AP Exam: All You Need to Know About Advanced Placement Exams Image
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AP Exam: All You Need to Know About Advanced Placement Exams

Yocket Editorial Team
10 mins read

The Advance Placement Exam or AP exam started back in the 1950s and has been fulfilling the endeavors of students interested in studying abroad for 60+ years now. The exam is taken by more than 4 million high school students from 120+ countries across the world every year. AP test scores are recognized globally and accepted by 3,000+ universities in over 60 countries. Taking the AP exam shows commitment and dedication and is a plus point for your application.

If you are planning to appear for AP exams 2023, you have landed in the right place. In this blog, we have provided all key insights about the exam including what is AP exam, eligibility, AP exam syllabus and subjects, when and where does the exam take place, cost of AP exams 2023, score range & more!

  Table of Contents:

  1. What is AP Exam?
  2. Why Take an AP Exam?
  3. Eligibility Criteria for AP Exam
  4. How to Apply for AP Exam?
  5. Syllabus for AP Exam
  6. When are AP Exams Held?
  7. Where are AP Exams Held?
  8. What is the Score Range and Marking System for AP Exam?
  9. Who Accepts the AP Exam?
  10. How to Prepare for the AP Exam?
  11. Sources for AP Exam Practice and Mock Tests
  12. Frequently Asked Questions about AP Exam

What is AP Exam?

The AP exam or advance placement exam is conducted by the College Board in specific subjects. It is an entrance exam for high school students to apply to universities in the USA, UK, Australia, Canada, Singapore among other countries to pursue undergraduate studies.

The AP exam is conducted in pen and paper format. The question paper is divided into 2 parts - the first part consisting of multiple choice questions and the second part consisting of free response questions which require you to write answers as essays or general solutions. Depending on the AP subject in which you are taking the exam, the total duration of the exam ranges between 2-3 hours.

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Why Take an AP Exam?

Taking the AP exam has several benefits, some of which are:

  1. Firstly, you will have an added advantage during the admission process because of the rigor of AP subjects that you have learned.
  2. By taking advanced placement exams, you will also be able to earn college credits even before you get admission to any college which will later help you to fulfill the credit requirements of your program earlier than others thereby reducing tuition costs and also get the opportunity to enroll for an additional course or internship.
  3. Your understanding of the college curriculum is enhanced by studying for the advance placement test.
  4. The curriculum and teaching methodology followed in high schools in India are different from high school education abroad. Taking the AP exam can bridge this gap between the curriculum requirements of both these countries.

Eligibility Criteria for AP Exam

As discussed earlier, the AP exam is for high school students. Now let us take a look at the eligibility criteria for advanced placement exams:

  • Only applicants below the age of 21 are allowed to take the exam.
  • Students generally take the exam when they are in standard 11 or 12 in high school or even earlier if they are prepared.
  • You will require a valid passport to be carried on the day of the exam.
  • You can take the exam only once in a year. However, you can reappear for the exam next year.
  • You are allowed to take all the 4 Physics exams in the same year.
  • You are not allowed to take both calculus exams i.e. Calculus AB and Calculus BC in the same year.

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How to Apply for AP Exam?

You might want to know how to apply for the AP exam since not all schools offer AP exams in every subject. You can contact the AP Coordinator at your school to discuss the registration process for the AP exam. You can also contact the AP Services directly through the College Board website to get information regarding your nearest AP Coordinator who can guide you with the registration process. Make sure you contact the required person for the registration process by March 1. You will have to pay an application fee of $94 to register for the AP exam subjects.

Syllabus for AP Exam

Just like SAT subject tests, AP exam syllabus is also conducted for 38 AP subjects across Arts, English, History and Social Sciences, Math and Computer Science, Sciences and World Languages and Cultures. Here is a detailed overview of the AP exam syllabus for different AP exam subjects:




  • 2-D Art and Design
  • 3-D Art and Design
  • Drawing
  • Art History
  • Music Therapy


  • English Language and Composition
  • English Literature and Composition

History and Social Sciences

  • Comparative Government and Politics
  • European History
  • Human Geography
  • Macroeconomics
  • Microeconomics
  • Psychology
  • United States Government and Politics
  • United States History
  • World History: Modern

Math and Computer Science

  • Calculus AB
  • Calculus BC
  • Computer Science A
  • Computer Science Principles
  • Statistics


  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Environmental Science
  • Physics 1: Algebra-based
  • Physics 2: Algebra-based
  • Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism
  • Physics C: Mechanics

World Languages and Cultures

  • Chinese Language and Culture
  • French Language and Culture
  • German Language and Culture
  • Italian Language and Culture
  • Japanese Language and Culture
  • Latin
  • Spanish Language and Culture
  • Spanish Literature and Culture

When are AP Exams Held?

