The Advanced Placement Program® (AP) enables willing and academically prepared students to pursue college-level studies while still in high school.
The program consists of college-level courses developed by the AP Program that high schools can choose to offer, and corresponding exams that are administered once a year.
- There are 38 AP courses in seven subject categories.
- Each AP course is modeled on a comparable introductory college course in the subject. Learn how AP courses are developed.
- Each course culminates in a standardized college-level assessment, or AP Exam.
- AP Exams are given in May each year at testing locations all over the world.
- Schools must be authorized by the AP Course Audit to offer approved AP courses and use the AP designation.
Taking AP courses and exams can help students:
- Stand out on college applications. AP courses on a student’s transcript shows that they’ve challenged themselves with the most rigorous courses available to them. And success on an AP Exam shows that they’re ready for college-level coursework.
- Earn college credit and/or skip introductory courses in college. Most four-year colleges and universities in the United States—as well as many institutions in more than 100 other countries—grant students credit, placement, or both for qualifying AP Exam scores. Search credit policies by college.