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AP tests are scored on a scale from 1 (low) to 5 (high). Get a 4 or higher, and you may be able to earn college credit without paying college tuition! Whether you just got your AP scores back or are considering taking an AP class, here’s everything you need to know about AP scores.
What Are AP Scores Used For?
In general, AP scores can be used for college credit, placing out of certain college course requirements, and to show admissions officers that you have pushed yourself academically in high school. Different colleges use AP scores in different ways, so it is important that you go to a particular college’s website to determine how it uses AP scores.
1. Earn College Credit
Some colleges will give you college credit if you score well on an AP exam. These AP credits count toward your graduation requirements, meaning that you can take fewer courses while in college. Given the cost of college, this could be a huge step toward making your dream college more affordable. Learn more about how to earn AP credit for college.
2. Satisfy College Requirements
Some colleges will allow you to “place out” of certain requirements if you do well on an AP exam, even if they do not give you actual college credits. For example, you might be able to skip the huge survey course and dive right into more specialized classes for your major. In some cases, you might not need to take a class in a certain discipline (like a mandatory writing class) at all.
3. Look Good to Admissions Officers
Even if your AP scores don’t end up earning you college credit or allowing you to place out of certain courses, most colleges will respect your decision to push yourself by taking an AP course. A high score on an AP exam show mastery of more difficult content than is taught in many high school courses. Many schools will take that into account during the college admissions process.
What Your AP Test Scores Mean
|5||Extremely well qualified|
A 4 or a 5 is the AP score that will most likely earn you college AP credit. Of course, no matter how you do on the AP test, you still get a grade for that AP class from your high school. Good grades in AP courses always look good on your transcript!
2020 AP Score Distributions
Here’s how last year’s crop of AP students performed on some popular tests. Final 2021 AP score distributions will be released in the fall.
|AP English Language||2.96||12.6%||20.4%||29.1%||26.2%||11.8%|
|AP U.S. History||2.83||13.0%||19.2%||26.6%||20.4%||21.0%|
|AP English Literature||2.84||9.3%||17.3%||33.5%||27.8%||12.2%|
|AP Calculus AB||3.07||19.5%||20.9%||21.0%||24.1%||14.5%|
|AP U.S. Gov and Politics||2.85||15.5%||16.5%||25.5%||22.0%||20.5%|
|AP World History||2.88||9.2%||22.8%||28.2%||26.1%||13.7%|
|AP Physics 1||2.65||8.8%||17.9%||24.8%||26.5%||21.9%|
|AP European History||2.95||13.7%||20.1%||25.5%||29.2%||11.5%|
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Taking Advanced Placement (AP) courses has many benefits: it exposes you to and prepares you for college-level work, it could earn you college credit, and it demonstrates that you’re a serious applicant who is willing to challenge yourself.
One additional advantage? AP course participation can boost your weighted GPA. How does this work? Let’s take a look.
What Are AP Classes?
The AP program from the College Board offers college-level courses across 38 subjects, including arts, English, history and social sciences, math and computer science, sciences, and world languages and cultures. Students who participate in AP classes often take an end-of-year exam that assesses their knowledge of and skills in the subject.
Based on components like multiple-choice questions, essays, and short answers — variable depending on the specific test — students receive a score from 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest. Some colleges award credit to students who earn high scores, usually a 4 or 5, and in some cases a 3. Even if a college doesn’t award credit, they may use the exam for course placement, allowing you to place out of introductory classes.
Keep in mind that you don’t necessarily have to take the AP exam even if you take the course. Most students choose to do so in hopes of earning college credit, though. On the other hand, you also don’t have to take the corresponding course to sit for the AP exam; some students may choose to self-study APs. However, be aware that this is extremely challenging and won’t allow you to boost your GPA.
AP exams are quite expensive, and cost anywhere from $95-143, depending on the exam and your location. There are fee waivers , but students who don’t qualify can expect to spend quite a bit of money just on testing.
Weighted vs. Unweighted GPAs
An unweighted GPA doesn’t take into account the rigor of your courses. A weighted GPA, meanwhile, assigns extra value to AP and IB courses, usually a full point on a 4.0 scale, with a 4.0 representing an A. That means if you earn an A in an AP course, it will factor into your GPA as a 5.0. This is how many top students end up graduating with GPAs higher than 4.0.
