Many colleges across the U.S. recognize AP® test scores to grant college credit and advanced placement to students. However, each college has its own criteria for selection. Some colleges accept an AP score of 3, while some demand a 5. So, while you’re prepping for your AP exam, it’s important to know what AP test score you will need to get advanced placement and credit at colleges across the U.S. and which colleges accept them.
What Are Advanced Placement and Credit?
The main purpose of taking AP exams is to get advanced placement and course credits in colleges for scoring high on the AP exams. If you score a 3, 4, or 5 on an AP exam, many colleges will offer you the chance to skip introductory courses during your freshman year. Based on your AP scores, colleges will offer you “advanced placement” into higher level courses by skipping the introductory ones. With a good AP score, you may also be eligible to get college credit. These credits are a way of acknowledging that you have mastered the introductory or core courses that are required for you to graduate. The credits you earn for your AP exam scores count towards the total credits required for you to graduate from college.
Many colleges offer both advanced placement and college credit for a good AP score (3 or higher). Some colleges, however, offer either placement or college credit. If you are seeking credit or placement for AP exam scores, you must ensure that the colleges and universities in which you’re interested accept the Advanced Placement® program. Remember that the policies on granting placement or credit on the basis of AP exam scores vary from institution to institution.
Which Colleges Offer Advanced Placement and Credit for AP Scores?
Every college has their own AP credit and placement policy that specifies the minimum AP score to earn credit and/or placement for a given exam and the amount of credit awarded for the said exam or course.
At some colleges, AP scores transfer directly to credit hours. However, at other colleges, your AP exam scores allow you to get a waiver for certain course requirements even if they do not grant you actual college credits. Some colleges, like LSU, offer you both placement and credit for your AP scores. The College Board®‘s AP Credit Policy Search gives you detailed information about these regulations, but always be sure to confirm the information directly with your prospective colleges.
What Score Do You Need for Each AP Course?
Institutions generally acknowledge a 4 or a 5 on the AP exam, but some may even grant credit and/or placement for a 3. These scores indicate that you are qualified for an introductory-level college course. In most colleges, however, you will see that they have different score requirements for different courses. A college might accept a 3 in AP Statistics but a 5 in AP English Language. Therefore, it is crucial that you do a background check of your college’s AP policies well ahead of time.
Below is a table indicating how likely a college will accept AP credit and/or placement for corresponding test scores (irrespective of the course).
|AP Test Score||College Course Grade Equivalent||Probability of AP Credit Being Applied|
|A-, B+, B||Usually|
To make things easier for you, we’ve also compiled a list of 50 colleges across the U.S. and their AP requirements. To learn more, click on the AP Policy and Credit Equivalencies for each college listed below:
|School||Accepts AP for Placement||Accepts AP for Credit||AP Policy||AP Credit Equivalencies|
|5.||Carnegie Mellon University||Yes||Yes||Link||Link|
|6.||Case Western Reserve University||Yes||Yes||Link|
|7.||Claremont McKenna College||No||Yes||Link|
|11.||Colorado State University||Yes||Yes||Link|
|17.||Florida State University||Yes||Yes||Link|
|18.||George Mason University||Yes||Yes||Link|
|19.||George Washington University||No||Yes||Link|
|20.||Georgia State University||No||Yes||Link||Link|
|24.||Johns Hopkins University||Yes||Yes||Link|
|25.||Massachusetts Institute of Technology||Yes||Yes||Link|
|26.||New York University||No||Yes||Link|
|30.||Ohio State University||Yes||Yes||Link||Link|
|31.||Oregon State University||No||Yes||Link|
|34.||Texas Christian University||Yes||Yes||Link|
|35.||University of Alabama||Yes||Yes||Link|
|36.||University of California, Berkeley||Yes||Yes||Link||Link|
|37.||University of Chicago||Yes||Yes||Link|
|38.||University of Colorado – Boulder||Yes||Yes||Link||Link|
|39.||University of Florida||Yes||Yes||Link||Link|
|40.||University of Georgia||Yes||Yes||Link||Link|
|41.||University of Illinois||Yes||Yes||Link|
|42.||University of Miami||Yes||Yes||Link||Link|
|43.||University of Michigan||Yes||Yes||Link|
|44.||University of Mississippi||No||Yes||Link|
|45.||University of North Carolina||Yes||Yes||Link|
|45.||University of Oregon||Yes||Yes||Link||Link|
|46.||University of Pennsylvania||Yes||Yes||Link|
|47.||University of Texas – Austin||Yes||Yes||Link|
|48.||University of Washington||Yes||Yes||Link|
|49.||University of Wisconsin||Yes||Yes||Link|
|50.||Washington State University||Yes||Yes||Link|
With so many colleges to choose from, it is always recommended to shortlist a few colleges of your choice before gearing up for admissions. If you’re curious to find out more about how you can score a 4 or a 5 on your AP exams, our AP Exam Study Guide is here to help. Good luck and happy prepping!
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