AP Exam and Statistics

The AP Exam

With the exception of Studio Art, each AP Exam is administered on a College Board-mandated day and contains a free-response section (either essays or problem-solving) and a multiple-choice section. Language exams, such as French and Spanish, also have an oral component in which students are required to produce sentences and respond to questions out loud for a digital tape recorder. AP exams are graded on a scale from 1 to 5, with 5 as the highest score, indicating that the student is extremely well-qualified to receive full or partial college course credit at the college chosen.

AP Exam Statistics

  • 37 courses and exams across a wide variety of subject areas
  • In 2015, over 4.5 million exams were taken by more than 2.5 million students at over 19,000 high schools
  • AP Exams are administered at more than 15,000 schools in 100 countries
  • Since the first AP Exams were given in 1956, more than 12.6 million students have taken more than 19 million AP Exams worldwide
  • On average, 62 percent of those taking AP exams receive a grade that is recommended for college credit, advanced placement or both. More than 90 percent of colleges and universities in the United States recognize these exam grades
  • More than 600 universities in 60 countries outside the United States recognize AP Exam scores for credit and/or advanced placement in the admissions process

*Exam facts taken from the College Board website

Last updated
September 16, 2015