AP® Exam Registration, Cost and Eligibility

If you are a high school student planning to take AP® exams, it's a good idea to stay updated about them. This page highlights some important points regarding AP exam eligibility requirements, registration, and the cost of each exam.

AP Exam Eligibility

Taking AP exams is a smart move if you're aiming to impress colleges. They show you're up for a challenge and teach you handy skills for college, like how to think critically and manage your time, making them a great choice for getting ahead in the college game. What is the biggest perk of taking AP exams? They let high school students snag college credits or skip ahead to higher-level courses before they even start college. This could mean big savings on your college bills and even give you the chance to finish college early or dive into higher-level classes in your major way ahead of schedule. It's like getting a head start on your college journey while you're still in high school. Let’s dive deeper into the eligibility requirements for AP exams to help you start planning your course of study.

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Who can take AP exams?

High school students worldwide have the opportunity to take AP exams. In general, it's recommended that students in 11th and 12th grade seriously consider taking these exams. However, there are cases in which students in 9th or 10th grade may choose to take AP exams. If you are interested in taking exams early, it is important to evaluate whether you are prepared for a college-level course carefully.

In addition to high school students, college students and adults who wish to return to college can also take AP exams. The College Board® does not have an upper age limit for taking these tests, although this is uncommon. The AP program also allows home-schooled students to participate in the exam. To register, please contact your nearest AP center or call AP services.

Can international students take AP exams? 

International students can take AP exams to earn credit at U.S. colleges and globally recognized universities potentially. The College Board suggests a two-year AP prep plan for these students. AP scores of 3 or higher may grant college credit. Self-study is an option if AP courses are unavailable at their school, making AP exams valuable for college applications worldwide due to their international recognition.

AP Exam Registration

After familiarizing yourself with the eligibility requirements, the next step is to learn about the details of the AP exam registration process. This section provides answers to all your questions about AP exam registration procedures and steps to take if you wish to cancel your registration.

When to register for AP exams in 2024

In 2024, schools will administer the AP exams over two weeks, from May 6 to 10 and May 13 to 17. The College Board has designated Wednesday, October 4, as the recommended date to complete enrollments in AP Registration and to order exams. Note that the registration dates vary from school to school. Although the majority of students are registered for their AP exams directly through their school, students who are independently studying for their AP exams (e.g., students who do not attend a school that offers their AP courses) must contact the AP coordinator at a school that offers the exams they wish to take and follow specific guidelines for self-registration. If you plan on self-registering for exams, you’ll need to get in touch with your testing location’s AP coordinator to find out specific registration deadlines and requirements.

Can anyone register for an AP exam?

Yes, anyone can register for an AP exam, even if their school doesn't offer AP courses or administer AP exams. To do so, individuals can arrange to take the exams at a nearby high school that administers AP exams. The process involves searching the AP Course Ledger to find schools that offer the exams, contacting the school's AP coordinator, and following any specific deadlines or policies set by the school. Late registration for AP exams is also possible but may involve additional fees and considerations.

How can you register yourself for an AP exam?

To self-register for an AP exam, follow these steps:

  • Create an account on the College Board website.
  • Sign in to the “My AP” section and make sure you’ve joined the “My Class” section online if your high school offers AP classes. If you haven’t joined yet, talk to your AP coordinator or teacher. They will provide you with a unique code to enter in the “join a course or exam” option.
  • Once you enter the code, a pop-up will appear showing your high school name, the course or exam you are taking, and the name of your AP teacher.
  • Once you are sure you are in the correct class, click “Yes” and fill in your registration information. Click “Save,” and you are all set!
  • If you want to review your course and exam details, just go back to your “My AP” page and scroll through the details.

Your school may require you to enter your exam registration manually. If so, after enrolling in your class sections, click the “Register” button in your class section view on the “My AP” page. This will let your AP coordinator know that you plan to take the exam, and they will order it for you. If you don’t see this option, it means you’ve automatically been registered for the exam.

Alternatively, if you are interested in taking an online AP course or if your high school does not offer a course you are interested in, give AP Services a call at 888-225-5427 or email them using their online form. They will be able to guide you through the sign-up process and order the exam kit on your behalf.

When is the deadline for AP exam registration?

