AP Test Scores And Exams Policies

AP Test Scores And Exams Policies

AP Test Scores And Exams Policies

A scale of 1 to 5 is used to score AP exams. For scores of three or higher, many American universities offer credit and/or advanced placement, which allows you to skip the corresponding course while you’re in college. If you score a 4 or above, you could be eligible to obtain college credit without paying for tuition!

Here’s all you need to know about AP scores, regardless of whether you recently received your results or are thinking about enrolling in an AP course.

Keep in Mind

Your section scores are used to compute your overall score: Your final result on the majority of AP exams is a weighted average of your multiple-choice and free-response section scores. There are evaluations in some AP courses that feature additional graded parts.

A 5-point grading system is used for AP exams: Each AP exam final result is provided on a 5-point scale that indicates your eligibility for college credit and placement; however, the numbers that colleges will accept for credit or placement are at their discretion.

The AP uses research to determine its scores: To compare the performance of AP students with that of college students enrolled in similar courses, the AP Program conducts research in all AP disciplines. These studies aid in establishing the “cut points” that decide how an AP score of 1–5 is calculated from the composite scores of AP students.

What Are AP Scores Used For?

Generally speaking, AP results can be utilized for college credit, to waive prerequisites for specific courses, and to demonstrate to admissions officers that you were a motivated learner in high school.

You must visit each college’s website to find out how it uses AP scores because different universities utilize them in different ways.

1. Earn College Credit: If you do well on an AP exam, certain universities will provide you with college credit. Because these AP credits apply toward your graduation requirements, you can enroll in fewer college courses. Considering the expense of education, this could be a significant step in lowering the cost of your ideal college.

2. Show Admissions Officers Your Best Side: Most colleges will respect your decision to challenge yourself by enrolling in an AP course, even if your scores don’t result in college credit or allow you to drop out of certain courses.

A high score on an AP exam indicates mastery of more difficult content than is taught in many high school courses, and many schools will take that into account during the college admissions process.

3. Meet University Requirements: If you score high on an AP exam, some universities will let you “place out” of certain prerequisites, even if they won’t provide you with genuine college credits.

For instance, you may be able to move straight into more specialized coursework for your major without the lengthy survey course. In rare situations, you might not even need to enroll in a class in a particular area such as a required writing course.

What Your Scores on the AP Exam Signify

The AP score that will probably grant you college credit for advanced placement is a 4 or a 5. Naturally, you still receive a mark from your high school for that AP subject regardless of how well you perform on the exam. On your transcript, AP course grades that are strong usually appear excellent!

5 Extremely well qualified
4 Well qualified
3 Qualified
2 Possibly qualified
1 No recommendation

2023 AP Exam Score Distributions

These are the results of last year’s AP class on a few well-known exams.

