AP Exams Explained

By Lila De Almeida

Advanced Placement, or AP, classes are college-level classes offered to high school students. They increase the possible GPA of a student, but also test them on their knowledge near the end of the year. AP Exams are scored out of 5, and in order to receive college credit for the class, students must score a 3 or higher, depending on the university. College Board’s statistics show that in 2021, there were 4,578,302 AP Exams taken by 2,548,228 students from 22,802 secondary schools

However, the grading system is not as simple as it seems. Exams are graded on a bell curve, meaning that roughly the same amount of people will get a 1 as those who will get a 5, as with 2 and 4. Meanwhile, a score of 3 is the majority. In 2020, the mean score for all AP test takers was 3.03, as reported by the College Board. Multiple choice sections are graded electronically, but open-ended answers are graded by experienced professors and teachers appointed for the job.

This year, AP Exams began on May 2nd and end on May 13. Each test ranges from 2 to 3 hours long. Both weeks consist of 17 exams: the first week ranges from Japanese Language and Culture to Microeconomics. The second week begins with Calculus and ends with Latin. Courses such as AP Art and Design, AP Seminar, AP Research, and AP Computer Science do not take exams, but instead submit projects in order to receive credit. Scores will be released in July.

The College Board provides AP students with many helpful study resources through their website AP Classroom. These resources include practice tests and educational videos to refresh students on rough spots. With enough reviewing, students can get the score they need. Good luck to all the students who took the exams this year.