The official deadline to register for the 2024 AP exams was Tuesday, November 15, 2023. However, most high schools set their own deadlines for late AP exam registration, so always remember to check with your school about the registration deadline in advance.

If you miss the registration deadline, you can still register, but there will be a late fee. However, if your class did not start until spring or if you’re changing schools, reach out to your AP coordinator. You might be exempt from the late fee.

  • For payment of the exam fees, talk to your AP coordinator.
  • Once you have finished registering for an exam, the date and time will appear in your “My AP” section. If you have any questions about the 2024 AP exam schedule or anything else, make sure to talk to your AP coordinator for clarification.
  • Your AP coordinator will notify you about the time and location of your exams.

Remember to keep up with your assignments, practice your skills, and aim for that perfect AP score.

Can I cancel my AP exam registration?

Yes, you can cancel your registration for an AP exam. However, there might be a cancellation fee and you may only receive a partial refund for the canceled exam. Each school has different policies and deadlines for canceling AP exam registration. Remember to check with your school or AP test center for more information.

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AP Exam Cost & Fees

After you decide to take an AP exam, the next step is to learn everything about the cost of the exam, how to pay exam fees, if any late fees are applicable, and other payment-related questions. We’ve compiled some FAQs about the cost of taking AP exams in this section so you can have all the info you need in one place. 

How much do AP exams cost?

As of 2024, most AP exams cost $98 (Some exceptions include AP Seminar and AP Research, which cost $146). However, your school may charge a different amount to cover administration costs. The cost of AP exams typically rises by $1 or $2 each year.

AP Exam Fee Structure
On-time orders
(By November 15, 2023)

$98 per exam at schools in the U.S., U.S. territories, Canada, and DoDEA schools

$128 per exam everywhere else

$146 per exam for the AP Capstone Programs

Late orders
(November 16, 2023 - March 15, 2024)
$40 per exam in addition to base exam fee
Unused/canceled exam fee $40 per exam is applicable to exams canceled in “AP Registration and Ordering” after November 15, 2023 and by March 15, 2024 (11:59 p.m. ET).
For eligible students requiring fee reduction

School Rebate: $9 per exam

College Board Rebate: $36 per exam

How do I pay for an AP exam?

There are several ways to pay for an AP exam. First, contact your AP coordinator, who will guide you through the fee submission process. Typically, AP exam fees are due once you’ve completed the exam. Another option is to pay your fees online through your school's website. Many schools partner with third-party payment vendors like TotalRegistration and SchoolPay to collect exam fees. Reach out to your AP coordinator to learn how your school accepts payments for AP exams.

Why are AP exams so expensive?

The fees to take AP exams cover examiner charges, printing exam kits, worldwide transport, grading and scoring your AP answer sheets, and other additional costs. $96 might feel steep, but when you weigh it against the amount you'd typically spend on a single college course for credit, it's actually an extremely budget-friendly option. The average cost per course at a public college is around $1,336, and the average cost per course at a private college is around $3,242. Students who score 3 or higher on their AP exams could start their college education with credits and graduate early, potentially saving thousands on tuition fees. When you consider all these benefits, the $96 cost for AP exams seems like a great deal.

When are AP exam fees due?

The postmark deadline for submitting invoices and payments to the AP Program is June 15, 2024. If payments are made late, you may be charged a fee of $40 per exam. However, you do not owe the College Board any fees when ordering exams. Exam fees are only collected after the exams have been administered.

Is the AP exam fee refundable?

Yes, it is partially refundable, although it is subject to deductions by your school and the College Board for unused exam kits and exam administration expenses.

Is there a fee for unused AP exams?

Yes, the College Board charges a fee of $40 for an unused exam. In addition, your school may charge extra fees to cover the expenses of administering and ordering exams and arranging exam accommodations.

Do you receive a refund if you cancel an AP exam?

If you have paid for an AP exam but did not take it, then you can ask for a partial refund minus the school administration charges. You will not be charged a cancellation fee for the unused exam kit by the College Board if you wish to cancel your order by November 15, 2023. However, if you cancel your AP exam order between November 16, 2023, and March 15, 2024, you will be charged a fee of $40 by the College Board. Please check with your AP coordinator to know if your school issues additional charges for canceling your exam order.

Are AP exam fees tax deductible?

According to the IRS, AP costs are not considered tuition expenses; hence, they are not tax-deductible.

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