AP Exam scores may be used by colleges in awarding college credit, awarding advanced placement, or both for a course in a particular subject. Because preparation for AP Exams involves work equivalent to that for introductory college courses, College Board recommends that colleges award credit to students who receive AP scores of 3, 4, or 5 and admit such students to appropriately advanced courses. Students seeking credit through their AP scores should note that each college or university, not the AP Program or College Board, determines the nature and extent of its policies for awarding credit, advanced placement, or both.
College Credit Award
Many colleges offer credit for AP scores. For example, if you earn a 4 on the AP Computer Science exam a college might award you 4 credits toward an equivalent course offered by the college.
Advanced Placement Award
Many colleges recognize that your AP scores demonstrate that you already know the material in certain courses they offer, so they’ll let you skip those courses and use your AP score to meet the prerequisite for more advanced courses. Letting you skip these courses is called granting you advanced placement.
Individual Colleges determine if credit or advanced placement is granted based on their institutional policies, and many have limits on the amount of AP credits they will award. Because policies regarding AP scores vary, students should consult the AP policy of individual colleges and universities. They can find this information in a college’s catalog or on its website, or by using the AP Credit Policy Info search at apstudents.org/creditpolicy.