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Advanced Placement

What Are the Most Popular AP Classes? | Top 5 Most Popular AP Classes

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
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  • We have ranked the most popular AP classes based on the number of test takers.
  • Choose AP courses that align with your interests and goals.
  • AP courses are challenging, so it is important to choose courses that are a good fit for your academic ability. If you are struggling in your regular classes, you may not be ready for AP courses.

Are you a high school student considering taking Advanced Placement (AP) classes? If so then you are not alone.

AP classes are some of the most popular courses offered in high schools across the country. With over 30 courses available – it can be challenging to know which are the most popular AP courses.

In this article, we will explore the most popular AP classes based on the number of test takers.

List of the 5 most popular AP classes

From the list of 38 AP courses, both hard AP classes, and easy AP classes, we have created a list of the most popular AP classes. This list of based on the number of students appearing for the AP exam every year.

  • AP English Language and Composition
  • AP United States History
  • AP Psychology
  • AP Calculus AB
  • AP Spanish Language and Culture

Here, we have ranked the most popular AP classes based on number of students taking the test.

AP English Language and Composition

No of students (2022): 520,771
Pass rate (3 or higher): 55.7%

AP English Language and Composition is the most popular AP course among high school students. It was opted by over half a million students in 2022. This course is designed to help students develop critical reading and writing skills, and prepare them for college-level coursework. AP English Language and Composition is known for its rigor and high expectations. Still, it also offers numerous benefits, such as the potential to earn college credit and improve college admissions prospects.

The graph given below depicts the trend of the number of students taking AP English Languages and Composition over the time period of 10 years.

No.of Students of AP English Language and Composition

AP English Language and Composition is an introductory college-level composition course where students are taught to cultivate an understanding of writing and rhetorical arguments through reading, analyzing, and writing texts.

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AP United States History

No of students (2022): 456,520
Pass rate (3 or higher): 48.2%

According to the College Board, AP United States History is the second most popular AP course among high school students. This course provides an in-depth exploration of American history from the pre-Columbian era to the present day. AP United States History is known for its difficulty level and has a low pass rate in comparison to other AP exams, but it also offers numerous benefits, such as the potential to earn college credit and improve college admissions prospects.

The graph given below depicts the trend of the number of students taking AP United States History over the time period of 10 years.

No. of Students of AP United States History
No. of Students of AP United States History

AP Psychology

No of students (2022): 292,501
Pass rate (3 or higher): 58.3%

AP Psychology is the third most popular AP course among high school students that provides an introduction to the science of psychology. This course covers a wide range of topics such as behavior, cognition, personality, and mental disorders.

AP Psychology is designed to help students develop critical thinking skills, research methods, and an understanding of human behavior. AP Psychology is considered a considerably easy AP course with a pass rate of 58.3%. Students with an interest in Psychology can opt for this AP course and can gain college credit or advanced placement for this course.

The graph given below depicts the trend of the number of students taking AP Psychology over the time period of 10 years.

No.of Students of AP Psychology

AP Calculus AB

No of students (2022): 268,352
Pass rate (3 or higher): 55.7%

AP Calculus AB is a challenging and the fourth most popular AP course that has gained popularity among high school students over the years. This course introduces students to the fundamental concepts of calculus, including limits, derivatives, and integrals, and prepares them for the AP Calculus AB exam.

The course is designed to provide students with a solid foundation in calculus, which is a crucial subject for those planning to pursue degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. AP Calculus AB is widely recognized as a difficult course but performing well on the exam can help students to gain college credit or advanced placement in college-level calculus courses.

The graph given below depicts the trend of the number of students taking AP Calculus AB over the time period of 10 years.

Number of students taking AP Calculus AB from 2013 to 2022

AP Spanish Language and Culture

AP Spanish Language and Culture is one of the language AP courses that is the fifth most popular AP course. This course is designed to provide students with an in-depth understanding of the Spanish language and its cultural significance, preparing them for the AP Spanish Language and Culture exam.

The course is structured to teach students advanced language skills, such as reading and writing complex texts, engaging in meaningful conversations, and analyzing cultural perspectives. The popularity of AP Spanish Language and Culture speaks to the increasing importance of cross-cultural communication and the value of bilingualism in today’s diverse society.

The graph given below depicts the trend of the number of students taking AP Spanish Language and Culture over the time period of 10 years.

No. of Students of Spanish Language and Culture
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Factors that contribute to the most popular AP courses

  • Relevance to college and career: Most popular AP classes cover topics that are relevant for college. For example, AP English Language and Composition helps students develop their writing skills, which are essential for success in college and many careers. AP Calculus AB prepares students for college-level math, which is a requirement for many STEM majors.
  • Challenge: AP courses are challenging, but they also offer a sense of accomplishment. Students who succeed in AP classes are demonstrating that they are capable of handling college-level work. This can be a valuable asset when applying to college.
  • College credit: AP exams can earn students college credit, which can save them time and money. This is a major incentive for many students, especially those who are planning to attend a four-year college.
  • Teacher quality: The quality of the AP teacher can also play a role in the popularity of a course. Students are more likely to take AP courses if they know that the teacher is knowledgeable and engaging.
  • School culture: The school culture can also influence the popularity of AP classes. Schools that emphasize academic rigor and college preparation are more likely to have a large number of students taking AP courses.

Conclusion

In conclusion, AP English Language, AP United States History, AP Psychology, AP Calculus AB, and AP Spanish Language and Culture are the most popular AP classes. These AP classes provide students with advanced knowledge and skills that are highly valued in today’s society.

The potential for earning college credit or advanced placement in college-level courses also makes these courses an attractive option for students seeking to challenge themselves and get ahead in their college education.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

What is the most popular AP class taken?

According to the College Board, AP English Language and Composition is the most popular AP class. This AP course was taken by 520,771 students in 2022. AP United States History, AP Psychology, AP Calculus AB, and AP Spanish Language and Culture follow after it respectively.

What are the top 3 hardest AP classes?

The top 3 hardest AP classes, according to the pass rate and student survey and online discussion forums are AP Physics, AP Calculus BC, and AP Chemistry.

What is the easiest AP class?

The top 3 easiest AP classes, according to the pass rate and student’s survey and online discussion forums are AP Computer Science Principles, AP Psychology, and AP Chinese Language.

What are the least popular AP exams?

According to the 2022 College Board data, the least popular AP exams are:
AP 3-D Art and Design- 5,377
AP Chinese Language- 4,211
AP German Language- 4,450
AP Italian Language- 2,194
AP Japanese Language- 2,765
AP Latin- 4,832
This list is based on the number of students taking the above AP courses in 2022.

How many AP classes are there?

There are a total of 39 AP courses as of June 2023. College Board added AP Precalculus for the class of 2023. 

Written by by

Apoorvaa Agarwal

Reviewed by by

Priyanshi Agrawal

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