AP Seminar 11.0% 20.0% 57.0% 11.0% 1.0% 88%
Chinese Lang. and Culture 50.0% 17.0% 18.0% 6.0% 9.0% 85%
Drawing 16.0% 33.0% 36.0% 13.0% 2.0% 85%
2-D Art and Design 12.0% 31.0% 41.0% 14.0% 2.0% 84%
AP Research 13.0% 26.0% 45.0% 13.0% 3.0% 84%
Spanish Language 24.0% 30.0% 30.0% 14.0% 3.0% 84%
Calculus BC 42.0% 16.0% 20.0% 16.0% 6.0% 78%
English Literature 15.0% 28.0% 34.0% 14.0% 9.0% 77%
Chemistry 15.0% 27.0% 33.0% 17.0% 8.0% 75%
Japanese Lang. and Culture 47.0% 9.0% 19.0% 9.0% 17.0% 75%
French Language 12.0% 25.0% 37.0% 20.0% 6.0% 74%
Physics C Mech. 23.0% 28.0% 22.0% 15.0% 12.0% 73%
3-D Art and Design 7.0% 25.0% 40.0% 23.0% 4.0% 72%
Government and Politics, Comp. 16.0% 23.0% 32.0% 16.0% 13.0% 71%
Italian Language and Culture 20.0% 22.0% 29.0% 18.0% 11.0% 71%
Computer Science Principles 12.0% 23.0% 33.0% 20.0% 12.0% 68%
Physics 2 – Algebra Based 15.0% 17.0% 36.0% 26.0% 6.0% 68%
Physics C E&M 31.0% 24.0% 13.0% 20.0% 12.0% 68%
Computer Science A 27.0% 22.0% 18.0% 10.0% 23.0% 67%
Spanish Literature 8.0% 22.0% 37.0% 23.0% 10.0% 67%
German Language 19.0% 21.0% 26.0% 20.0% 14.0% 66%  
Microeconomics 18.0% 26.0% 22.0% 21.0% 13.0% 66%
World History 15.0% 22.0% 28.0% 22.0% 13.0% 65%
Art History 13.0% 23.0% 28.0% 24.0% 12.0% 64%  
Biology 14.0% 23.0% 27.0% 24.0% 12.0% 64%  
Macroeconomics 16.0% 23.0% 25.0% 22.0% 14.0% 64%  
Music Theory 20.0% 17.0% 24.0% 24.0% 15.0% 61%  
Psychology 17.0% 23.0% 20.0% 12.0% 28.0% 60%  
Statistics 15.0% 22.0% 23.0% 16.0% 24.0% 60%  
European History 13.0% 21.0% 25.0% 29.0% 12.0% 59%  
Calculus AB 22.0% 16.0% 20.0% 22.0% 20.0% 58%  
Latin 12.0% 17.0% 28.0% 25.0% 18.0% 57%  
English Language 10.0% 20.0% 26.0% 29.0% 15.0% 56%  
Human Geography 16.0% 20.0% 18.0% 14.0% 32.0% 54%  
Environmental Science 8.0% 28.0% 17.0% 27.0% 20.0% 53%  
Government and Politics, US 13.0% 11.0% 25.0% 24.0% 27.0% 49%  
United States History 11.0% 15.0% 22.0% 23.0% 29.0% 48%  
Physics 1 – Algebra Based 8.0% 18.0% 19.0% 28.0% 27.0% 45%
AP Test Scores And Exams Policies
AP Test Scores And Exams Policies

What Is a Good AP Score?

Is a 3 a decent AP result? A two, how about it? To find out more about getting strong AP results and whether having a high score will help you get into college. Read this guide.

  1. Passing is defined as having an AP score of 3 or above.
  2. Depending on the test you take and the universities you apply to a good AP score varies.
  3. You can shorten the time it takes to acquire your degree and receive college credit with high AP results.

How Are AP Exams Scored?

To get ahead on college-level content and to try to gain college credit typically for general education classes high school students enroll in AP tests and classes. In addition to high school credit, students may be awarded college credit for an AP exam passed.

The College Board regards a score of three or above as a passing mark. That said, some universities want a 4 or 5 to get credit. The universities you are applying to will determine whether or not a 3 is a decent AP score.

What Is a Good AP Score Compared to Other Test-Takers?

A 3 or above is typically regarded as a strong AP score. However, you can obtain a more accurate assessment of your AP score by contrasting it with the test’s average score for that particular year.

For instance, in past years, the average score for AP Biology was 2.83. For that test, anything beyond that threshold would be regarded as above average.

The average score fluctuates depending on the test because AP exams differ in difficulty. A 3 in AP Chemistry is above average, but in AP Calculus BC it is below average.

Certain AP tests may be more difficult than others. Among all the tests, AP Calculus BC, AP Spanish Literature, and AP Physics C: Mechanics have the greatest pass percentages.

AP Test Scores And Exams Policies
AP Test Scores And Exams Policies

What Is a Good AP Score for You?

A high enough AP score to get you credit at the institutions you want to go to is what’s considered good for you. While many institutions demand a minimum of three, others even demand four or even five.

To increase your chances of being admitted to college, aim for the greatest possible score on the AP exam. You can achieve this by thoroughly reviewing the content and getting ready for your AP tests.

