Taking AP courses demonstrates to college admission officers that students have sought the most rigorous curriculum available to them. Most four-year colleges and universities in the United States grant credit, advanced placement or both on the basis of successful AP exam scores.
AP Exams are developed and scored by college faculty and experienced AP teachers. Students taking the AP exam are graded on a scale of 1 to 5. Most of the nation’s colleges and universities award credit or advanced standing to students scoring 3 or higher on exams.
Recent research (from UC Berkeley and also from the National Center for Educational Accountability) indicates that success on AP Exams powerfully predicts overall college performance, persistence, and bachelor’s degree attainment, validating the use of AP as a factor in college admissions decisions.
Each July, educators are able to access their students’ AP score data online, and can view AP Instructional Planning Reports that help pinpoint areas of teaching and learning for further improvement. AP score data can be exported from the College Board’s system into district and school databases.