Just taking an Advanced Placement class won't earn a student credit at a college or university. What matters is the score a student earns on the AP exam and the college or university's requirements.


Most colleges and universities in the United States, as well as those in 40 other countries, offer students the chance to earn college credit though AP exam scores, according to the College Board, a nonprofit organization that runs the Advanced Placement Program. In fact, a student could earn up to one full year of college credit by scoring high on "a sufficient number" of AP exams, The College Board says.


AP exams are scored on a low-to-high scale of 1 to 5, with a 3 considered "qualified to receive college credit or advanced placement," according to the College Board. A score of 3 is considered generally equivalent to a grade of C. But, each college or university that accepts AP exam scores for credit sets its own qualifying score. The College Board recommends students check each institution's policy to see what score they must earn to get college credit for a particular course.


When a student takes an AP exam, he can ask that his scores be sent to the colleges or universities of his choice. Once colleges receive the scores, the institutions will notify the student of any credit or course exemption she has earned by taking the tests.

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