Make it important to schedule your studies and begin early when studying for AP exams. On test day, you’re likely to perform better the more time you spend preparing. Use AP practice exams to your advantage to assist you in becoming acclimated to the exam’s scheduling and structure.

You can appeal an AP score

You can ask for a rescore of your paper and pencil AP exam via the College Board’s Multiple-Choice Rescore Service if you don’t think the results are accurate.

Exam rescoring is $30, and requests for rescoring exams must be made by autumn. Keep in mind that the only way to potentially alter your AP scores for that year is to rescore.

You are unable to contest your rescore or request another test administration once it has been finished. To try to improve your score, you can retake the exam the following year.

How to Check Your AP Results


1. Verify that you can access your College Board account. Make sure you remember your login information by logging in before the July score release. You log into My AP and other College Board resources with the same account.

2. Verify that the email address we have on file is yours. Update your account if your email address has changed.

3. If you already have an account, don’t create a new one. Your AP scores may take longer to arrive if you have several accounts. Use the same login information that you used to enroll in and register for the AP courses.

AP Exams Policies

The purpose of the AP tests is to help students meet their academic objectives and gain a leg up on their peers by granting college credit.

Nonetheless, the College Board has made it clear that examinees are not permitted to exchange or access any kind of unlawful material during exams due to their stringent adherence to safeguarding the AP Program’s integrity.

Consequently, the College Board has instituted particular guidelines about exam security, calculators and related equipment, exam breaks, and accommodations to ensure that every student has an equitable testing experience.

Test takers must be aware of and abide by these rules, as breaking them might result in expulsion from the testing facility, the cancellation of test results, or even a complete prohibition from taking any examinations (such as the SAT, AP, or CLEP) going forward. Should an examinee be subject to a ban, the College Board retains the power to lift the suspension.

What Should I Bring on AP Exam Day?

  1. A recent picture ID from the government or the school
  2. Your home-school code, or six-digit school code
  3. No. 2 pencils with erasers (children from other countries may also use HB pencils)
  4. Pens with dark blue or black ink
  5. The College Board SSD Student Accommodations Letter (if applicable) and the AP Student Pack

For exam locations outside of the US, other documents could be needed; please inquire with your school’s administration.

Alternatively, if you are a homeschooled or international student and are not receiving the necessary information before exam day, you can give the College Board a call immediately.

Items that you are permitted to bring into the examination room:

  1. A valid calculator (see the chart below) if the use of one is permitted for the AP exam.
  2. A watch that is silent and without internet connectivity.
  3. If you are taking the AP Physics exam, then you only need a ruler or straightedge.

Items you shouldn’t bring with you to the exam room:

  1. Bags or backpacks.
  2. Mobile phones or any type of electronic communication gadget.
  3. Correction fluid, earplugs, highlighters, pencils other than No. 2, and pens other than blue or black ink.
  4. If your exam calls for the use of scratch paper, it will be supplied to you during the test.
  5. Any information about your physique, shoes, or clothes that is relevant to the topic.
  6. Protractors.

What Are the AP Exam Rules?

  1. NEVER try to take the test on someone else’s behalf!
  2. Take your AP exam on the appointed day and time.
  3. Until your proctor instructs you otherwise, do not access your exam materials.
  4. Nothing in the testing room should be taken out of order.
  5. Avoid attempting to get unauthorized access to the exam’s material or any illegal information regarding the exam itself.
  6. Please do not take any pages out of the exam book, or parts of pages.
  7. It is forbidden to try to take any exam-related materials or notes out of the testing room.
  8. Exam sections should not be consulted or perused at any time other than during the allotted testing hour.
  9. During testing or breaks, do not attempt to use your phone or any other electronic device (other than authorized equipment). This covers all cameras and gadgets with internet access.
  10. Avoid employing any testing accommodations that you haven’t received College Board approval for.
  11. Without authorization, do not exit the testing room, the building, or the assigned break space. Avoid taking prolonged pauses.
  12. Avoid causing any commotion in the exam room or assigned break space.
  13. During the exam, avoid duplicating information from other students’ work or published or unpublished sources.
  14. Throughout the exam, avoid trying to help someone else with their work or accepting help from others. This also applies during the break period.

