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Advanced Placement

What Are The Easiest AP Classes? [AP Classes Ranked]

Written by Apoorvaa Agarwal

Updated on: 19 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
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  • AP exams are scored on 5 point grading system. We have provided a list of the easiest AP classes in terms of
    • the percentage of students scoring 3 and above.
    • the percentage of students who received a 5 (i.e., the highest possible score) 
    • the easiest AP classes based on the opinions and experiences of students who took the AP classes and exams.
  • However, you should consider your interests as well as the difficulty level of AP classes when making a decision about which AP courses to take.

Advanced Placement classes are college-level courses that high school students can take to earn college credits. You can earn AP credits and skip the affiliated general education class if you score a 3 or higher. AP classes are a great way to challenge yourself academically and prepare for college. 

Several factors can influence which AP classes are the easiest and most difficult. These considerations include a student’s academic strengths and weaknesses, as well as the volume and nature of the course material. You should consider your interests as well as the difficulty level of AP classes when making a decision about which AP courses to take.

Remember that determining easy or hard AP classes is a subjective process. Students perform well in classes where they perform best and are passionate about the subject matter. With that being said let’s know about the easiest AP classes!

AP classes ranked by difficulty: Easiest to Hardest

AP exams pass rates or the percentage of students scoring 3 is one of the ways which can help you determine the easiest AP classes. The pass rate represents the percentage of students who received a 3 or higher, whereas the perfect score rate represents the percentage of students who received a 5 or higher (i.e., the highest possible score).

Easiest AP classes based on the percentage of students scoring 3 and above

The table below lists the most difficult AP classes in terms of exam pass rate for the year 2023

S.No.AP exam% of students score 3 & above
1AP Seminar88%
2Drawing85%
3Chinese Lang. and Culture85%
4Spanish Language84%
5AP Research84%
62-D Art and Design84%
7Calculus BC78%
8English Literature77%
9Japanese Lang. and Culture75%
10Chemistry75%
11French Language74%
12Physics C Mech.73%
133-D Art and Design72%
14Italian Language and Culture71%
15Government and Politics, Comp.71%
16Physics C E&M68%
17Physics 2 – Algebra Based68%
18Computer Science Principles68%
19Spanish Literature67%
20Computer Science A67%
21Microeconomics66%
22German Language66%
23World History65%
24Macroeconomics64%
25Biology64%
26Art History64%
27Music Theory61%
28Statistics60%
29Psychology60%
30European History59%
31Calculus AB58%
32Latin57%
33English Language56%
34Human Geography54%
35Environmental Science53%
36Government and Politics, US49%
37United States History48%
38Physics 1 – Algebra Based45%
Easiest AP Class based on % of students scoring or above

Source: College Board

There are many factors that influence the difficulty of a subject. The assessment, based on each AP classes percentage of students scoring 3 and above, is highly subjective. The lower passing rate does indicate the difficulty level of the subject but not necessarily. This low passing rate can be a result of other reasons like low intake or only high-achieving students taking the course.

According to 2023 data, the percentage of students scoring 3 and above was highest for AP Seminar, Drawing, Chinese Lang. and Culture, Spanish Language, and AP Research.

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Easiest AP classes based on the percentage of students scoring 5

The table below lists the easiest AP classes in terms of exam-perfect scores for the year 2023

S.No.AP exam% of students who scored 5
1Physics 1 – Algebra Based50.00%
2United States History47.00%
3Government and Politics, US42.00%
4Environmental Science31.00%
5Human Geography27.00%
6English Language24.00%
7Latin23.00%
8Calculus AB22.00%
9Psychology20.00%
10European History20.00%
11Statistics19.00%
12Music Theory18.00%
13Art History17.00%
14German Language16.00%
15World History16.00%
16Macroeconomics16.00%
17Biology16.00%
18Physics 2 – Algebra Based15.00%
19Computer Science Principles15.00%
20Spanish Literature15.00%
21Computer Science A15.00%
22Microeconomics15.00%
23Physics C E&M14.00%
24Physics C Mech.13.00%
253-D Art and Design13.00%
26Italian Language and Culture13.00%
27Government and Politics, Comp.13.00%
28English Literature12.00%
29Japanese Lang. and Culture12.00%
30Chemistry12.00%
31French Language12.00%
322-D Art and Design11.00%
33Calculus BC11.00%
34AP Research10.00%
35Drawing8.00%
36Chinese Lang. and Culture8.00%
37Spanish Language8.00%
38AP Seminar7.00%
Easiest AP Class based on % of students scoring 5

There are many factors that influence the difficulty of a subject. The assessment, based on each AP classes percentage of students scoring 3 and above, is highly subjective. The lower passing rate does indicate the difficulty level of the subject but not necessarily. This low passing rate can be a result of other reasons like low intake or only high-achieving students taking the course.

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Easiest AP classes in student’s opinion

We have taken the passing rate into consideration and drawn out a chart of the easiest AP classes based on the percentage of students who have secured the exam in the respective AP classes. But this list is very subjective and is also influenced by many factors.

