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Advanced Placement

AP Self Study Exams

Written by Apoorvaa Agarwal

Updated on: 18 Jun 2024

Content

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 Macroeconomics 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

The Advanced Placement (AP) program allows high school students to take college-level courses and earn college credit. In 2023, over 4 million students took AP exams.

While most students take AP exams after taking the corresponding AP course, any student can self-study for and take an AP exam. It is a great option for students who don’t have access to AP courses at their school, or international students.

Top self-study AP exams

While many students take AP courses in school, self-studying for an AP exam is also an option. In this response, we’ll explore the top five self-study AP exams and why they are popular choices for individual study.

AP World Languages

Among the 39 AP courses, there are 7 AP language courses. If you know any particular language at an intermediate to proficient level, then you can definitely self-study that AP course and appear for that AP exam. AP language exams are currently available in 7 languages:

  • Chinese
  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Latin
  • Spanish

Even if you speak one of these languages fluently, you may need to do some self-study. Students are not only tested on their knowledge of the language but also their culture and history. The course focuses on developing students’ proficiency in the target language, as well as their understanding of the culture of the language community.

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Key topics covered in AP World Languages

  • Language and culture: The history, geography, art, literature, and customs of the language community.
  • Communication: Their speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills in the target language.
  • Comprehension: How to understand and interpret texts in the target language.
  • Analysis: How to analyze and evaluate texts in the target language.
  • Production: How to produce their texts in the target language.

Students are not only tested on their knowledge of the language but also their culture and history.

AP Chinese Language and Culture exam, for example, covers cultural concepts such as familial framework, the effect of art, science, and technology, and political challenges.

Other things to know about AP World Languages

  • The AP World Languages exams are administered in May.
  • The exams consist of multiple-choice, short-answer, and free-response questions.
  • The exams are scored on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest score.
  • A score of 3 or higher is considered to be passing.

AP Psychology

AP Psychology is a course that covers the major theories, concepts, and research methods of psychology. The course is designed to help students understand the scientific study of behavior and mental processes.

Key topics covered in AP Psychology

  • History and systems of psychology: The history of psychology and the major schools of thought in the field.
  • Biological bases of behavior: The biological factors that influence behavior, such as the nervous system, hormones, and genetics.
  • Sensation and perception: How people perceive the world around them through their senses.
  • Learning and cognition: How people learn and remember information, and how they think and solve problems.
  • Motivation and emotion: The factors that motivate people’s behavior and the different types of emotions.
  • Developmental psychology: The different stages of human development, from conception to old age.
  • Testing and individual differences: The different types of psychological tests and how they are used to measure individual differences.
  • Abnormal psychology: The different types of mental disorders and available treatments.
  • Social psychology: How people interact with each other and the factors that influence social behavior.
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Other things to know about AP Psychology

  • The AP Psychology exam is administered in May.
  • The course aims to provide students with a foundational understanding of human behavior and mental processes.
  • The exam consists of 100 multiple-choice questions and 2 free-response questions.
  • The AP Psychology course is a good preparation for college-level psychology courses.

AP Human Geography

AP Human Geography is a college-level human geography course that explores the patterns and processes that shape the human world. The course is designed to help students understand the spatial dimensions of human society and the environment.

Key topics covered in AP Human Geography

  • Geographic concepts: The key concepts of human geography, such as location, place, scale, space, pattern, nature and society, networks, flows, regionalization, and globalization.
  • Human settlement: The patterns of human settlement, such as urbanization, rural-to-urban migration, and urban planning.
  • Culture: The cultural diversity of the world, including the different cultural regions, cultural diffusion, and cultural change.
  • Economic development: The factors that contribute to economic development, such as industrialization, globalization, and inequality.
  • Environment and society: The interactions between humans and the environment, such as environmental degradation, sustainable development, and climate change.

 To prepare, you’ll need to memorize geography-related facts, maps, and dates. You should also recognize how various cultures have evolved and migrated throughout the world.

Other things to know about AP Human Geography

  • The AP Human Geography exam is administered in May.
  • AP Human Geography is a shorter AP exam, lasting slightly more than two hours.
  • The exam consists of 60 multiple-choice questions and 3 free-response questions.
  • The exam is scored on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest score.

AP Environmental Science

AP Environmental Science is a college-level course that covers the major concepts and principles of environmental science. The course is designed to help students understand the interactions between humans and the environment and to develop solutions to environmental problems.

Key topics covered in AP Environmental Science

  • The Earth’s systems: The atmosphere, hydrosphere, geosphere, biosphere, and cryosphere.
  • Energy and resources: The different types of energy and resources, and how they are used by humans.
  • Environmental pollution: The different types of pollution, and how they affect the environment.
  • Environmental policy: The different types of environmental policies, and how they are implemented.
  • Sustainability: The principles of sustainability, and how they can be applied to solve environmental problems.