What to Do Once I Enter the AP Exam Room?

Mark the materials you use for the AP exam

It is crucial that you properly label the items you use for the AP Test. Examiners from the College Board can assign the correct score to the right test taker since the label identifies the answer sheet as belonging to the real student who took the test.

1. A student’s score may be impacted by labels that are partially or wrongly inserted on their answer sheets (for example, your exam score report may arrive late). Thus, always remember to properly label your exam materials!

2. You’ll get a sheet of labels with your AP ID on it as soon as you get into the exam room. These labels have an alphanumeric code and a special barcode.

3. It will be specified by your proctor where to place these labels.

4. Ensure that the AP ID labels are attached to both your test kit and response papers.

5. Ask your proctor if you have not received the AP ID labels.

6. You will need to write your AP ID on your exam materials and answer sheet if you do not have AP ID labels. Ask the proctor again where you should type your codes.

Examining online, you must enter your AP ID on the student information screen at the start of the AP Chinese Language and Culture and Japanese Language and Culture tests.

Before shipping your physical artwork to the AP Program, make sure to affix your AP ID label on the back of each piece of art for the AP Art and Design Exams.

Before sending your digital portfolio to your AP teacher, you must also input your AP ID into the digital submission online tool.

How to fill in your AP answer sheet and booklet

Here are a few pointers to help fill in your answer sheet and answer booklet appropriately:

1. Always choose your response by marking the relevant circles on the multiple-choice answer sheet for the questions.

2. Write your responses in the free-response booklet exclusively in English (AP exams for foreign languages and cultures excluded).

3. An extra orange booklet with the exam questions and reference materials will be sent to you as well. Since your answers won’t be graded, DO NOT write them in this orange booklet.

The AP exam is divided into two sections, as you are probably aware: a multiple-choice portion and a free-response section. An answer booklet for the free-response portion and an answer sheet for the multiple-choice portion will be provided to you.

AP Exam Security Policies

AP Exam security policies are in place to guarantee that every student has an equal opportunity to show what they know and that no one has an undue advantage.

Students can view a “Terms and Conditions” statement published by the College Board on their website. Each student must read the contract, sign it, and follow its instructions. These are a few of the most important security precautions the College Board implements to guarantee that every student takes the test fairly.

The College Board will not provide you a score if you share any illegal material related to the AP exam on social media during the exam or make reference to any unsettled exam material at any point following the exam.

You might not be able to retake the exam after your score has been revoked, and you might not be allowed to take any more AP examinations.

Content Disclosure Policy

Additionally, the College Board maintains the power to immediately revoke your exam results if it is determined that you disclosed any of the following:

1. Content for all exams that is multiple-choice (MCQ) (including regularly scheduled and late testing)

2. Content for free-response (FRQ) tests with late testing

3. FRQ content that is either not available on the College Board website even after two days of administration or that is planned for regularly scheduled exams and is administered within two days of each other.

Even though it might not be intentional, discussing a free-response question immediately after the exam or casually discussing multiple-choice questions with someone during the exam break could result in your score being canceled.

48 hours following the exam, you are free to talk about any of the free-response questions from your AP exam that are available on the College Board website.

How will the College Board prevent cheating?

The College Board has created some measures, such as plagiarism-detection software, as of 2022 to stop cheating. If a student is found to have cheated, their AP results will be immediately annulled, and they might not be allowed to retake the exam.


On your AP exam, you are permitted to take breaks in between Sections I and II. However, this break might only last for ten minutes because of the stringent AP exam scheduling requirements. Recall that you are not allowed to discuss the exam’s contents with anyone during the intermission or following its administration.

It is advised that you pack a lunch or a snack for the break. During breaks, all students are expected to adhere to particular regulations.

1. It is forbidden for you to reference other students, teachers, textbooks, or notes.

2. It is forbidden for you to use any kind of communication or technological equipment, including your cell phone.

3. You are not permitted to leave the facility as a test-taker at any point while the exam is being administered, not even for a planned break.