Although colleges may see your weighted GPA on your transcript, they will likely recalculate them according to their own system because high schools weight GPAs differently.
On your college applications, you should generally list your weighted GPA, unless the application asks for unweighted GPA specifically.
AP Class Grading Scale
Here is a chart that lets you know how AP vs. standard classes are weighted.
To get a better sense of how weighted and unweighted GPAs work, take a look at this sample schedule:
|Course||Grade||Unweighted Grade||Weighted Grade|
|AP US History||B+||3.3||4.3|
For your unweighted GPA for this schedule, simply add up the numerical grades and divide the total by five, the number of courses: (3.7+3.3+4.0+3.7+3.7) / 5 = 3.68.
You’ll follow the same math to find your weighted GPA, but, of course, you’ve already added a point to each grade for honors and AP courses: (3.7+4.3+4.0+4.7+4.7) / 5 = 4.28.
As you can see, taking three higher-level courses elevates your GPA to above a 4.0, even though your unweighted GPA is a 3.68.
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When evaluating your transcript in the admissions process, colleges look not only at your individual grades in each course and GPA, but also the rigor of your curriculum. Having numerous AP, IB, and/or honors courses on your transcript has manifold benefits: your weighted GPA will be higher, as we discuss in the post, “What Is a Good GPA for Top Schools?”; you will rise in your class rank, since your curriculum will be challenging compared to those of your classmates; and, ultimately, you are more likely to be academically stimulated. Additionally, earning high scores (usually 4s or 5s) on AP tests, and sometimes IB exams, which are graded on a different scale, may allow you to earn college credit, depending on the subject and college. (For more advice on how these exams can help you receive credits, read our post, “Can AP Test Actually Save Your Thousands of Dollars?”)
But what if you are not sure you will be able to do well in a higher level course? If you are hoping to matriculate at a top-tier school, you will need to earn top grades to be considered. That doesn’t mean you need to earn straight As in an all-AP course load. However, it does mean you need to take a fair number of high-level courses, and you need to have mostly As on your transcript. So is it better to get an A in a regular class or get a lower grade in an AP, IB, or honors class?
The easy answer is that it is best to get an A in an AP, IB, or honors class. Of course, that may not always be feasible.
Getting an A in a regular class vs. getting a B in an honors class
If you think you can get at least a B in a rigorous class, you should probably take the class anyway. Colleges want to see that you are challenging yourself and doing as well as possible, because this indicates that you have what it takes to perform well at an elite college and will contribute to the intellectual community. Additionally, even if you don’t get an A in an AP or IB course, you may still be able to achieve a high score on the exam, thus giving you a chance at earning college credit.
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If you are at risk for earning a low grade in an honors class…
If you think you may earn a C or lower in a high-level course, you should take the regular version instead, or replace it with something else entirely if it is an elective. Earning a low grade or failing a course will have a significant adverse effect on your application, even in a challenging course. It is much better to earn an A or a B in a regular-level course than a C or below in an honors course. Additionally, you are unlikely to earn a 4 or a 5 on an AP exam if you are struggling with the material in the course itself, so you probably won’t be able to earn college credit if you are not doing well in the class.
Considering the course itself
If you are concerned the class in question may be too demanding, you should also think about how it fits into the rest of your schedule. As we discuss in “Can You Be an Engineer without Taking AP Physics: How the Classes You Take Can Affect Your Chances at Admissions”, colleges want to see well-rounded candidates, but also ones who show some degree of specialization. Therefore, if you consider humanities to be your strength, and you have already loaded up on AP Literature, AP History, and AP language courses, you may not need to take AP Calculus as well, because colleges will understand that this is not your strength or what you intend to pursue in college. If you don’t think you will do well in a rigorous class that is not in your area of specialization, it may be better to skip it in favor of a course that is more in line with your interests.
However, you should take a challenging course that does fall within your strengths or talents. For instance, if you are an aspiring medical doctor, and you don’t take AP Biology, that will not reflect well on your application with admissions committees. Even if you think you will get a B in a case like this, you should still take the course and aim to do as well as possible.
If you are not applying to top-tier colleges…
If you are not planning on applying to extremely competitive schools, it probably isn’t as necessary to load up on AP, IB, or honors classes. In this case, it is fine to take regular classes and earn strong grades in them, especially if you are worried about not being able to manage the material.
