Yocket Undergrad
on 25 May, 2016

All about Advanced Placements

What is Advanced Placement?

Advanced Placement (AP) courses are university-level courses offered via CollegeBoard to high school students.

The score is a weighted combination of your scores on the multiple-choice section and on the free-response section. The final score is reported on a 5-point scale as follows:

5 = Extremely well qualified
4 = Well qualified
3 = Qualified
2 = Possibly qualified
1 = No recommendation

"Qualified" means that you have proven yourself capable of doing the work of an introductory-level course in a particular subject at college. Many colleges and universities grant credit and placement for scores of 3, 4 or 5; however, each college decides which scores it will accept.


Which subjects are offered in AP?



The most common exams taken in India

Calculus (2), Physics C (2), Economics (2), Chemistry, Biology, Psychology, English (2), Computer Science, World History
(2) indicates there are 2 APs under the banner of the subject.



Why should you think of taking AP courses?

A few reasons come to mind:

  • AP courses are a level above your general high school work. They challenge you and acquaint you in the way subject material will be taught and tested in colleges in the US.
  • AP courses show academic counsellors and admissions officers that you, as a student, wish to push yourself to learn and master disciplines that most people won’t be introduced to till college.
  • If you receive a score of 4 or 5 on AP tests, a lot of colleges give you credits and/or allow you to skip the introductory courses in that discipline. Ex. Finishing Calculus BC with a 4 or 5 will allow students at most colleges to skip out of Differential and Integral Calculus courses in college.

Important Note: Do not take AP courses if your school academics are going to suffer. Unlike SAT and ACT these are full courses meant to be learnt over a span of a few months. The tests themselves are extremely thorough and test complex concepts. APs are encouraged for students who believe that school academics are not enough and they want to learn more or in greater depth. You cannot say that you performed under par in school exams but took AP so all is well. Colleges always consider school exams first before any other exams.


How to prepare for an AP exam?

You prepare for an AP exam like you would for any difficult school exam.

  • You study the material.
  • Solve questions from each chapter.
  • Once you finish with all the material, review it and start solving past year papers.
  • Make sure you do the tests in the time limit.


What type of exams are APs?

So the AP Exams have 2 facets

  • Multiple Choice Questions: Here each question has 5 options of which only one is correct. Using your knowledge and deduction abilities in the subject, you must narrow down to the answer you feel is correct. Important to note that your score here is calculated by counting all correct answers. You do not lose points for guessing.
  • Free Response Questions: These questions depend on the exam. You must be comprehensive in your solutions and must write all relevant details including graphs, tables, formulae and diagrams.


  1. In Calculus these are Math problems with formulae and solving
  2. In Physics these could be formulae and solving problems or setting up and solving experiments
  3. In English and History these could be essay type problems.
  4. In Biology, Economics and Psychology these could be data based questions.



How do I take an AP test?

If your school offers AP courses, just talk to the AP Co-ordinator and she will handle everything for you!


If your school doesn’t offer APs do the following:

You may be able to take the AP Exam you want by arranging to test at a participating school. Here’s how:
  • Contact AP Services no later than March 2 to get the names and telephone numbers of local, participating AP Co-ordinators willing to test outside students. Prepare a list of the AP Exams you are interested in taking before you call.
  • Call the AP Co-ordinators identified by AP Services no later than March 16.


When calling Co-ordinators to arrange testing, make sure to tell them:
  • You are trying to locate a school willing to administer exams to homeschooled students or students from schools that do not offer AP Exams.
  • Which exams you plan to take.
  • If you have a documented disability that will require testing accommodations at the exam, and if you have been approved by the College Board to test with accommodations.

Once you locate an agreeable school, that school's AP Co-ordinator is responsible for ordering your exam materials, telling you when and where to report for the exams, and collecting your fees, which may be higher to cover the school’s additional proctoring or administration costs. That school must administer the exams for you; the school cannot forward them to you or your school for handling.


On exam day:
  • You must bring a valid government- or school-issued photo ID with you to the exam.
  • If you have approval from the College Board to test with accommodations, you must also bring your Student Accommodation Letter.
  • If you attend a school that doesn’t offer AP, you should not use the school code for the school where you are testing. Instead, make sure to use your own school’s code so your exam score(s) will be reported to your school. This means you need to get your school’s six-digit code from your principal or school counselor before exam day.



Each AP exam administered outside the US or Canada is USD 121.

Please Note:  Your school may require you to pay a higher fee to cover proctoring and administration costs. If you are approved to take an alternate exam during the late-testing period, you may be required to pay an additional USD 45 per exam late-testing fee. If you paid for an AP Exam but then decided not to take it, you may ask your AP Coordinator for a refund. Local school policy determines the amount of the refund. You will probably be required to pay the USD 15 fee the school is charged for each unused exam. However, once you begin an exam — that is, write on an exam booklet or answer sheet or play an exam CD — you cannot receive a refund.



Q. When are the AP tests?

A. The AP exams are held only once a year. In the first 2 weeks of May. CollegeBoard usually releases the timetable for the next year in June.

Q. How do I send the results to colleges?

A. Just like with SAT, you can send the scores to colleges through your CollegeBoard account online. The cost for sending each score report is USD 15. You get one free report of the exam. You must do this before you start the exam by entering the school code on the answer paper.

Q. How is AP placed in India?

A. Advanced Placement courses are currently offered in various high schools in India. AP gives Indian students the opportunity to showcase their academic strengths to thousands of colleges and universities in the USA, Canada, and the U.K. Singapore, Australia and other countries. The College Board authorizes educational organizations like the United States-India Educational Foundation (USIEF) and selects schools in India to securely administer AP Exams at designated test centers. Registration and test center information for 2015 AP Exams will become available next year.


Yocket Undergrad

Yocket helps Indian students prepare for undergrad admissions in US

Published in:

General Tips