AP Exam Calculator Policy

The College Board’s calculator policies and the guidelines for utilizing calculators during AP exams.

Can you use a calculator for the AP exam?

On some exams, you are allowed to use a calculator. Here is a list of AP exams that permit calculator use, in case you’re curious:

Course Type of Calculator Allowed
  • Four-function calculator (with square root)
  • Scientific (non-graphing) calculator, but must not have unapproved features or capabilities
  • Graphing calculator
Calculus AB Graphing calculator
Calculus BC Graphing calculator
Chemistry A scientific calculator (must not have unapproved features or capabilities) or graphing calculator are recommended; a four-function calculator is allowed but not recommended.
Environmental Science Four-function (with square root), scientific, or graphing calculator
Physics 1 Four-function, scientific, or graphing calculator
Physics 2 Four-function, scientific, or graphing calculator
Physics C: Mechanics Four-function, scientific, or graphing calculator
Physics C: Electricity & Magnetism Four-function, scientific, or graphing calculator
Statistics Graphing calculator with statistical capabilities. Non-graphing calculators are permitted if they have the required statistical computation capabilities described on the AP Statistics Course page by the College Board.

On the other hand, there are a few guidelines regarding the use of calculators in AP exams, which are:

1. Sharing calculators is not permitted among examinees.

2. Your calculator can’t interact with other calculators!

3. It is strictly forbidden to steal test content from the calculator’s memory and take it outside of the exam room! If you do this, there may be significant repercussions, including the revocation of your scores.

4. Using a calculator during your exam is not required. You are free to decide not to.

5. On exam day, you must write, date, and sign a Calculator Release Statement if you decide not to use a calculator. The person handling your AP coordinator or proctor will supply this material.

6. Up to two approved calculators are allowed for use throughout the exam. Verify that the equipment you have is in proper operating order.

Calculators allowed on the AP exams

Students can use an approved calculator list published by the College Board on their AP exams. To assist you, we have included the authorized calculators here. Recall that before the exam starts, the proctor will inspect every calculator.

The authorized calculators for the 2023–24 AP examinations are listed below:

FX-6000 Series
FX-6200 Series
FX-6300 Series
FX-6500 Series
FX-7000 Series
FX-7300 Series
FX-7400 Series
FX-7500 Series
FX-7700 Series
FX-7800 Series
FX-8000 Series
FX-8500 Series
FX-8800 Series
FX-9700 Series*
FX-9750 Series*
FX-9860 Series*
CFX-9800 Series*
CFX-9850 Series*
CFX-9950 Series*
CFX-9970 Series*
FX 1.0 Series*
FX-CG500* (The use of the stylus is not permitted)
FX-CG-20 Series*
Graph25 Series
Graph35 Series*
Graph75 Series*
Graph95 Series*
Graph100 Series*
Algebra FX 2.0 Series*

2. Texas Instruments

TI-83 Plus*
TI-83 Plus Silver*
TI-84 Plus*
TI-84 Plus CE*
TI-84 Plus CE Python*
TI-84 Plus Silver*
TI-84 Plus C Silver*
TI-84 Plus T*
TI-84 Plus CE-T*
TI-84 Plus CE-T Python Edition*
TI-89 Titanium*
TI-Nspire CX*
TI-Nspire CAS*
TI-Nspire CX CAS*
TI-Nspire CM-C*
TI-Nspire CM-C CAS*
TI-Nspire CX-C CAS*
TI-Nspire CX II*
TI-Nspire CX II-T*
TI-Nspire CX II CAS*
TI-Nspire CX II-T CAS*
TI-Nspire CX II-C CAS*

3. Hewlett Packard  

HP-28 Series*
HP-39 Series*
HP-40 Series*
HP-48 Series*
HP-49 Series*
HP-50 Series*
HP Prime*

4. Radio Shack


4. Sharp

EL-9200 Series*
EL-9300 Series*
EL-9600 Series* (The stylus is not permitted)
EL-9900 Series*

AP Exam Accommodations

Exam-day special accommodations are offered by the College Board for students with disabilities to guarantee equitable testing opportunities for all. These rules, which are also known as “AP Accommodations,” are a component of the AP test guidelines.

