Advanced Placement

How to Pick AP Courses

Taking AP courses can help you on your path to college by giving you a chance to:

  • Earn college creditMore colleges than ever before accept AP Exam scores of 3 or higher for credit, saving you time and money.
  • Stand out on applicationsAdmissions officers will see you’ve challenged yourself with AP and stuck with your commitment to take an exam.
  • Get a GPA boostMost high schools offer a boost to students that take AP. Check with your school counselor for more information.

Now that you know some of the benefits of taking AP, take a look at how you can enroll in an AP course.

1. See What’s Available at Your School

While there are 38 AP courses available, each high school chooses which AP courses to offer. Check with your school counselor on what AP courses are offered at your school if you don’t already know.

You can also talk to fellow classmates, including those in grades above you, about what courses they took and how they enjoyed the class.


2. Explore More About Each Course

Once you know which courses are offered at your school, explore more about each course so you have a better idea of the topics that will be covered.

Each AP course has a dedicated page on our site that gives information about the course and what you can expect to see on the AP Exam.

For example, if you check out AP United States History, you’ll see a list of the nine historical periods and the topics within each, starting in 1491 right up to present day. Or if you want to learn more about Computer Science Principles, you’ll see the requirements for a performance task that makes up 30% of the AP Exam.

The more you know about each course, the easier it will be for you to decide which courses to take.

3. Decide What You Want to Pursue

Now that you know what’s offered and understand more about each course, consider your own college plans and how earning college credit in certain courses can benefit you.

By earning credit, you can be eligible to skip out of introductory courses in college. This will help you jump into more advanced topics quickly and help you save money on college tuition for course topics you already mastered in high school.

Be sure to check out the college credit policies at schools you’re interested in attending to see their requirements for each course’s exam.

4. Talk to Your Counselor About Enrolling Next School Year

Know what courses you want to take? Now it’s time to talk to your school counselor about how you can enroll. Most high schools start their enrollment process in the spring for the upcoming school year.


For more information about AP, be sure to visit our website.