#FutureSTEMLeaders - Wiingy's $2400 scholarship for School and College Students

Apply Now

Advanced Placement

Everything You Need To Know About AP Courses!

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 PreCalculus65AP Course Placement66AP Score Report67AP Sending Scores68AP Pass Score69AP Exam Dates70AP Exam Fee71AP Free Response Questions72AP Document Based Questions73AP Multiple Choice Questions74AP Performance Task75AP Study Guides76AP Review Books77AP Course Syllabus78AP Course Audit79College Board80AP Course Ledger81AP Exam Fee Reductions82AP Pass Rate83AP Score Distribution84AP Practice Tests85AP Worksheets86AP Formula Sheets87AP Perfect Score88AP Daily Videos89AP Classroom90AP Central91Pre AP92AP Alumni Network93AP Capstone94AP Classroom Resources95AP Self Study Exams96AP Course Grades Vs AP Scores97AP Exam Calculator Policy98AP Scholar Award99AP Course And Exam Description100AP Classes101AP TextBooks102Benefits Of AP103AP Results104Dual Credits105Pre AP To AP Course Map106Digital AP Exams107AP Course Pairs108AP Lab Manuals109AP Daily Instructors110Best Sites for AP Physics Tutoring111Online Tutoring Can Help You With AP Physics Test Prep112Average Cost Of AP Physics Tutoring113Finding An AP Physics Tutor114Finding An AP Chemistry Tutor115Online Tutoring Can Help You With AP Chemistry Test Prep116Cost Of AP Chemistry Tutoring
tutor Pic

If you are a high school student, you might be questioning yourself: What are the different AP courses? What is the importance of AP?  How will you benefit from the AP courses?

According to the College Board, 1.2 million students registered for AP Exams in 2022 in the United States. Demand for AP courses continues to rise thus it is important to build a clear understanding of AP courses.

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.

AP courses list

After knowing about AP courses, it is time to look into the types of AP Courses available.  Now to know more about this the best thing is to ask your school’s AP coordinator about the courses which might be available to you as it depends on the school itself. 

Following is the list of 39 AP courses offered by the College Boards AP Program:

  1. AP Art History
  2. AP Music Theory
  3. AP English Language and Composition
  4. AP English Literature and Composition
  5. AP Comparative Government and Politics
  6. AP European History
  7. AP Human Geography
  8. AP Macroeconomics
  9. AP Microeconomics
  10. AP Psychology
  11. AP United States Government and Politics
  12. AP United States History
  13. AP World History: Modern
  14. AP Calculus AB
  15. AP Calculus BC
  16. AP Computer Science A
  17. AP Computer Science Principles
  18. AP Statistics
  19. AP Biology
  20. AP Chemistry
  21. AP Environmental Science
  22. AP Physics 1: Algebra-Based
  23. AP Physics 2: Algebra-Based
  24. AP Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism
  25. AP Physics C: Mechanics
  26. AP Chinese Language and Culture
  27. AP French Language and Culture
  28. AP German Language and Culture
  29. AP Italian Language and Culture
  30. AP Japanese Language and Culture
  31. AP Latin
  32. AP Spanish Language and Culture
  33. AP Spanish Literature and Culture
  34. AP Capstone Diploma Program:
    • AP Research
    • AP Seminar
  35. AP Art & Design Program:
    • AP 2-D Art and Design
    • AP 3-D Art and Design
    • AP Drawing
  36. AP PreCalculus

Now, it is crucial to find out which courses your school offers before making up your mind. Mostly, all of the AP courses are followed by an AP exam. For instance, AP Calculus AB often leads to college credit for a Calculus I course. The credit amount and minimum required AP score to earn that college credit are determined by each college’s policies, which you can often find on their respective websites.

But which course to select? How many to select? Is it even worth it? These are some questions students might think of. So, with this blog, we will try to help you clear your mind on AP courses as much as possible!

