SAT), which the AP teachers teach in various high schools across the country. 

Various high schools across the country offer different AP courses from which students can choose what interests them. The AP courses are generally designed to introduce students to the first-year college course in the same subject. Thus, they are more intense and challenging than the regular high school courses that you have and the high school honors courses that are prevalent. 

Choosing your AP course

There are 38 AP courses available in subject areas; arts, English, history, social science, math and computer science, science, and world languages and culture. You should select an AP course based on your interests as well as your performance in previous classes of your desired course.

When you choose your AP course you should think smartly. You should keep the following things in mind:

  • Your strengths and weaknesses: It is important that you choose your course on the basis of what subject you are good at and make a rational decision. For instance, if you excel in biology you should consider AP biology and if you are weak in mathematics you shouldn’t really go ahead with AP calculus.
  • Your workload: Examine your overall workload. Consider your extracurricular activities, volunteer work, and other student activities, as well as any family or personal obligations. Enrolling in too many AP classes may derail your goals if you are already overburdened.
  • Your prospective college’s AP credit policies: Each college establishes its own policies for awarding college credit for AP classes. Some limit the number of credits students can earn for AP courses, while others only accept credit for specific classes or only offer credit if students receive a 4 or 5.
  • Your interest in your study area: While you should consider practical considerations, you should also consider your own interests. Perhaps you are interested in European history. In that case, consider enrolling in those classes.

Your future college studies may also help you decide which AP classes to take. Of course, this is acceptable if you are still deciding on a college major. However, if you have a general idea of what you want to study, you can match your AP classes to that subject.

How to sign up for an AP course?

You register for AP courses through your school, not the AP website. Begin by reading these instructions. If you have already registered for an AP course, the next step is to register for your class section online. This should be done at the start of the school year.


  1. Thorough research: Go through the 38 AP courses. To get an overview of each course and exam, visit the Course Index.
  2. Check with your school: Check to see if your school provides the course. There are 38 AP courses available, but not all are available at every school.
  3. Talk to your counselor or teacher about enrolling: Your teacher or counselor will be able to tell you how to sign up for the AP course you want and what you need to do to prepare. Download and complete the AP Conversation Starter before meeting with your teacher or counselor.

How to access your AP courses and resources?

To access your AP courses and resources, you need to first sign into your college board account. If you have an account then you can use the one you have but if you don’t you need to create one. 

By creating an account, you will gain access to AP resources such as AP Classroom and AP Daily videos. This account can also be used for the SAT and other programs, as well as managing your college list, saving scholarship searches, and comparing college costs.


  1. Pre-requisites to open your college board account
    • Fill out the online form: Anyone aged 13 and up can create an account by filling out the online form. You do not need to wait for a teacher or AP coordinator to set up your account.
    • Choose your password: You should choose a password that is completely private. Do not share it with anyone. Similarly, if you are using a shared or public computer, it is best to disable your browser’s autofill setting while registering for an account.
    • Use only one account: Even if you have transferred to another school, you can keep your College Board account by updating your information. A single account can be used for all College Board programs and assessments. (In fact, we recommend against creating a second account because it may make it difficult to access your information and lead to complications like delayed scores.)
    • Join online AP classes: Next, you can join your AP class section online. Your AP teacher will provide you with a join code that will allow you to join their class section online. You’ll be given a unique code for each AP class you’re taking, which you must enter separately. If you’re only taking the exam and not the course, the process is the same, but you’ll get the join code from the AP coordinator at the school where you’ll be taking the exam.
  2. Get your join code (s)
    • Your AP teacher will provide you with a join code that will allow you to join their class section online. You’ll be given a unique code for each AP class you’re taking, which you must enter separately.
  3. Log into “My AP” account
    • Log in to “My AP” using your College Board credentials. This is the same login you used to access your AP scores, PSAT/NMSQT scores, or register for the SAT last year as well as “My AP”. If you don’t already have a College Board account, click the Sign Up button to get one.
  4. Choose to enroll in a course
    • Join a Course or Exam by clicking the “Join a Course or Exam button”.
  5. Enter your join code
    • Enter the join code provided by your teacher and click Submit.
  6. Examine the course information
    • Check that the information that appears is for the course you are taking. If so, select Yes.
  7. Fill out the registration form
    • If this is your first time attending a class, you will be required to provide additional information. This only needs to be done once.
  8. Watch AP Daily Videos
    • AP Daily videos can assist you in staying on track and completing your coursework this school year. AP teachers created these short, searchable videos to help you build skills and competencies across all units in your AP course. You can watch these videos whenever and wherever you want, even if your AP teacher does not use AP Classroom in their coursework.
    • The videos cover all of the course content and skills. All courses now have videos available. When you sign in, your course outline will be matched with relevant AP Daily videos.

How to watch AP Daily videos?

  1. Log into “My AP”
    • Log in to “My AP” with your College Board username and password.
  2. Go to AP Classroom by clicking the link
    • Once in “My AP”, locate the AP sections in which you are enrolled and click the Go to AP Classroom link.
  3. Watch AP Daily videos
    • Click any AP Daily video link on your AP Classroom Course Resources page to watch a video. If your teacher has assigned you to watch a video, it will show up in your “to-do” cards at the top of the screen.
  4. Look in the “My Assignments” section
    • When teachers assign videos or assessments to you, they will appear in My Assignments.

