What is an Advanced Placement (AP) Exam?


Cyril Zachariah
Updated on Sep 23, 2022 09:37 AM IST

Are you planning to study bachelors abroad? Read this article and learn everything you need to know about Advanced Placement exams and how attempting the test can help you get extra university credits even before you enter college and reduce your costs of studying abroad.

What is an Advanced Placement (AP) Exam?

When we talk about studying for a bachelors degree in the USA, we often think of the SAT and ACT exam, as these test scores are required for undergraduate admissions. However, an additional test, called the Advanced Placement exam, is also popularly accepted by universities across the US and even Canada and Australia.

The Advanced Placement exams, or AP exams, may seem like a new concept, however, that is not the case. If you are interested in pursuing higher studies in one of these countries, then you may also want to consider appearing for AP exams.

On this page, we have highlighted everything you need to know about AP exams and why taking them may be beneficial for you. Moreover, as prospective international students, it is always better to keep all the options on hand to get the best chances.

Register, browse our study abroad packages and connect with our expert study abroad counsellors to learn everything you need to know about AP exams and studying abroad.

What is the Advanced Placement Exam?

Advanced Placement Exam, or AP Exam, acts as an entrance exam for high school students to enter different universities in USA, Canada, UK, Australia and other countries where the test is accepted for undergraduate admissions.

However, unlike the SAT and ACT exam, there is an entire curriculum behind AP exams, called the AP Course. Anyone taking these classes automatically becomes eligible for university credit even before being enrolled at a university. On the other hand, AP exams are similar to end-semester exams where a test is designed for specific AP subjects and candidates are evaluated based on their performance in the test.

Why Take the AP Exam?

There are several reasons why taking the AP exams is one of the better choices for you if you are planning to study in the USA, Canada, UK or any other country that accepts the test. However, with options like the SAT and ACT, it can get a little difficult to decide which is better. Therefore, we have listed some of the benefits of taking the AP exam.

Earn Credits Before Entering College

One of the benefits of attempting AP exams is that the test-takers are given university credits. These credits are accepted by the universities accepting AP exam scores. According to regulations, candidates will receive extra credit if they have attempted the AP exams.

Reports state that students who have attempted the AP exams are able to enrol in top universities with extra credits. Thus, allowing them to change course majors, study abroad or even pursue a second degree. Additionally, the extra credits allow them to skip classes and reduce their time at the university, thus reducing their financial commitment as well.

Stronger Application

As stated above, attending the advanced placement courses and exams will qualify you for extra credits. This is because you have taken up university-level courses and subjects, studied and cleared the final examinations in those subjects.

With your expanded knowledge and understanding of the different subjects, you will be able to present a stronger application. As many universities accept the AP exam scores for undergraduate admissions, your credibility as an academically qualified prospective student increases.

Makes You Stand Out

Even though the test has been conducted for decades and several students have taken the tests over the years, those attempting the test still stand out among applicants. Moreover, the intricacies of the course and the level of academic proficiency required to pass the test, present you as a determined candidate, ready to take on college-level coursework.

With more than 700 universities across the globe accepting the test, your chances of studying abroad at a highly reputed university increase as well. Attempting the AP exams will allow students to not only stand out but also complete their course quicker and save money in the process as well. Moreover, some universities may also offer scholarship opportunities to students presenting excellent AP exam scores.

Advanced Placement Exam Eligibility

As is the case with any standardised test for undergraduate courses abroad, students need to ensure they abide by the Advanced Placement eligibility, as outlined below:

  • All interested candidates must be below the age of 21 to register and take the test.

  • All those not enrolled in any programme at the time of exam registration are eligible to apply for the test.

  • Candidates need to submit their original and valid passports when they arrive at the designated AP exam centre in India.

Note: Candidates above the age of 21 interested in taking the test can attempt the test if they are able to present proof of special circumstances like military service, etc.

As per trends, students interested in taking the course or attempting the test often do so in their 11th or 12th standards. Therefore, if you are interested in taking the test, then it is advisable to do so if you have entered the 11th or 12th standard.

Get Expert Help to Study Bachelors Abroad

How to Apply for Advanced Placement Exams?

One of the major differences between the AP exams and the other standardised tests accepted for undergraduate studies is that those interested in registering for the test must connect with an AP coordinator. One of the steps you can take to register is to visit the official website, search for the closest test centres to you, and connect with them via phone or any other method.

AP Exam in India

Another one of the benefits of taking the test is that the test is conducted across the globe for students from nationalities and ethnicities. Similarly, students in India looking to take the AP exam in India to study in USA or any other country the test is accepted can do so at an AP exam centre close to them. Let us now discuss everything you should know about taking the test in India.

AP Exam Pattern

Before taking the test, it is necessary to understand the exam pattern for advanced placement exams conducted in India. Outlined below is the exam structure for the test conducted every year for aspirants:

  • Almost all exams take 2-3 hours to complete and are divided into two parts.

  • The first part of the exam consists of multiple choice questions where test-takers:

    • Will have to choose one answer from 4-5 choices given per question.

    • Will not be negatively marked for providing incorrect or incomplete answers, as marks are only provided for questions that have been correctly attempted.

  • Part 2 of the exam consists of free-response questions, wherein, you will have to present your own responses to different questions in the form of an essay, a solution or even a spoken response.

  • The test is conducted in pen and paper format.

Note: The test is conducted separately for students interested in taking different subjects. Commonly, the tests are conducted in May of each year, therefore, plan your exam preparation accordingly.

AP Exam Dates 2023

As stated above, the advanced placement exam is conducted during the month of May each year. Therefore, those interested in applying for the test in the upcoming academic year must check out the following AP exam dates for different subjects.