However, you should still consider the advantages of taking rigorous classes. In additional to the benefits outlined above, having a high GPA—which improves with the rigor of your curriculum—can make you a candidate for many honors programs and scholarships. For more information on scholarships, check out our post, “Helpful Scholarship Resources and Tips.”
A final note
AP, IB, and honors courses have a lot to offer in terms of challenging you and helping you become a competitive candidate in the college admissions process. But if you don’t think you are going to perform well in a particular course, you may want to take the regular version instead and compensate with other challenging courses or in other areas.
If you are concerned about enrolling in a course and want more advice on how to proceed, try talking to the teacher of the class or your current teacher in that subject. He or she is familiar with your abilities in the subject and may be able to steer you in the right direction.
Looking for more tips and advice on how to build a competitive academic profile in high school? Read CollegeVine’s posts below.
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What is a good grade for an AP class?
AP classes affect GPA as well regular classes usually weight an A in a class as a 4.0. But many high schools and colleges give AP classes an additional point. So it’s possible to have a 5.0 GPA credit from an AP class. Or, a student could get a B in an AP class but still have a 4.0 GPA.
Does Harvard accept AP classes?
Advanced Placement ExamsEXAMAP SCOREHARVARD CREDITAP United States History58AP World History50MATH AND COMPUTER SCIENCEAP Calculus AB*5439
Is taking 6 AP classes too much?
Yes, it’s too much. You could be that one person who can handle this schedule, but something has to give, and your Junior year needs to be REALLY strong in order to keep you competitive. AP Calc AB is solid for anything above a 3, but bear in mind that over 30% of students who took the test last year scored only a 1.
Does Yale accept AP?
Yale accepts scores of 4 and 5 on the AP® exams for credit. The score requirements vary by department. You can use your AP® credits to “accelerate” your Yale education. With the professor’s permission, you can use your AP® credits to take higher-level classes sooner.
Does Yale accept self reported?
Applicants who are admitted and choose to enroll at Yale will be required to submit official score reports that match their self-reported scores prior to enrolling. Applicants may also send all official scores directly to Yale via the testing agency. Yale’s CEEB code for the SAT is 3987; the ACT code is 0618.
Does MIT accept AP credit?
MIT grants credit for a score of 5 on some College Board Advanced Placement (AP) exams. If you take an AP exam more than once, only your higher score will be counted. Credit is automatically recorded when scores are received from the College Board.
Does Stanford accept AP credit from high school?
Stanford accepts AP® scores of 3,4, & 5 for course credit. These requirements vary by department. Stanford has certain classes that everyone has to take called General Education Requirements. You can’t use AP® credits to get out of them.
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Colleges want to see students get good grades in tough classes. This seems like a pretty tall order, but it makes sense: Students who can get good grades in hard classes are more likely to be able to succeed in college courses.
This tug of war between grades and course rigor gives a lot of students pause – how do you find the right balance to make sure that you’re checking off both boxes? When you’re picking your classes for the next school year, should you take regular US History, where you know you can get an A, or AP US History, where you’re pretty sure you’ll end up with a B?
You’re not going to like the answer.
It’s better to get an A in an AP class.
Here’s how to do that:
- Start out slow: Depending on your school, you might have a lot of freedom to load up on AP classes as a sophomore or junior. A word of advice – resist the temptation. When you’re taking your first AP classes, start with just one or two AP classes and add more each year. Starting your AP experience with a full load of 5 AP classes is like training for a marathon by running 26 miles on your first day.
- Know your limits: If you’re a varsity athlete, an officer in Key Club volunteering 20 hours a week, or peer tutoring all weekend every weekend, you probably don’t have the time to take 4 or 5 AP classes and still get A’s. Likewise, if you just hate reading and history holds absolutely zero interest for you, getting A’s in AP history classes is a pretty tall order. Know yourself, recognize your limits, and work with them. If you know you won’t be able to do the work to get the A in that AP class, think twice about taking the class.
- Be ready to put in the work: AP classes are no joke. If you want to get an A in an AP class, be prepared to do a lot of work. You’ll need to be able to engage in self-learning, take detailed notes in class, and study consistently for every test and quiz. In English or history classes, be prepared for a lot of writing assignments; in math or science classes, be prepared for mind-bending problem solving tasks.