What is AP exam?

AP Exam is an important part of the high school curriculum for many students who are college bound throughout the United States of America. In school, you must have probably heard your peers talking about the importance of AP exams and scores additionally how they can lead to college credits. You might have thought about what is an AP exam and what is its relevance. How to score well in an AP Exam?

The AP Program from the college board has been around since the 1950s and has made students put in added effort and immense hard work in their daily schedule. AP gives students an opportunity to get oriented and experience college work while in high school. In this article, we will answer these questions which are lingering in your mind and clear your doubts. It’s time to jump right into it!

Benefits of taking an AP course

  1. You gain college credits and placements: Students take an AP in order to gain college credits and placements, which is possible if they get a score of 3 or more. 
  2. Better college opportunities: There are higher chances for AP students from all backgrounds, including those with average scores of 1 or 2, more likely to enroll in a four-year college when compared to academically similar students who did not take AP, 
  3. Better in introductory college courses: Students with AP scores of 2 are well-prepared for introductory college courses. Students with AP Exam scores of 2 perform as well as or better in introductory college courses than academically similar college peers who did not take AP.
  4. Better scores: Many students who receive a 1 or 2 on their first AP Exam go on to take additional AP courses and achieve higher scores.
  5. AP saves time and money: According to research, students who take up an AP course tend to complete their college degree on time rather than those who did not. They avoid paying less because they don’t need to pay for a fifth year of tuition. Most colleges and universities offer credits and placements or both for AP scores. This means that they would have fulfilled graduation requirements early and they would be able to skip introductory classes or mandatory education courses.

AP credit policy and advanced placement

For qualifying AP exam scores, most four-year colleges, and universities in the United States, as well as many institutions in over 100 other countries, grant credit, placement, or both. This means that students can save time and money while also getting a head start on their education when they enter college with AP credit or placement.

Furthermore, studies have shown that students who receive credit, advanced placement, or both for their AP scores earn more credits overall, particularly in the subject area in which they took the exam. A record number of state higher education systems have adopted consistent AP credit policies. The adoption of statewide credit policies has more than doubled in the last six years.

Start your AP journey today!

  1. Sign up for an AP course
    • The first step is to research and see what AP course your school offers, and talk to the AP coordinator or the school counselor about the same. After learning which courses are available, sign up for the one you like.
  2. Choose the course and study for it
    • There are online tutorials available on the official AP College Boards website which are free of cost so you can practice for the test there. You can also self-study for the same.
  3. Take the AP exam
    • Exams are given in May so make sure to register for them by the fall deadline. Once you give your exam, you can choose your desired college or scholarship program to send your scores.
  4. Lastly, send your AP scores to colleges
    • AP scores are released in early July so make sure to keep a check on them. You can send out these scores if you have not already.

AP around the world

AP is accepted in admissions all over the world. When it comes to admissions, universities all over the world take AP into account. In fact, AP can be used in admissions in over 60 countries because AP exam success demonstrates readiness for university-level coursework.

AP is recognized for credit and placement is recognized all around the world. Qualifying AP Exam scores are accepted for credit, advanced placement, or both at nearly all universities in the United States and Canada, as well as in over 100 other countries around the world.

AP classes are available all over the world. Many secondary schools in countries other than the United States provide authorized AP courses. In the AP Course Ledger, you can also find online providers of authorized AP courses.


Taking an AP course is extremely beneficial as you have gathered from the article, so don’t miss out on this opportunity and prepare well. You need to choose your AP courses rationally and keep your interests in mind. Make sure to go through all 38 courses properly.

It is important that you make use of the resources provided by the College Board so make sure to get your credentials right and sign in to watch the daily AP videos, they will help you prepare for your AP exam.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

What does AP stand for?

AP stands for Advanced Placement program. This program is run by the College Board. It is an opportunity for students to take college-level courses in high school through which they can earn credit.

When should you start taking AP classes?

While some high school students may be able to take AP classes their freshman year, the majority must wait until their sophomore year. The majority of AP classes are typically taken by students during their junior and senior years.

What exactly is an AP qualification?

Advanced Placement (AP) courses allow qualified students to take college-level courses while still in high school. More than 90% of US colleges and universities give AP students a grade of 3 or higher on the exams credit and advanced placement.

How much does the AP Exam cost?

The price of an AP exam and the College Board fee reduction ($35) remain unchanged, and schools continue to receive a $9 rebate per exam. The cost of exams is calculated as the base exam fee ($97) minus the school rebate ($9).

What if you take an AP class but do not take the exam?

There will be no real consequences if you do not take an exam. Some AP teachers give extra credit to encourage students to take the exam, so you might miss out. Otherwise, there will be no problems.

What is the purpose of AP course?

Advanced Placement (AP) programs offer college-level classes and exams to high school students. The aim is to make high school students familiar with college curriculum.

Is AP better than Honors?

Honors classes are rigorous than regular courses and will help to boost your GPA. AP course offers college level work and will help in GPA boost and college credit. The choice between AP vs. Honors course comes down to college goals.



Reviewed by

Priyanshi Agrawal

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