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AP Prep: About the AP

By Peterson's Staff updated on Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Overview of AP testing

The AP testing program allows you to try out college-level work and build valuable skills and study habits in the process. Subject matter is explored at a more in-depth level in an AP course than in other high school classes -- and that can pay off. A qualifying AP score (which varies from college to college) can earn you college credit or advanced standing. Qualifying grades on enough exams can even earn you a full year's credit and sophomore standing at more than 1,400 schools.

AP courses can save you both time and money, while giving you the chance to enjoy the challenge of higher-level work. There are currently more than 30 courses offered. Check with your guidance counselor for more information.

AP score

AP exams are scored on a scale of 1 to 5. If you receive an AP score of 5, that means the College Board finds you ''very well qualified'' to earn credit in that subject. A score of 1 means they are unwilling to make a recommendation. Every participating college sets their own minimum standard for granting AP credit. Check your potential schools' policies to learn if you qualify.

To maximize your chances of scoring well on the exams, consider taking AP prep. AP prep will allow you to target your weaknesses for improvement, and will also teach you tips and strategies with which to approach the exams. AP help can be found in books and on the Web.

AP help: Test locations

Exams are given at high schools across the U.S. Your guidance counselor can provide you with more information about the exams offered at your school.

AP help: Test dates

AP exams are generally given during the first two weeks of May. You should plan well in advance; some teachers may even want you to complete work the summer before a class begins. If you would like to take more than one exam scheduled for the same time slot, speak with your AP coordinator.

2011 Test Dates: Week 1

Test Date Morning Tests (8 a.m.) Afternoon Tests (12 p.m.)
Monday, May 7 Chemistry, Environmental Science   


Tuesday, May 8 Computer Science A, Spanish Language Art History
Wednesday, May 9 Calculus AB, Calculus BC Chinese Language and Culture
Thursday, May 10 English Literature and Composition Japanese Language and Culture, Latin: Vergil
Friday, May 11 German Language and Culture, United States History European History, Studio Art (portfolios due)


2011 Test Dates: Week 2

Test Date Morning Tests (8 a.m.) Afternoon Tests (12 p.m.)
Monday, May 14 Biology, Music Theory Physics B, Physics C: Mechanics, Physics C: Electricity & Magnetism (2 p.m.)
Tuesday, May 15 United States Government and Politics Comparative Government and Politics, French Language
Wednesday, May 16 English Language and Composition Statistics
Thursday, May 17 Macroeconomics, World History Microeconomics, Italian Language and Culture
Friday, May 18 Human Geography, Spanish Literature
About the Author

Peterson's has more than 40 years of experience in higher education, and the expert staff members here are all ready to leverage their considerable knowledge and experience to help you succeed on your educational journey. We have the information, the know-how, and the tools -- now all we need is you!

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