What Are AP Exam Pass Rates?

Defining Pass Rates

AP tests are scored on a 1 - 5 scale and the College Board, which administers AP exams, defines students who receive a 3 as qualified in that subject matter. Based on that standard, the College Board reports that about 60.5% of test-takers received a qualifying score on AP tests in 2013. Colleges and universities, however, may require higher scores for various tests.

Pass Rates by AP Test

TestStudents Who Earn a 3 or Higher*
Art History 57.6%
Biology 64.3%
Calculus AB 57.4%
Calculus BC 79.7%
Chemistry 53.4%
Chinese 93.1%
Computer Science 64.3%
Macroeconomics 54.6%
Microeconomics 67.1%
English Language 55.5%
English Literature 56.2%
Environmental Science 47%
European History 63.2%
French 76%
German 77%
Government & Politics Comparative 56.7%
Government & Politics United States 48%
Human Geography 53.8%
Italian 68.2%
Japanese 77.3%
Latin 63.6%
Music Theory 61.1%
Physics I 39.2%
Physics 2 55.6%
Physics C E&M 68.4
Physics C Mechanics 77.9%
Psychology 66.2%
Seminar 74.9%
Spanish 90.1%
Spanish Literature 73%
Statistics 57.8%
Studio Art Drawing 78.1%
Studio Art 2-D Design 78.2%
Studio Art 3-D Design72%
U.S. History 51.2%
World History 52.1%

*Source: The College Board, 2015

How to Pass Your AP Test

To prepare to pass your AP exams, you first should research your school's AP policies and minimum required scores. You may also review sample exam questions available on the College Board's website (apstudent.collegeboard.org).

AP Prep Courses

Prep courses ensure that you are focusing your studies on the right subject matter. Study.com has online courses -- each with video lessons and practice tests -- for many of the AP tests. Check out examples of what they offer:

Continue reading: What Are the AP Exam Rules?

Many colleges grant credit or advanced placement to students with qualifying AP Exam scores. Read on to find out when AP Exams are offered and get information about exam costs and preparation.

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