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Advanced Placement (AP) Option
AP: Advanced Placement
Learn about the benefits, challenges and costs of participating in Advanced Placement (AP).
Listen to what students and counselors think about this option.
Courses offered right in your school
Where available, AP courses are taught by teachers in your school and are part of your high school's course schedule.
Save money and time on college
If you meet the required score on an AP exam to earn college credit, you save money and time by not having to take and pay for that course when you enroll in college, after you graduate high school. Learn more about the costs of college here: How Much Does College Cost?
Get a sneak peak into what a college course is like
AP courses have been modeled after introductory college-level courses to help you develop the skills you need to be successful in college.
Stand out on selective college and scholarship applications
Having AP courses and exams on your high school transcript may strengthen your applications to highly-selective colleges/universities and scholarships as one way to show that you challenged yourself academically.
Guaranteed credit transfer
If you earn a score of 3 or higher (on a scale of 1 to 5) on an AP exam, you can earn college credit that is guaranteed to transfer, though it may not be guaranteed to apply to degree requirements. Find out what your AP exam score gets you at public college and universities in Colorado (PDF).
An AP exam, not an AP course, determines college credit
While you may take an AP course all year, you only have one opportunity at the end of the school year (in May) to earn a qualifying AP exam score to earn college credit.
An AP course may take more time out of your schedule
Since AP courses have been modeled after introductory college-level courses, you should consider your current schedule (other high school classes, sports and extracurricular activities) when thinking about participating in AP. On average, for every one credit hour you take in college, you will spend approximately 2-3 hours outside of class studying. Use this formula: 3 credit hours (1 college course) = 3 hours in class per week = 6-9 hours study time per week.
Not widely available
The AP option may not be widely available at your school.
You may have to pay for the AP Exam
An AP Exam costs $94. Some schools cover this cost and some schools do not. Check with your school to find out who is responsible. Additionally, you may be eligible for a discount if you have significant financial need. Ask your school counselor for more information.
There is a fee to send your AP score(s) to a college
You get one free "score send" but if you want to send your AP score(s) to more than one college, it costs $15 for regular delivery and $25 for rush delivery. Learn more here.
Want more details?
If you want to know more about AP, feel free to review the College Board webpage.
Still have more questions?
Talk with your school counselor about the specifics of participating in AP at your school, where available.