Week 1

Exam Date

Subjects (8 AM Morning Local Time)

Subjects (12 PM Afternoon Local Time)

1 May 2023

United States Government and Politics


Spanish Literature and Culture

2 May 2023

Chinese Language and Culture

Environmental Science


3 May 2023

English Literature and Composition

Comparative Government and Politics

4 May 2023

Human Geography




5 May 2023

European History

United States History

Art History


Week 2

Exam Date

Subjects (8 AM Morning Local Time)

Subjects (12 PM Afternoon Local Time)

8 May 2023

Calculus AB

Calculus BC

Computer Science Principles

Italian Language and Culture

9 May 2023

English Language and Composition

Japanese Language and Culture

Physics C: Mechanics (12 PM)

Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism (2 PM)

10 May 2023

Spanish Language and Culture


11 May 2023

French Language and Culture and World History: Modern

Physics 1: Algebra-based

12 May 2023

German Language and Culture

Music Theory


Physics 2: Algebra-based

Note: As per official notice, exams can be started 1 hour after the scheduled date, however, it is advised to reach the exam center at the scheduled start time. Additionally, some subjects do not require students to take a test but instead submit a portfolio. These subjects include AP Art and Design, AP Seminar and AP Research and AP Computer Science Principles.

AP Exam Centers in India

If you have planned to take the test this year, then you will only be able to take the AP exam in designated test centres across India. Listed in the table below are some of the cities where you will find an AP exam centre in India.



Andhra Pradesh




Delhi NCR


Delhi NCR










Madhya Pradesh














Tamil Nadu


Tamil Nadu




Uttar Pradesh




Note: If you wish to connect with the AP exam centres in any one of these cities, then it is advisable to contact the AP coordinator through the official website.

AP Exam vs AP Courses

When choosing to take the test this year, it is important to understand the differences between AP courses and AP exams. As stated before, AP courses are college-level academics offered to high school students through challenging courses. Meanwhile, exam AP exams act more like end-semester exams where the test will evaluate everything you have learnt through the courses.

Attempting these tests will allow students to gain extra credits and shorten their course duration and reduce their course fees. Moreover, candidates can take the AP exams without having to attend any of the AP classes. In India, the process can be a little difficult to understand, however, connecting with your AP coordinator will clear out a lot of your doubts regarding the tests.

AP Exam Acceptance

As stated multiple times throughout the article, the advanced placement exams have been accepted by hundreds of universities, i.e. 700 universities across the globe, including the US, Canada, the UK, Australia and Singapore, among others. Listed below are some of the popular universities that accept AP exam scores for admissions to undergraduate courses.

  • Adelphi University

  • Boston University

  • California State University

  • Cornell University

  • Michigan State University

  • Ryerson University

  • University of Rochester

  • University of Toronto

  • Yale University

  • University of Colorado - Boulder

These are just a few of the 700 universities that accept advanced placement exam scores for undergraduate admissions across the US and other countries. If you are interested in finding out if your dream college accepts these test scores, then register and connect with our team of study abroad counsellors and get expert counselling to study abroad.

Searching for the Perfect University Abroad?


What is the AP exam used for?

The Advanced Placement or AP exam is usually used as an entrance test score for different undergraduate courses offered by universities across the globe. Those attempting the test get the opportunity to not only enrol in bachelor courses abroad but also get extra credits that reduce their course duration and fees as well.

Can I give the AP exam after 12th?

Yes, those interested in attempting the AP exam can do so after their 12th. However, aspirants commonly taking the tests usually schedule the same when they are in their 11th or 12th standard. However, as long as you abide by the upper age limit to appear for AP exams, you will be able to attempt the test and use it for undergraduate studies abroad.

Who can give AP Exams?

Any student who wishes to stand out from the sea of applicants that popular universities across the globe receive can attempt the AP exams. However, the AP exams have been created for students who wish to study bachelor courses in countries like the US, the UK, Singapore, Canada and Australia among other countries. Students interested in earning extra credits before starting their college studies can also attempt the test.

How do I register for advanced placement exams?

Indian students interested in appearing for the advanced placement exams in any given year are advised to visit the official website and connect with an AP coordinator. The AP coordinator will be able to guide the students to the nearest test centre where they will be able to register for the test and get the necessary exam materials and practice tests as well.

Is there an age limit for AP exams?

Yes, only those applicants who are below the age of 21 will be able to attempt the test in any given year. Since the test has been designed to provide students with an entry to undergraduate courses only, students who are currently in high school or have completed their high school recently will be able to take the test.

Does Harvard accept AP scores?

Yes, Harvard university accepts AP scores for admissions to undergraduate scores. However, much like any other tests, candidates submitting AP exam scores for admission to Harvard undergraduate courses must present exceptional scores to be selected. It should be noted that the AP score acceptance will be dependent on the course that you wish to apply to, therefore, read the admission policy at Harvard University before sending in your scores.

Is the AP exam necessary for college?

The AP exam, like any other standardised test accepted in the USA, the UK, Canada, Australia, and other countries, is used to provide an edge to the applicants. Therefore, an AP exam is not necessary for college, however, if you are able to present good scores on the test, then your probability of being selected for your desired course significantly increases.

You can share this post!

Admission Open 2024

Related Articles

Aug 18, 2023 04:28 PM IST

How to Apply for Masters in USA?

Aug 03, 2023 01:18 PM IST

Documents Required for TOEFL

Our Study Abroad Offerings

Popular Universities to StudyAbroad

Planning to study abroad?

Interested in Studying Overseas?

Connect with us and kickstart your learning journey for a rewarding experience!

By proceeding ahead you expressly agree to the CollegeDekhoAbroad Terms of Use & Privacy Policy.