Now that you know what is AP exam, let us see when AP exams are held. It is administered within a 2-week period in May every year. The results for the advanced placement test are released within the first few days of July every year. You can check AP exams 2022 results online in July.

Where are AP Exams Held?

AP exams are held at United States – India Educational Foundation authorized schools across 11 cities in India including:

  • Ahmedabad
  • Bangalore
  • Delhi
  • Mumbai
  • Kolkata
  • Lucknow
  • Chennai
  • Amritsar
  • Hyderabad
  • Jaipur
  • Rajkot

What is the Score Range and Marking System for AP Exam?

AP exams are marked on a 5-point scale. If you score above 3, you will be considered to have cleared the exam. Most universities abroad accept AP exam scores that are above 4. Some colleges are even stricter and do not accept credits unless you have scored 5 out of 5. You can check the AP requirements for the universities you wish to apply to before registering for the exam.

Who Accepts the AP Exam?

Several renowned universities and colleges in the USA, UK, Canada, Australia, etc. accept AP exams. Take a look at the top 20 universities abroad accepting the advance placement exams:

  1. Princeton University
  2. Harvard University
  3. Columbia University
  4. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  5. Yale University
  6. Stanford University
  7. University of Chicago
  8. University of Pennsylvania
  9. California Institute of Technology
  10. John Hopkins University
  11. University of California
  12. Cornell University
  13. Carnegie Mellon University
  14. Boston University
  15. New York University
  16. Duke University
  17. University of Southern California
  18. University of Michigan
  19. University of Illinois
  20. University of Washington

How to Prepare for the AP Exam?

Wondering how you can prepare for AP exams 2023? Here are some preparation tips for the exam:

  • Preparation for the AP exam subjects is possible through self-study.
  • You will find free-response questions on the College Board website with sample responses and scoring guidelines.
  • You can practice previous year question papers to understand the format of the exam.
  • By practicing papers, you will be able to recognize repeated areas from where questions are asked every year.
  • You can purchase study material as well as question banks to revise whatever you have learned.
  • Identify your weak areas and practice more and more questions from there.
  • While practicing you must also focus on time management so that you have sufficient time to answer all questions.

Sources for AP Exam Practice and Mock Tests

Apart from College Board, you can find AP exam practice and mock tests on one of the following websites:

  • Varsity tutors
  • AP practice exams
  • Prepscholar
  • Kaplan test prep
  • Tutela prep
  • Princeton review

We hope you have completely understood what is AP test and its important aspects. You can take the AP exam as many times as you want to score perfect 5 points. Taking the AP exam is definitely a favorable option if you want to stand out in the application process for top universities. You will get additional credits which will allow you to skip introductory courses and try something exciting like internships or special training programs. Follow a strategic plan to prepare for the exam and start early.

Frequently Asked Questions about AP Exam

Ques. What is the purpose of taking AP exams?

Ans. AP exam is taken mainly to demonstrate hard work and determination for college studies. It also shows that you will be able to match with the rigor of your college program and is therefore a valuable addition to your application.

Ques. What is the eligibility criteria for taking AP exams?

Ans. To apply for the AP exam, the basic eligibility criteria is that you need to be less than 21 years of age.

Ques. Is the AP exam difficult?

Ans. Yes, the AP exam is moderately difficult. Students often find the free-response section difficult as it requires forming proper and quality responses to questions usually in essay format which also takes a lot of time.

Ques. Can I take the AP exam after completing class 12?

Ans. Yes, you can take the AP exam until you turn 21. Some students do prefer to take the AP exam in a gap year after completing class 12.

Ques. What is a good score for an AP exam?

Ans. To get into one of the top universities, you must achieve 5 on the AP exam. Generally, 70-75% in the exam results in scoring 5 points.

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