Many of the exam’s basic tenets, such as data analysis, cause-and-effect, experimental design, and chart reading, are taught in a variety of science classes. 

In your self-study, all you need to do is apply those abilities to the Earth, humanity’s impacts on the environment, and possible alternatives to environmental issues.

Other things to know about AP Environmental Science

  • The AP Environmental Science exam is administered in May.
  • The exam consists of 80 multiple-choice questions and 3 free-response questions.
  • The AP Environmental Science course is a good preparation for college-level environmental science courses.
  • The AP Environmental Science exam can earn college credit, which can save students money on tuition.

AP English Literature / AP English Language

Playing to your strengths is the best strategy for deciding which AP exams to self-study. Outside of the classroom, many students develop a love of English and reading. If you are a strong English student or are taking an honors English class, you have a good chance of passing an AP English exam.

The course is designed to help students develop their skills in close reading, analysis, and interpretation of literary texts.

Key topics covered in AP English Literature

  • Literary analysis: How to analyze the different elements of a literary text, such as plot, character, setting, theme, and style.
  • Interpretation: How to interpret the meaning of a literary text, and to support their interpretations with evidence from the text.
  • Rhetorical analysis: The rhetorical strategies used by authors, and to understand how these strategies affect the reader.
  • Writing about literature: Write essays about literary texts, and support their arguments with evidence from the text.

The AP English Literature and Composition exam, on the other hand, requires students to evaluate and analyze a wide range of fiction, drama, and poetry. 

You must be capable of concluding the text using support and evidence, recognizing literary techniques, and creating strategic explanations of the reading material.

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Other things to know about AP English Literature

  • The AP English Literature exam is administered in May.
  • ​​The AP English Language and Composition exam assesses critical reading and writing abilities with a nonfiction emphasis
  • The exam consists of 55 multiple-choice questions and 3 free-response questions.
  • The exam is scored on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest score.

Why do students opt for self-study AP exams?

Students may opt for self-study AP exams for a variety of reasons, including:

  1. Flexibility: Self-studying allows students to have greater control over their schedule and study pace. They can tailor their study sessions to fit their learning style and needs.
  2. Interest: Some students may have a passion for a particular subject or topic that is not offered at their school. Self-studying allows them to delve deeper into that subject and potentially earn college credit.
  3. Cost: Taking an AP course at school may come with additional costs, such as textbooks, fees for lab equipment, or exam fees. Self-studying may be a more affordable option for students.
  4. Access: Some students may not have access to AP courses at their school due to budget constraints, lack of available teachers, or scheduling conflicts. Self-studying can provide them with the opportunity to earn college credit and demonstrate their proficiency in a subject.
  5. Challenge: Self-studying for an AP exam can be a challenging and rewarding experience. It allows students to test their abilities and see how much they can achieve on their own.

It is important to note that self-study AP exams can be a challenging process and may not be the best option for everyone. Students should carefully consider their abilities, resources, and goals before deciding to pursue self-study. It can be helpful to consult with teachers, counselors, or other academic advisors for guidance and support.

Self-study AP exams vs. AP classes at school

Choosing between self-study AP exams and AP classes at school is a decision that depends on the individual student’s needs and preferences. Here are some factors to consider:

  1. Structure: AP classes at school provide a structured learning environment with a teacher to guide students through the material, answer questions, and provide feedback on assignments. Self-study, on the other hand, requires the student to create their structure and set their own goals and deadlines.
  2. Resources: AP classes at school may have access to more resources, such as textbooks, lab equipment, and online resources, than self-study students. Students in AP classes may also benefit from group discussions and collaborative projects with their classmates.
  3. Accountability: In an AP class, students are accountable to their teacher and classmates for their progress and participation. Self-study students must hold themselves accountable and motivate themselves to stay on track with their studies.
  4. Time commitment: AP classes at school typically require a set amount of time each week for class meetings and homework assignments. Self-study students have more flexibility in scheduling their study time but must also be able to prioritize their studies amidst other responsibilities and activities.
  5. Learning style: Self-study may be more suitable for students who prefer to learn independently and at their own pace. Students who thrive in collaborative and interactive environments may benefit more from AP classes at school.

Ultimately, the choice between self-study and AP classes at school depends on the student’s individual needs and goals. It may be helpful to discuss options with teachers, counselors, or other academic advisors to determine the best path forward.

In summary,

In summary, self-study AP exams can be a valuable option for students who are seeking flexibility, cost-effectiveness, personal satisfaction, and academic advancement. However, self-study requires discipline, strong time management skills, and motivation. It is important for students to carefully consider their abilities, resources, and goals before deciding to pursue self-study AP exams.

Additionally, students should consult with teachers, counselors, or other academic advisors for guidance and support. Whether choosing self-study AP exams or AP classes at school, the ultimate goal should be to achieve academic success and personal growth.

Written by by

Apoorvaa Agarwal

Reviewed by by

Priyanshi Agrawal

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