- Build a support system: Don’t be afraid to seek help with all that work. Whether it’s a study group of fellow AP students or a tutor from C2, having a strong support system to help you master key knowledge and keep you motivated through the AP obstacle course can be the difference between an A and a B.
If you take AP classes and get B’s, don’t worry too much. Colleges take the difficulty of your classes into consideration, and a lot of admissions officers are impressed by students who challenge themselves with the tougher courses. Don’t be afraid to reach out for support – from friends, classmates, older siblings, AP teachers, or C2 tutors – and always do your best.
Bill can get an A in calculus, but that doesn’t mean he should take the class.
Posted January 14, 2012
Once again, I am sitting down with a parent to discuss her child’s performance in school, specifically my English class. It’s a parent-teacher conference day and I have, at this point in my career, sat through literally hundreds of such meetings. Like all such conferences, I began this one a few minutes ago by thanking her for coming and asking, first, if she had any questions or concerns she wanted to address before I took my turn. Immediately, it was clear that she did have something to discuss.
“I guess I’m just wondering what we should do next year. I mean, Bill’s doing fine in your English class, right? But he really complains about all the work it requires, all the time it takes. It’s not that he hates school in general; it’s just he’d rather be spending time on his computer writing code for his comp sci teacher than writing an essay for you.”
I nod my head, not in the least surprised, nor offended. Bill is, I know, a gifted high school junior who could probably write an app for my smart phone in the amount of time it takes me to grade one of his essays. He is certainly capable of tackling the course material and challenges I offer him in the AP English class; he has a high B that could probably turn into an A if he fine tuned his efforts just a bit more; but it’s also clear to me that, really, he’s just not that into it. His love is not English, not critical analysis of literature, and it is certainly not writing about that literature. He is a polite student, he never complains out loud, but his body language is enough to show me that the English class I offer is not his cup of tea.
I know what the mother is asking me because I’ve had this conversation dozens of times, but I confirm it anyway. “So I think you’re wondering whether he should take the AP English class as a senior, or if he should be allowed to step down to the college-bound level. Is that right?”
She nods her head. “Yes. I think I’m struggling with this decision because it looks like stepping down is just an easy way out. I mean, if he can do it, if he’s capable of it, why shouldn’t he do it?”
It’s a good question–and one I am certainly willing to address.
But I suspect my answer will surprise her.
As a teacher who has worked with gifted students for nearly 15 years now in a wide array of grade levels and equally diverse educational settings, I must say that this concern is one I can recall discussing with parents since Year One: striking that balance of pushing a gifted child “too hard” versus “enough.” This is an issue that parents of any child face, of course. But when the child is a gifted learner, the issue sometimes becomes more complex and therefore the struggle is more layered. There are many reasons for this.
Couple this menu of academic choices with a characteristic common to many gifted students: many of them are driven. A gifted student, not atypically, is intrinsically motivated to tackle the hardest, most rigorous option of, well nearly anything! This is the child who always selects the hardest route up the rec center’s rock wall; she is disappointed when she places third in a track meet, even though she ran her fastest time yet that season. This student, yeah, she’s also willing to take all AP classes and be in a school theatrical production every season. After all, she reasons, she wants to get into an Ivy league school and study medicine so these are the classes she has to take anyhow, right?
It may not help that the gifted student also, perhaps, feels some pressure at home too. They see potential in their child that they are determined not to squander. Perhaps, some of those parents are living vicariously through their child’s school life. They look back on their own school careers and realize they were a bit lazy. They wonder if this caused them to miss or forego opportunities. They want only the best future for their child and so they push her to work up to standards that they themselves wished they’d held for themselves a dozen years ago.
The truth is none of the issues listed in bold above (the opportunities available, the driven personality of the gifted student, the parent who pushes her child to accept challenges) is a “bad” thing, per se. In fact, taken individually, each is probably even “good.” But combined, they make the question that the parent has posed a tough one to answer. Should her gifted child be required to take the highest level classes simply because he can?
My answer is no. For all the reasons that gifted students might typically be drawn to take the highest level classes offered, I would argue this: Just because he can, doesn’t necessarily he should.
