Advanced Placement

What to Know About AP Credit and Placement and AP Score Sends

An important step in your AP® journey is understanding AP credit policies, as well as how to send your AP Exam scores to colleges. Read below to learn more.


Earning College Credit or Advanced Placement

You can earn college credit or advanced placement, or both with your AP Exam scores, depending on the policy of the colleges you’re interested in. Here are the differences:

  • Credit: You can graduate college early and save money on tuition by earning credit for qualifying AP scores. You need a certain number of credits (usually 120 for a bachelor’s degree), and more colleges than ever before offer credit for your AP scores.
  • Advanced placement: You can skip certain introductory courses and gain placement in more advanced courses with qualifying AP scores.

Some colleges offer you the chance to earn credit and to skip a course (i.e., after gaining advanced placement) with a qualifying AP score.

Search colleges you’re interested in or planning to attend to find out about their credit and placement policies. If you’re a senior, be sure to note the AP score deadlines for the college you’re planning to attend so you don’t lose the opportunity to send your scores. As a reminder, scores will start to be released in July.

You can check out more information about specific state credit policies and websites below. 


Sending Scores

Every year that you take AP Exams, you can send one score report for free to the college, university, or scholarship organization of your choice. To get college credit, you need to choose how to send your official AP score report. 

Taking advantage of this opportunity each year allows more colleges and scholarship organizations to learn about how hard you’ve worked at college-level courses. Score reports include this year’s and prior year’s AP Exam scores.

Not sure how to send your AP scores? Send them for free by June 20—here’s how:

  1. Sign in to the AP scores site using your College Board account. Once you’re signed in, the page will reload and display the score reporting application.
  2. Find the college or university you want to receive your scores. When it appears on the list, select it and hit Save.
  3. If you’d like to send scores after June 20, you’ll be charged a fee.

Score reports include certain demographic information about you and other information you provide during testing. Colleges, universities, and scholarship programs that you send your scores to may use your information to contact you about admissions and educational, financial aid, and scholarship opportunities.


State Policies

Most, but not all, states have a statewide AP credit policy for public colleges and universities. To learn more about what some state policies look like, check out the links below. And use the AP Credit Policy Search tool to learn about the specific AP credit policies of schools you’re interested in. Most four-year colleges and universities in the United States—and many institutions in more than 100 other countries—grant credit or advanced placement, or both for qualifying AP Exam scores. This means you can save time, money, and get a head start on your education when you enter college with credit you earned through AP. 

Learn more about AP Exam scores.