AP testing allows you to sample college-level work. Find out more in this article about how this testing can help you build valuable skills, study habits, and more.

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. for a full list of AP For this year's test dates, see the AP calendar.