Just as gifted students might often be highly academically motivated, they might just as often be like anyone else in the world: they might have an area of interest outside of what is offered in the typical AP-level class curriculum. Academically speaking, Bill loves computer science and is talented enough to take AP English; Sara loves Spanish and has the chops to take the highest level calculus class. But Bill, I know, also really enjoys playing guitar with his friends after school and, given his druthers, would love to spend more time working on a playlist with them than revising his essay for me one more time. Similarly, Sara would rather spend more time practicing for her solo in the upcoming musical than working the extra fifteen problems her math teacher requires in preparation for that impending AP test. For Bill and Sara, computer science/guitar, Spanish/acting are much more akin to a passion than AP English or calculus ever could be. And therein lies the rub.
The fact is these students are stuck in a situation that most adults, frankly, would avoid: they are denying themselves something that brings them genuine, wholesome joy in exchange for drudgery.
Some parents might see this as temporary, that the grind the child experiences now will all be worth it in the longer run. There may be some merit to this line of thinking but to me it also feels unnecessarily limiting. A passion for something is a gift. If Bill has found that passion (academically in computer science and extracurricularly in guitar) where’s the harm in freeing him up to do a bit more of the latter by stepping down to the college-bound level English class next year? After all, the title of that English class says it all. Chances are likely that this college-bound class will be just fine for someone like him who, once he enters a university, will more than likely pursue higher level studies in computer science and eschew British literature. By allowing him to take one fewer AP class, Bill gets the best of both worlds: sufficient academic challenge where it matters and the chance to be, well, happier.
It’s a question of what benefits the whole child–mind, body and soul–that needs to be considered at times like this. I try to articulate all of this to the mother across the table from me and by the time I am done, I think she seems somewhat relieved. There’s little fun in watching one’s child be miserable all the time-or in arguing with him about doing the homework for a class that he dislikes. And for my sake, I reassure her, I am no more offended by Bill’s lack of enthusiasm for my class than I would be if he and I were to sit down and discuss Java coding.
AP Exams are scored on a scale of 1 to 5. Many U.S. colleges grant credit and/or advanced placement (that means they let you skip the equivalent course once you get to college) for scores of 3 and above.
Step by Step
Keep in Mind
Your total score is calculated from your section scores.
For most AP Exams, your score is a weighted combination of your scores on the 2 sections, multiple-choice and free-response. Some AP courses have assessments that include other scored components.
AP Exams are scored on a 5-point scale.
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—but each college makes its own decisions about what scores it will grant credit or placement for.
AP score setting is based on research.
The AP Program conducts studies in all AP subjects to correlate 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.
How are AP Exams scored?
After the AP Exams are administered, schools return all paper AP Exam materials to the AP Program. Then:
- The multiple-choice section is scored by computer. Each answer sheet is scanned and the total number of correct responses equals the multiple-choice score.
- The free-response section (essays and open-ended questions) and through-course performance tasks are scored at the annual AP Reading held during the first two weeks in June. Specially appointed college professors and experienced AP teachers score this section of the exam.
- The total scores from the free-response section and the multiple-choice section are combined to form a composite score. These composite scores are then translated into the 5-point scale using statistical processes designed to ensure that, for example, a 3 this year reflects the same level of achievement as a 3 last year.
The above is true for most AP courses. However, the assessments for AP Seminar, AP Research, AP Computer Science Principles, and the three AP Art and Design courses are different. See each individual course page for details.
Who receives my scores?
You, the college or university you designated in My AP, and educators in your school and district, including your AP teachers, will automatically receive your scores once they’re released. You can also submit an online order to send your scores to additional colleges and universities for a fee. Your parents don’t have access to your scores, unless you’ve given them your College Board account information.
If your school, district, or state partners with other educational organizations, your scores and/or personally identifying information may be shared with those specific educational organizations. To find out whether your scores will be shared with any of these organizations, ask your school.
If you’re a resident of the state of Kentucky, your AP Exam scores will automatically be sent to the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority (KHEAA). If you don’t want your scores sent to KHEAA, send us a request. Your request must be received by June 15 of the year you took the exam. Write to: AP Program, Educational Testing Service, 1425 Lower Ferry Road, 29Q, Ewing, NJ 08618. Be sure to include your full name, mailing address, date of birth, sex, eight-digit AP ID, and your six-digit high school code number.