For example, if you refer to the above table you can see that AP Physics C Mechanics has a passing rate of 76.10% which goes on to say that students perform fairly well in the Physics C Mechanics AP exam but if we go by the opinions of students who have appeared the Physics C Mechanics exam, it is considered one of the hardest subjects to pass. So, the passing rate of a subject can not fully determine its easiness.

But if we read about students’ views and opinions through popular surveys or YouTube videos, we can get a somewhat better idea of which are the easiest AP classes. So, we have gone through some popular channels like Reddit’s r/APStudents, Mahad Khan’s YouTube channel mahadthementor, and many more and compiled a list of the easiest AP classes based on opinions and experiences of students who took the AP classes and exams.

S. No.AP ClassCourse Difficulty5- hard 1- easy
1Computer Science Principles1.4
2Japanese1.5
3Psychology1.7
4Chinese1.9
5Computer Science A2.1
6Human Geography2.1
7Environmental Science2.2
8Microeconomics2.2
9US Comparative Government2.2
10US Government and Politics2.2
11Macroeconomics2.3
12Statistics2.4
13Seminar2.5
14Spanish Language2.5
15English Language2.6
16Calculus AB/BC2.8
17German2.8
18Research2.8
19Studio Art3
20 US History3
21World History3
22Music Theory3.1
23Biology3.2
24European History3.2
25Physics 23.3
26French3.4
27Physics 13.6
28Chemistry3.7
29English Literature3.7
30Physics C – Mechanics3.7
31Spanish Literature3.7
32Physics C – E/M4.1
33Latin4.3
Easiest AP classes in student’s opinion

Which are the easiest AP classes?

We have compiled a list of the easiest AP exams based on the percentage of students scoring 3 and above, the percentage of students who received a 5 (i.e., the highest possible score) and based on the opinions and experiences of students who took the AP classes and exams for the year 2023.

We have excluded AP Seminars, AP Research, AP Art and Design, and AP Language from consideration because they are portfolio-based courses.

Calculus BC

[3+ rate: 78%| Student Scoring 5: 11% | Reddit Survey Result 2.8/5]

AP Calculus BC has earned a reputation as an easy AP course because many of its students master the material. Most AP Calculus BC students perform at an advanced level — at least one year ahead of their high school class in math — helping them achieve a high pass rate.

The percentage of students scoring 3 and above for the AP Calculus BC exam is 78% for 2023. However, the exam is still challenging, and students who want to do well need to have a strong foundation in math and be willing to put in the time to study.

The course covers college-level differential and integral calculus concepts and functions. The exam lasts for roughly three hours and includes both multiple-choice and free-range questions. It is administered both in person and in a digital format.

English Literature

[3+ rate: 77%| Student Scoring 5: 12% | Reddit Survey Result: 3.7/5]

AP English Literature is considered a challenging AP course but according to the 2023 data, the percentage of students scoring 3 and above for AP English Literature is 77%.

The average pass rate for all AP exams in 2023 was 60.2%. This means that AP English Literature is a challenging course, but it is not impossible to succeed in.

There are a number of factors that can affect how difficult you find AP English Literature, including your prior experience with literature, your reading and writing skills, and your motivation. If you are a strong reader and writer, and you are motivated to learn about literature, then you are more likely to succeed in AP English Literature.

Chemistry

[3+ rate: 75%| Student Scoring 5: 12% | Reddit Survey Result 3.7/5]

According to student reviews the course is a 3.7/5 which is considerably hard but the percentage of students scoring 3 and above for AP Chemistry is 75%.

A pass rate of 75% is considered to be higher than average for AP exams. The average for all AP exams in 2023 was 60.2%. This means that AP Chemistry is a challenging course, but it is not impossible to succeed in.

There are a number of factors that can affect how difficult you find AP Chemistry, including your prior experience with chemistry, your math skills, and your motivation. If you are a strong math student and you are motivated to learn about chemistry, then you are more likely to succeed in AP Chemistry.

Physics C: Mechanics

[3+ rate: 73%| Student Scoring 5: 13% | Reddit Survey Result 3.7/5]

AP Physics C: Mechanics is considered to be one of the most difficult AP courses offered by the College Board. It covers a wide range of topics in classical mechanics, including kinematics, forces, energy, momentum, and rotational motion. The course also requires students to be able to solve complex problems and apply their knowledge to real-world applications.

A pass rate of 73% is considered to be higher than average for AP exams. The average for all AP exams in 2023 was 60.2%. This means that AP Physics C: Mechanics is a challenging course, but it is not impossible to succeed in.

AP Physics C: Mechanics is recommended for students planning to pursue a physics, math, or engineering degree.

Comparative Government and Politics

[3+ rate: 71%| Student Scoring 5: 13% | Reddit Survey Result 2.2/5]

AP Comparative Government and Politics compares and contrasts the governmental systems of countries like China, Iran, Mexico, Nigeria, Russia, and the United Kingdom. The curriculum touches lightly on each of these governments. Many students find the coursework less rigorous than that of the AP U.S. Government class.