The purpose of these modifications is to guarantee that each AP student has an equal opportunity to show off their knowledge on test day. You might be qualified for special accommodations if your ability to take the AP exam is impacted by a documented impairment. There are many different types of accommodation accessible, such as:

  • Braille exam format
  • Assistive technology–compatible (ATC) exam format
  • Large-print exam format
  • Extended time for the examination
  • Extra breaks during the examination
  • Large-block answer sheets
  • Permission to use a computer for typing essays
  • Permission to use a magnification device (electronic or non-electronic)
  • A human reader dictates questions
  • A writer/scribe to record responses
  • A written copy of oral instructions

Assessing the need for AP exam accommodations

For the AP exam, certain students with verified disabilities are qualified for accommodations. Without approval from the College Board’s Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD), students are unable to take the AP Exams with accommodations.

You still need to submit an exam accommodations request form for your AP examinations, even if your school provides accommodations and you have an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or a 504 Plan. To help you set up accommodations for the AP exam, get in touch with your school’s SSD coordinator.

This is a step-by-step process to help you figure out if you qualify for accommodations for the AP exam:

You must document the disability.

Ask yourself if the disability may affect how you take the AP exam.

The student must demonstrate the need for the accommodation being requested.

If your school provides you with accommodations for taking classes and timed tests, provide this evidence.

Requesting AP accommodations

Getting in touch with the SSD coordinator at your school is the simplest approach to request modifications. The SSD coordinator at your institution will be able to submit the application on your behalf using the College Board’s web portal. This individual might be a guidance counselor or a special educator.

Make sure you speak with your SSD coordinator well in advance of exam day regarding your accommodations needs, and make sure they have verified that all the necessary paperwork has been submitted and approved. Upon approval of the accommodation request, you will receive an SSD number.

What to bring to an AP exam with accommodations?

Students should confirm that all accommodations are in place and that no additional paperwork is needed with the AP test center or the SSD coordinator at their school before exam day. All students taking tests with accommodations should not forget to bring their SSD eligibility letter on exam day.

Can students also request accommodations without help from their school?

Yes, without assistance from their school, children can also request accommodations. You may apply on your own, without the help of your school, by completing a Student Eligibility Form on the SSD website.

The College Board SSD should receive the completed form by mail or fax together with the disability proof. If you are granted exam accommodations, your SSD eligibility letter will arrive in the mail. Make sure you bring the College Board’s SSD eligibility letter to every exam.

Deadline for Requesting AP accommodations

By January 18, 2023, all accommodation requests and full paperwork must be submitted via SSD Online.

Can you get extra time on the AP exam?

Extra time is approved by the College Board for students with particular disabilities. These impairments may affect one or more of the following competencies: speaking, listening, writing, reading, and math computation.

Only the areas affected by these disabilities are eligible for additional time. You will typically receive 50% or 100% more time than the allotted testing period if you have chosen to take the AP exam with accommodations for a longer time.


What percent is a 5 on an AP Exam?

70 to 75 percent
Usually, a 70 to 75 percent out of 100 translates to a 5.

Is 5 a good score on AP?

Yes! The maximum score you might have achieved on the AP exam is a 5. In case you received a 5, congrats! If you receive a 5, it indicates that you have put a lot of effort and study time into this exam.

Is 70 a 5 on the AP exam?

What percentage of an AP exam score is a 5? An average of 70 to 75 percent of 100 corresponds to a 5. Nevertheless, this generalization has some exceptions. On a five-point AP scale, students, high schools, colleges, and universities receive their grades in July. 5. Very well-informed.

What is a 60% on an AP test?

Indeed, in AP subjects, a passing score is 60. An AP exam typically passes 60–70% of the time.
What is a 50 on an AP test?
Passing with 50% is regarded as a 3. Colleges will next evaluate your AP credit as evidence of your qualification, well-qualification, or very well-qualification.

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