Do colleges look at AP Exam scores when deciding whether to admit an applicant?
Check the admissions websites of the colleges that interest you to see if sending your official scores will help support your application. In general, colleges want to see that you’re taking the most rigorous coursework available to you. By enrolling in AP courses, you demonstrate that you’re interested in challenging yourself and learning at a college level.
If I don’t get a good score on an AP Exam, will it hurt my chances for college admission?
Most likely not. When making admission decisions, colleges consider many more factors than just exam scores, including the strength of your coursework and your GPA in rigorous courses. By enrolling in AP courses you demonstrate that you are interested in challenging yourself and learning at a college level.
More than 75% of admission officers we surveyed told us that a low score on an AP Exam would not harm an applicant’s admission prospects.
What’s the average score for AP Exams?
The mean score for the 2020 AP Exams was 3.03. More than 60% of all exams taken earned a score of 3 or higher. To learn more about individual exams, visit AP Score Distributions.
How do I save a copy of my AP score report?
Click Download Score Report to download an unofficial copy of your score report as a PDF.
Boost your GPA and Stand Out to Colleges with a Weighted GPA
AP Courses are a great way to challenge yourself academically, earn college credit and make yourself stand out when applying to universities. Many high schools recognize that AP courses involve more commitment, longer hours and greater effort to do well, and as a result, they are graded on a weighted scale to reward dedicated students who do well, as well as avoiding punishing students who are more challenged by the tougher classes.
How does the AP GPA scale work?
Unlike a traditional 4.0 scale, AP courses are graded on a weighted scale that goes up to 5.0. On a traditional scale, a 4.0 is an A, 3.0 a B and so on. On the AP weighted grading scale, a 5.0 is an A, 4.0 a B and so on.
How do AP classes affect GPA?
Because AP courses are graded on a five-point scale, excellent students can achieve a GPA higher than a 4.0. An excellent student could even achieve a 5.0-grade point average on their weighted GPA. The 5.0 scale is meant to reward students who excel in AP courses, as well as avoid penalizing students who want to challenge themselves with more difficult courses. It’s possible to get a B in an AP course while maintaining a 4.0 GPA.
When applying to college, admissions officials will look at both the weighted and unweighted GPAs of applicants. In many cases, an unweighted GPA is the standard measure of a student’s academic performance, but a weighted GPA is also viewed as an indication of how rigorous a student’s course load was. Certain careers require high GPAs at the high school level because of how competitive they are. For example, anesthesiologists should have a high GPA in high school to stand out when it’s time to apply for college and med-school.
Do online AP classes affect GPA?
Yes! Online AP classes outside a traditional classroom setting are real classes for high school credit, and your grade will affect your GPA. Our online AP classes are accredited by the College Board and taught by certified Wisconsin teachers with years of experience.
Your grade in any online AP class through eAchieve will count towards your high school GPA whether you are enrolled with us full-time or just taking one or two online classes as a part-time online student.
Does the AP exam affect GPA?
No, the AP exam does not impact your grade for the class or your cumulative GPA. Only your final grade in the AP class will affect your GPA. However, if you do well enough on the AP exam you may be awarded a class credit for the corresponding intro-level class in college. Colleges have differing standards for what they consider a passing score on the AP exam. At most schools, a 4 will qualify you for a college academic credit, although some schools only require a 3 and elite level schools may require a 5.
Do Pre-AP classes help your GPA?
No, Pre-AP classes won’t help your GPA because they are not weighted in the way AP classes are (i.e. a “B” in a Pre-AP class doesn’t count as an “A”).
Pre-AP classes are intended to prepare high school students to take AP classes. They’re usually taken by high school freshman, although some Pre-AP classes are for sophomores, too.
Wisconsin high school students are eligible for FREE online AP classes
Students in any Wisconsin school district have the option of enrolling at eAchieve Academy. You can even stay at your current school and take advantage of our free online AP courses to boost your GPA.
Other Important Pages To View
AP courses are advanced versions of standard high school classes culminating with a standardized test created by the College Board.
About AP Classes
Planning Your Career
We have a wide online course selection, giving motivated students the ability to choose the high school classes that will help them prepare for a chosen career.