The pass rate for the AP Comparative Government and Politics exam is 71%, which is higher than the average pass rate for all AP exams 60.2%. However, the exam is still challenging, and students who want to do well need to have a strong foundation in government and politics and be willing to put in the time to study.

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How to choose the ideal AP classes for yourself?

There are 39 AP classes as of June 2023 that students can choose from and sometimes that decision can be hard and confusing. Here are some tips for helping you in choosing the ideal AP classes for yourself.

Take your strength into account

The most important things to think about when selecting an AP class are your own strengths and flaws. After all, you’re more likely to do well on a test in a subject that interests and excites you. So, even though the Physics 1 AP exam is reportedly difficult, if you’re strong in numerical subjects and enjoy physics, you might want to take it.

However, if you struggle with art history, you may not want to take a course in this subject, even if many students pass the AP exam. When in doubt, take AP classes in the fields in which you are most interested and willing to work.

Learn more about a class

To learn more about an AP class, speak with your guidance counselor first. Inquire about the syllabus, the class’s AP exam pass rate over the last few years, and what other students have to say about the class. This will give you an idea of how well a class is taught. Your guidance counselor can also suggest appropriate set criteria and teachers.

Next, if possible, speak with the teacher or a teacher who teaches the prerequisite class (for example, the Honors Biology teacher if you’re considering AP Biology). The teacher can tell you about the workload, what they expect from their students, and how much work they have.

At last, talk to senior kids at your school to find out what the buzz is about the class. Don’t rely on a single person’s opinion because students can overstate it, but instead look for general trends. For example, if everyone says AP Biology is extremely difficult, but they learned a great deal and passed the AP exam, it’s a sign that the class is worthwhile.

Examine educator experience

While students’ strengths should be considered when selecting AP classes, they should also consider the experience level of their faculty members. In general, the longer a teacher has been teaching an AP subject, the better the students who performed on the exam. So, if you have the option of taking a “harder” subject like Physics with a teacher who has 10 + years of experience or an “easier” subject like Art History with someone who has only two years of experience, you should probably choose the former.

Consider your overall schedule

Your schedule may also influence how well you perform in a difficult AP class. For example, AP Biology may be more feasible in your sophomore or senior year because you will not be concerned with the ACT/SAT. However, if you take it junior year, you may find balancing ACT or SAT prep with the AP Biology class difficult.

Before enrolling in any of the AP classes, consider your other classes, extracurricular activities, work schedule, and family obligations. You don’t want a difficult AP class to add to your hectic schedule. Similarly, do not feel obligated to overload AP classes in general. Even if you are under duress, more is not always better.

Conclusion 

In this article, we have discussed some of the easiest AP classes, including AP Calculus BC, AP English Literature, AP Chemistry, Physics C: Mechanics, and AP Comparative Government and Politics. These classes are not impossible to succeed in, but they do require a lot of hard work and dedication.

The difficulty of an AP class can vary depending on the student’s individual strengths and weaknesses, as well as the rigor of the school’s curriculum. However, some AP classes are generally considered to be more difficult than others. These classes often is a challenging course, but it is not impossible to succeed in.

If you are considering taking one of these classes, be sure to do your research and make sure that you are prepared for the challenge. 

Here are some tips for succeeding in an AP class:

  • Start studying early. The material in these classes is a lot to cover, so it is important to start studying early.
  • Take advantage of your teacher’s resources. Your teacher is a great resource for help with the material in these classes.
  • Join a study group. Studying with other students can help you stay motivated and learn the material more effectively.
  • Use practice exams. Practice exams are a great way to assess your knowledge and prepare for the real exam.

If you are willing to put in the hard work, you can succeed in even the AP classes. Just remember to stay organized, stay motivated, and ask for help when you need it.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

What is the clearest and simple AP Physics course?

While classifying easy AP classes is a subjective process, students can assess the potential difficulty by looking at the pass rate. More than 84% of students passed the Physics C: Mechanics exam in May 2020, according to the table above. Based on this result, a large number of test-takers may consider this course to be simple.

Can I take an AP exam without enrolling in classes?

Yes. Students can access test guides and sample tests that outline the topics covered in the exam. It is not necessary to attend the class in order to take or pass the test. Self-study, on the other hand, is not always easy and necessitates additional rigor, time, and dedication.

What are the easiest AP classes to self-study?

Students frequently self-study for AP Psychology, AP Environmental Science, and AP Human Geography classes. These subjects’ exams are generally brief and require little to no previous understanding of the subject. Students who can learn the vocabulary and memorize the material will benefit from this.

Which of the AP classes has the lowest pass rate?

All AP exams have a minimum passing rate of 50%. Physics 1 (failed by 48.4% of all students), Environmental Science (failed by 46.6% of all students), and Chemistry (failed by 43.9% of all students) are the most commonly failed AP exams.

Written by by

Apoorvaa Agarwal

Reviewed by by

Priyanshi Agrawal

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