If you earn an AP Exam score of 3 or higher, chances are you can receive credit, advanced placement or both from your college — nearly all colleges and universities in the United States — as well as many institutions in more than 60 other countries — grant credit and placement for AP scores or acknowledge AP scores in the admission process.

College credit and/or advanced placement can be a big reward for all the hard work you put into your AP courses and exams. Also, when you enter college with credit you've already earned through AP, you can save time and money. With a head start on your degree, you may have the flexibility to move into upper-level courses sooner, pursue a double major or study abroad.

So, How Does It All Work?

  • The first thing to understand is that each college and university — not the College Board or the AP Program — makes its own decisions about awarding credit and placement. Most have a written policy spelling out things like the minimum required score to earn credit for a given AP Exam, the amount of credit awarded and how credits are applied. You can review this information by using the AP Credit Policy Search but make sure to confirm it on the college's website since policies can change.
  • To receive credit, you must request that the College Board send your official AP score report to the college of your choice, either at the time of testing or afterward through a score report request. Colleges will usually notify you during the summer, after receiving your scores, about any credit, placement and/or course exemptions you have earned. If you have questions about the status of your AP credit or placement, you should contact your college. Send your AP score report to your college.
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Frequently Asked Questions About AP Credit and Advanced Placement

  • Who sends my scores to colleges and universities?

    Only you can request that your scores be sent to your college(s). To ensure that they receive legitimate scores, colleges and universities will only recognize the official AP score report sent directly by the College Board at your request. For example, if you simply write your AP scores on your college applications, including the Common Application, they will not count for credit and placement purposes. For security purposes, colleges won't recognize a printout of your student score report for credit either; you must request that the College Board send an official score report directly to the college.

  • How do I send my scores?

    Each year that you take AP Exams, you have the opportunity to send one free score report. Your score report will include scores for all AP Exams you have taken. You do this at the time that you are taking the exam by bubbling in the four-digit code of the college, university or scholarship program on your first or "registration" AP answer sheet. If you didn't indicate a college on your answer sheet, or you need to send score reports to additional colleges, you can order additional score reports online for a fee.

  • Which scores should I send?

    Your score report contains scores from all of the AP Exams you have ever taken. Your college will only use those scores that meet the minimum required score to receive credit or placement. You do have the option to withhold a score from a particular college, or cancel a score altogether — see Score Reporting Services for procedures, costs, forms, and deadlines.

  • I took AP Exams a long time ago, how do I send my old scores?

    Four years after your most recent AP Exam, your AP scores are archived and are no longer viewable in our online score reporting system. This means that you will only be able to request that your scores be sent to a college, university or scholarship program by completing the Archived AP Scores Request Form and mailing or faxing it with payment to the address or number indicated on the form.

  • What is advanced placement and how is it different from credit?

    Advanced placement that is awarded based on your AP Exam scores allows you to skip introductory classes, enter higher-level classes and/or fulfill general education requirements. Placement is not the same thing as credit, which means you actually earn points toward your college degree. Colleges may offer both credit and placement, just credit or just placement for successful AP scores. Visit your college's website or talk to an admission officer to find out which kind of recognition is offered.