Advanced Placement (AP) classes are a rite of passage for many high school students, and prepping for AP exams is often one of the most stressful parts of the end of a semester. It’s a good idea to start by understanding the basic logistics of AP tests: format, scoring, the registration process, and accommodations. For most students, getting advice about how best to prep for AP tests is an important next step, and then finally comes the arduous process of the preparation itself. Inspirica is here to help with every aspect of the AP exam prep process. We’ll make sure you go into your test date feeling as prepared as possible.
AP Test Format
Advanced Placement classes give students the chance to take college-level courses, master college-level content, and earn college credit while still in high school. College Board offers almost 40 different AP courses in a variety of subject areas, and most American high schools offer some number of those to their students. Every AP course has a corresponding exam, which is administered at the end of the term, and most colleges and universities will offer credit only to students who achieve a certain score on the relevant AP exam.
The format of the AP exams varies from class to class, but most contain both multiple-choice and free-response sections and last approximately three hours. Some AP tests also contain digital components, such as the listening portions of the AP language exams. Visit the test-specific page at the bottom of this post that corresponds to your course for more information about the format of that particular test.
AP Test Scoring
All AP exams are scored on a scale that ranges from 1 to 5, and that score is the one that colleges will use to determine whether you earn course credit and if so, how much. The requirements that must be met to attain each score vary depending on the composition of the specific test, but they are always determined by a committee of college professors using an introductory-level college course as a reference point. The weight of each portion of the exam also varies from test to test; visit the test-specific page at the bottom of this post that corresponds to your course for more information about the scoring of that particular test.
It’s also important to note that while AP test scores determine whether you receive college credit for the AP course (and potentially place out of certain prerequisite courses in college), the grade that you earn in your AP class often receives as much – if not more – weight as your test score during the actual college application process. So don’t get so focused on prep for the AP exam that you forget to do your homework!
AP Exam Registration and AP Test Dates
AP exams are administered in mid-May, at the end of their corresponding courses and near the end of the school year. Visit the page at the bottom of this post that corresponds to your specific AP class for more information about when your AP exam test date will be.
Exam registration is done through your College Board account. In order to register, you’ll first need to log in to your My AP account and join your class section online; you’ll then be able to register for the AP exam. Payment of AP exam fees and acquisition of exam materials are typically facilitated by your counselor or AP teacher.
Remember that the deadline to register for your AP test is typically sometime in the fall, well before the actual test date; the specific date of the registration deadline can vary from school to school. Visit the College Board website for more general information about registering for AP tests, and talk to your counselor about how your school handles the registration process.
AP Test Accommodations
If you have a documented disability, you may be eligible to take your AP exam with accommodations, particularly if you get accommodations at school. College Board offers a wide variety of AP test accommodations, including extended time, large-type exams, and the ability to use a braille device.
In order to apply for exam accommodations, you’ll work with the Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) coordinator or college counselor at your school, who will help you apply through the College Board’s online portal.
Inspirica’s Approach to AP Test Prep
Inspirica’s approach to AP test prep relies on finding the perfect balance between reviewing content and honing test strategy. Our tutors’ mastery of test strategy extends to AP exams, but content obviously makes up a more significant part of preparation for these exams than it does for many other tests. Because of that, our tutors only qualify to work on AP programs if they have extensive knowledge of the specific test and its content. In fact, many even own graduate degrees in the relevant subject area. Your tutor will be an expert, and they’ll ensure that you go into test day feeling like an expert as well.
Success on an AP exam requires a demanding combination of content knowledge and mastery of test technique, and our tutors have black belts in both. Your test expert will work with you to figure out your specific needs and how best to address them. Whether you’re a content master who needs some coaching in process of elimination or a test-taker extraordinaire who needs someone to review your class notes with you, we’ve got you covered. Head over to our AP test prep headquarters for more information about how we can help you crush the test.
List of AP Classes & Exams
- AP Art History
- AP Music Theory
- AP Studio Art: 2-D Design
- AP Studio Art: 3-D Design
- AP Studio Art: Drawing
AP History & Social Science
- AP Comparative Government and Politics
- AP European History
- AP Human Geography
- AP Macroeconomics
- AP Microeconomics
- AP Psychology
- AP United States Government and Politics
- AP United States History
- AP World History: Modern
AP Math & AP Computer Science
- AP Biology
- AP Chemistry
- AP Environmental Science
- AP Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism
- AP Physics C: Mechanics
- AP Physics 1: Algebra-Based
- AP Physics 2: Algebra-Based