What are the benefits of taking an AP course?

As the years have gone by, more and more high schools have started offering AP courses. Students need to take into consideration their schedule, experience, and aptitude in the subject they would like to take. Taking an AP course while you’re in high school can be extremely beneficial for you in the following ways:

  1. You can earn college credits and placement
    • Taking an AP course gives you an opportunity to earn college credits before even officially starting college. Mostly, AP students who have a four-year college degree have some credits when they start college.
  2. It keeps your options open
    • An AP course has a wide array of benefits as you could pursue a second degree, you could study abroad, and even seek internships!
  3. You stand out in your college application
    • Taking an AP course shows determination and zeal to learn thus if it shows on your college application, you are bound to stand out for sure. 
  4. It saves your time and money
    • Earning a credit or a placement is always beneficial. You might be able to finish your degree early if you have the desired AP score as well.

College-bound students work on a tight schedule and the application process is becoming extremely competitive, SAT scores, extracurriculars, and various other aspects are taken into account. 

How to choose your AP course?

There are 38 AP courses from which you can choose. The courses are based on subjects like arts, math, English, history, science, computer science, world language, and culture among others. You should choose an AP course that you like and interests you plus the ones that you score well in classes. 

Who can take an AP course?

There are no specific criteria for taking an AP course but some schools may have some criteria to meet, an enrollment policy. Therefore, it is advised to talk to your school counselor or AP coordinator who can guide you through this process. To succeed in an AP course you must be motivated and work hard and prepare yourself well.

What are the easiest AP courses?

Every year, the College Board organizes AP classes and exams to help students improve their skills. Furthermore, AP classes provide many benefits and rewards to students and encourage them to continue their education.

The easiest AP classes are those in which students typically perform well and can easily achieve three or more points. However, it is also likely to depend on the student’s ability to grasp and keep the subject and keep it consistent.

1. AP Environmental Science

AP Environmental Science is considered quite easy in comparison to other AP courses. If you have a good foundation and a strong interest in Biology then this will be a perfect fit for you. This course deals with scientific principles, methodologies, and concepts to understand the relationships within the natural world.

This AP course teaches to analyze environmental problems and how to search for solutions to those problems.

2. AP Spanish Literature

If you are well-versed in Spanish, this appears to be the easiest AP course. This course enables you to earn college credits if you are fluent in Spanish. You, too, can be a part of the high pass rate.

Students who are not fluent in Spanish might struggle with this course. The course content typically focuses on six major Spanish literary concepts as well as reading comprehension.

The exam is divided into multiple-choice questions and a free-response section with a text-based prompt and essay questions.

3. AP Computer Science A

In the AP course computer science A, students will learn about the concepts and tools of computer science and also learn about a subset of Java programming language.

This is a very basic and introductory course to computer science. Students learn how to design program, develop algorithms, write codes, and implements them.

4. AP Psychology

This AP course is simple due to its relatively simple syllabus. The curriculum includes tests, projects, and quizzes that must be completed throughout the school year. This exam will last two hours. The exam is divided into two sections: multiple-choice questions and an essay writing section.

Students may take the AP Psychology exam on paper or online. The two-hour exam includes multiple-choice questions as well as a free-response section, and it covers topics such as psychological research papers, theory, and quantitative data.

AP courses ranked by the number of test takers

Exam Name# of Students Taking (2022)
English Language and Composition520,771
United States History456,520
English Literature and Composition339,401
World History314,716
Gov. and Politics – United States298,118
Calculus AB268,352
Human Geography221,815
Environmental Science179,957
Spanish Language and Culture155,931
Physics 1144,526
Computer Science Principles134,651
Calculus BC120,238
European History80,152
Computer Science A77,753
Physics C: Mechanics46,301
Art and Design: 2-D Design37,045
Spanish Literature23,009
Art History20,970
Gov. and Politics – Comparative20,949
Physics C: Electricity & Magnetism19,978
French Language and Culture19,554
Art and Design: Drawing19,210
Physics 217,842
Music Theory15,594
Chinese Language and Culture15,277
Art and Design: 3-D Design5,377
German Language and Culture4,450
Japanese Language and Culture;2,765
Italian Language and Culture2,194
AP courses ranked by the number of test takers

