Advanced Learning Programs - Advanced Placement

General Information

More than 90 percent of four-year US colleges give students credits and/or advanced placement on the basis of AP Exam scores. AP courses can help students acquire the skills and habits needed to be successful in college. Students have the opportunity to improve writing skills, sharpen problem-solving abilities, and develop time management skills, discipline, and study habits. Research shows that students who take AP are much more likely than their peers to complete a college degree on time.

Greater course depth
Students have the opportunity to dig deeper into subjects that interest them, develop advanced research and communication skills, and learn to tap their creative, problem-solving, and analytical potential.

Preparation for college-level work
AP courses give students access to rigorous college-level work. AP students build confidence and learn the essential time management and study skills needed for college and career success.

Competitive advantage in college admissions
Eighty-five percent of selective colleges and universities report that a student’s AP experience favorably impacts admission decisions.

Take the next steps together
Encourage your child to talk to peers, counselors, and teachers to learn more about the benefits of AP courses and the specific process for enrolling in their school’s AP program.

College Board offers 36 AP courses in six categories:



History and Social Science

Math and Computer Science


World Languages and Cultures

Documents and Resources

2015-16 AP Bulletin Students Parents
2015-16 Boletin Para Estudiantes Ap Padres
AP Award Levels
AP Program Guide 2015-2016
Student Score Distributions 2015
AP Student YouTube Channel
Find a College's AP Credit Policy
Find Out About AP Scores
GADoE Information for Students and Parents About AP
Hear From College Students About Their AP Experiences
Preparing for Exams
Sign Up for a College Board Account
Visit the College Board Site for Students and Parents

Frequently Asked Questions

Do all MCSD Schools offer all of the AP courses offered by the College Board?

No. Each high school offers a different slate of AP courses depending on the needs of the population at that school. Check with each individual school's guidance department to get a list of AP courses taught at that particular school.

How do I access my AP scores?

Information about accessing 2016 scores is available now at

  1. To access scores from 2015 and earlier, go to AP Scores and select “View Your Scores.”
  2. Sign in to your College Board account.
    • You MUST have an account to get your scores.
    • You may already have an account if you’ve participated in other College Board programs, such as registering online for the SAT.
  3. If asked, provide the following information:
    • Your College Board account username and password.
    • Your AP number (the number on the labels in your Student Pack) OR your student identifier (student ID number) if you provided it on your answer sheet. If you don’t have your AP number, click the “I do not have my AP number” link and we will email your AP number to the email address you provided on your answer sheet.

Note:If your most recent AP Exam was over four years ago, your AP scores are no longer viewable from our online score reporting system. They have been archived which means that you will only be able to request your scores be sent to a college, university or scholarship program via mail or fax. Complete the Archived AP Scores Request Form, and mail or fax it with payment to the address or number indicated on the form.

Will I lose points if I answer a multiple choice question incorrectly on an AP exam?

Total scores on the multiple-choice section are based on the number of questions answered correctly. Points are not deducted for incorrect answers and no points are awarded for unanswered questions.

Will it hurt my chances of college admission if I don't score well on an AP exam?

Most likely not. Nearly 60 percent of all AP Exams are scored 3 or higher, indicating that the majority of AP students are succeeding at college-level course work. When making admission decisions, colleges consider many more factors than just exam scores, including the strength of your course work and your GPA in rigorous courses. Colleges want to see that you are taking the most rigorous course work available to you. When we surveyed admission officers, more than 75 percent indicated that a low score on an AP Exam would NOT harm an applicant’s admission prospects. By enrolling in AP courses you demonstrate that you are interested in challenging yourself and learning at a college level.

What is the score scale for AP Exams?

The final score for each AP Exam is reported on a 5-point scale that offers a recommendation about how qualified you are to receive college credit and placement:

5 = extremely well qualified

4 = well qualified

3 = qualified

2 = possibly qualified

1 = no recommendation

The AP Program conducts studies in all AP subjects to compare the performance of AP students with that of college students in comparable college courses. These studies help set the “cut points” that determine how AP students’ composite scores are translated into an AP score of 1–5. AP Exam scores of 5 are equivalent to grades of A+ and A in the corresponding college course. AP Exam scores of 4 are equivalent to grades of A-, B+, and B in college. AP Exam scores of 3 are equivalent to grades of B-, C+, and C in college.

What do I have to do to qualify for an AP course at my school?

The College Board advocates access to any student who wishes to take an AP course who is dedicated and ready for the college-level work that the course requires. Check with your particular school to see if there are any steps you should take before registering for an AP course on their campus.

Can I take an AP exam even if I haven't taken an AP course?

Yes. The College Board is committed to providing access to the AP Exams to homeschooled students and students whose schools do not offer AP it does not require students to take an AP course prior to taking an AP Exam.

You should study the kinds of skills and content outlined in the Course Description for your subject because they represent the basis for the AP Exam. The best way to do so is in a year-long AP course in which the students and teachers focus on college-level work. However, if you have taken strong courses and/or have studied in depth on your own, you may be able to perform quite well on the AP Exam. Get to know the exams by reviewing free practice questions. Complete released exams are available for a fee in the College Board Store.

Note: AP Seminar is an exception. Only students who are enrolled in AP Seminar at a school that is participating in the AP Capstone program can take the AP Seminar End-of-Course Exam.

Who sends my AP scores to colleges and universities?

Only you can request that your scores be sent to your college(s). To ensure that they receive legitimate scores, colleges and universities will only recognize the official AP score report sent by the College Board at your request. For example, if you simply write your AP scores on your college applications, including the Common Application, they will not count for credit and placement purposes. Colleges won’t recognize your student score report for credit either; you must request that the College Board send an official score report directly to the college. For complete details, including fees, visit Score Reporting Services.

Contact Information

Christine Hull Director of Advanced Learning and Gifted Programs