Get a Head Start on College by Taking AP Exams

Many students choose to take Advanced Placement (AP) courses during high school to better prepare for postsecondary success. These courses give students the chance to experience college-level work and show potential schools that they are up to the challenge. In order to receive placement or college credit for these AP courses, enrollees must take the AP exam offered at the end of the course.

Credit and Placement Many colleges and universities offer placement, credit or both for students who receive high marks on AP exams. Placement allows students to skip introductory classes, enter higher-level classes and/or fulfill general education requirements. Credit means student receive college-level class credit for the AP courses they completed. Some institutions offer students both college credit and placement. Use the AP Credit Policy Search to find the credit policies for the colleges that interest you.

Available Courses There are 34 different AP courses offered in the areas of AP Capstone, Arts, English, History & Social Science, Math & Computer Science, Sciences and World Languages & Cultures. These classes will prepare you for college-level work and allow you to explore career interests.

Exam Format The typical format is a multiple choice section followed by free-response questions and takes around two to three hours to complete. Test takers are not penalized for skipping multiple choice questions or guessing incorrectly. The score is only determined by the amount of correct answers. The free-response questions could require an essay, solution to a problem, verbal response or another format. A few of the exams have other forms, such as CD-based exams for language and culture exams or the portfolio required for AP Studio Art.

Exam Dates All of the AP exam dates are in the month of May. However, you should start to prepare for the exams long before then. Work hard at your AP course all year long so you’re not cramming weeks before the exam. Start talking to your school counselor in January if you’re interested in taking an AP exam. Students with disabilities need to submit special requests by February 21st. Check out the AP calendar for all important AP exam dates.

Exam Dates Scores will be given to students, their high school teachers and designated colleges during July. Students can access their scores online by creating a College Board account. Scores will no longer be mailed out to students. Test takers should also utilize the online form for requesting additional score reports. If you are unable to use this system, mail or fax in a signed written request with payment to AP services. Visit score reporting services to learn more.

AP Scholar Awards Students who show college-level achievement through their performance in AP courses and exam scores may receive an AP Scholar Award. While there is no monetary award for the AP Scholar program, students can add this award to college applications, résumés and more. The awards will appear on the online scores report in late August and the student will receive notification by email. The award certificate is mailed by September.

Talk to your Counselor or AP Coordinator If you have questions about the AP exams or the cost to take the exam, talk to your counselor or school’s AP Coordinator. Exam fee waivers and reductions are available to those who are eligible.

Printed from the Iowa College Student Aid Commission website on March 21, 2018 at 12:28am.