Source – college board

AP courses ranked by difficulty

Sl.NoAP CoursesPassing rate (3+)5
1Physics 143%8%
2United States History48%11%
3Gov. and Politics – United States49%12%
5Human Geography53%15%
6Japanese Language and Culture (Standard Group)54%16%
8Environmental Science54%9%
9English Language and Composition56%10%
10Calculus AB56%20%
12German Language and Culture (Standard Group)58%8%
15European History59%14%
17Music Theory62%19%
18Art History62%14%
19World History62%13%
20Computer Science Principles64%11%
21Spanish Literature64%8%
22Chinese Language and Culture (Standard Group)65%16%
23Italian Language and Culture (Standard Group)66%11%
24German Language and Culture (Total Group)66%20%
25Computer Science A68%27%
27Physics C: Electricity & Magnetism69%32%
28French Language and Culture (Standard Group)69%8%
29Physics 270%16%
30Italian Language and Culture (Total Group)71%23%
31Gov. and Politics – Comparative71%16%
32French Language and Culture (Total Group)72%13%
33Physics C: Mechanics73%26%
34Art and Design: 3-D Design74%6%
35Japanese Language and Culture (Total Group)75%49%
36Calculus BC77%41%
37Spanish Language and Culture (Standard Group)78%16%
38English Literature and Composition78%17%
39Spanish Language and Culture (Total Group)82%24%
42Chinese Language and Culture (Total Group)87%49%
43Art and Design: 2-D Design87%11%
44Art and Design: Drawing88%15%
AP classes ranked by difficulty

As you can see from the above table, the percentages of students who earned a passing score on the mentioned AP exams indicated the level of difficulty of that AP course.

But the list is not definitive. As you can see that some course like AP Physics C: Mechanics which is considered to be one of the most challenging has a passing rate of 73% and easy class like Human Geography has a passing rate of 53%.

So, there are a number of factors that affects the passing rates of a course. Factor like student participation has a huge impact. Courses like Spanish literature and German language will only be taken by students having some background in the language or students who have an immense passion for the languages.

Additionally, some schools put some strict requisites for some courses which automatically eliminate interested students.

Source – college board

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

What are some of the hardest AP courses?

AP Calculus BC, Physics C, Biology, US History, Chemistry, and English literature are considered to be some of the hardest AP courses.

Is an AP course necessary for college admission?

Although no college in the US explicitly declares that AP courses are required, students are well aware that college admissions officers highly value these higher-level courses because they demonstrate a student’s aptitude for effectively completing college-level work. 

How many AP courses are available? 

There are 38 courses in AP. In subjects like the arts, English, history, social science, math and computer science, the sciences, and world languages and culture, there are 38 AP courses available.

How many AP courses should I take?

If you are looking for an answer from the perspective of college admission, then here is a breakdown based on high to low competitive colleges:
1. Competitive schools- 7-12 AP courses
2. Semi-competitive schools- 4-8 AP courses
3. Low-competitive schools- 1-5 AP courses
We would like to add that you should take AP courses based on your interests and capabilities and not feel pressurized into taking too many courses because you might end up performing badly and that won’t benefit you at all.

What are the new AP courses coming out in 2023?

Two new AP courses are planned to be launched in 2023 and they are AP Precalculus and AP African American Studies.

Is an AP Course necessary for College admission?

No, you don’t need AP course to get into college. AP course works best if you can handle the extra work and intensity. Although AP course can increase the chances of getting into college.

Reviewed by

Priyanshi Agrawal

Share article on

tutor Pic
tutor Pic