All About the Advanced Placements (AP)
- November 6, 2023
The College Board, a non-profit founded in 1900, offers excellent educational programs such as the Advanced Placements (AP) and SAT exams, as part of their mission to help students prepare for college success.
The AP program was born nearly 70 years prior, to help students make their university dreams a reality. Fast forward to today, and you’ll find that a whopping 4 to 5 million students from 120 countries take AP Exams every year. These AP scores are sent to over 3,000 universities in 60 different countries, establishing that AP courses have the highest participation rate of any curriculum across the globe.
Students can choose from as many as 38 available AP courses in seven subject areas—Arts, English, History and Social Sciences, Math and Computer Science, Sciences and AP World Languages and Cultures. According to the College Board in India, AP exams are administered in May and require advance registration.
In 2013, the College Board announced the establishment of the College Board India Advisory Council to explore ways that the College Board could make a significant contribution to India’s higher education sector.
In this guide, we will delve into the various aspects of AP courses, including the ideal subject combinations, the increasing value of AP course accreditations, and a brief exploration of the more popular AP courses including the latest AP Precalculus. Finally, we will see how CourseLeap can help you meet your own AP goals!
Why You Should Take AP
The world of education is evolving rapidly, and the importance of standardised assessments like Advanced Placement exams cannot be understated. Designed to prepare high school students for college-level work, AP courses offer a unique opportunity to experience introductory college classes while still in grades 9-12. In fact, students with impressive AP test scores are eligible to receive university credit, and therefore significant consideration during the admission process.
According to a review of key research conducted by the College Board- which you can download here, students earning AP scores of 3 or higher experience great academic gains. The review states that even students who earn scores of 1 or 2 on an AP exam derive benefits that lead to college success!
APs offer potential tuition savings by allowing students to earn college credits with a score of 4 or higher, potentially enabling them to skip the first year of college and reduce the overall cost of their education. Furthermore, AP credentials can enhance scholarship opportunities, with 31% of colleges taking AP course experience into account when awarding scholarships, making them valuable assets in the pursuit of financial aid. It is safe to say overall, that taking AP courses has been proven to add an incredible boost to your academic applications.
Today over 50 leading Indian universities are affiliated with the College Board as members of the India Global Higher Education Alliance Members. In addition, the Association of Indian Universities has granted recognition to the AP program making it a truly viable option for students both in India and abroad. Students who wish to pursue their undergraduate studies in India can study the AP courses and exams and will be issued equivalence certificates that will enable them to enrol in a bachelor’s degree program at a university in India.
While a few secondary schools in India offer both AP courses and AP exams, courses are limited to their enrolled students. However, authorised AP test centres are open to all students who are eligible to test, with India having 30 independently authorised test centres for AP exams.
AP as a Standalone Option
Pursuing AP courses independently can be a great option for extremely driven learners who value flexibility in their education. Students taking on the AP accreditation in tandem with a passion project or work experience can build a robust and unique application portfolio that can catch the attention of top universities.
The Advanced Placement International Diploma (APID) is a globally recognized credential for students who embrace an international outlook. Available to international students attending secondary schools outside the U.S. and to U.S. high school students applying to universities outside the country, the APID certifies outstanding academic excellence with a global perspective.
AP Combined with Other Programs
Students are often told to focus on their main curricula, particularly those within more challenging programs such as the IBDP or the Indian national curricula of the CBSE. However, while combined program studies are not a solution for everyone, most students have the potential to exceed far beyond their perceived limitations! In fact, even students agree that combining AP course accreditations with national curricula such as the CBSE can help differentiate a college application! All it takes is an organised approach and perhaps some expert academic guidance.
An AP course on your transcript signals stronger academic training. It is frequently recommended to consider pursuing an AP exam in subjects of interest to bolster your academic profile. Getting a 5 on an AP test shows that you are more advanced in a subject than 80%-90% of advanced students—which looks very impressive to colleges. Take it from our very own students, a small boost in confidence can make big waves in your grades!AP course credits are accepted by over 500 Universities in over 75 countries, including the U.K., Canada and Australia. Growing acceptance of Advanced Placement accreditation in progressive Indian Universities like OP Jindal and Ashoka University is another strong reason for students of IB/A-Levels and national curricula to take up relevant AP courses. All in all, we would say that there are countless benefits to taking APs such as diversifying your subject portfolio, improving your university applications and earning early college credits to name a few! Students interested can even consider studying APs from as early as the 9th or 10th grade!
How Many AP Courses You Need To Take
In order to earn the Advanced Placement International Diploma (APID), students must earn scores of 3 or higher on five or more total AP Exams, based on the exam criteria requirements. For those aiming for the top schools and universities, it is good to set a target of 4-6 AP classes during the course of high school for an international school student. We recommend taking AP courses as early as the 9th grade to develop an academic familiarity. The best part about these exams is that whether you study AP courses in classes 9, 10, 11 or 12, your AP score will remain valid when you start college.
Which AP Courses You Should Take
Students should pursue the subjects they are passionate about and are seeking to further study in college. Here are some general guidelines based on the most in-demand AP courses across university degrees:
- Students interested in engineering and computer science must consider AP Calculus BC in order to keep future career paths open.
- For students passionate about physics, AP Physics is the only curriculum that extensively explores the advanced concept of fluid mechanics.
- Students interested in Business, Economics and the Social Sciences should explore AP Statistics, a valuable core subject with use in STEM fields too.
- AP Macroeconomics and AP Microeconomics are also an excellent addition for students interested in business and the social sciences. Less intensive than IB Economics, they can be combined with other IBDP core subjects
- Another popular subject is AP Psychology, which can open a direct pathway to a Psychology major and strengthen applications for many career pathways within the Social Sciences.
- Finally, a universally beneficial subject for all students would be AP Precalculus. This newly launched subject is an introductory class that requires only moderate proficiency in geometry and algebra.
- Popular AP courses include a mix of AP Calculus AB/ AP Statistics, AP Human Geography, AP Microeconomics, AP Environmental Science and AP Psychology.
If you want to know more about AP subject choices, we suggest that you explore this official resource that helps students connect AP to Majors and Careers. You can also check out our blog on
To sum up, our journey through the realm of Advanced Placement (AP) exams has unveiled a world of possibilities for students. The key takeaways from this exploration are clear: AP courses not only prepare high school students for college-level work but also offer opportunities to gain college credits, potentially saving on tuition costs. Taking on core subjects such as AP Calculus or even the newly launched AP Precalculus can safeguard career opportunities in the future.
Furthermore, the impressive academic gains associated with AP exams make them a valuable asset for academic applications. To know more about the importance of maths as a core subject, check out our blog here!
As we look ahead, we’re thrilled to announce that AP 2024 registration is now open in India, providing students with a chance to embark on this rewarding educational journey. We strongly encourage students to consider AP courses as a part of their academic pathway, and we at CourseLeap are here to support you every step of the way, offering specialized AP courses to help you reach your goals.
If you are looking for a chance to study with easily accessible tutors who offer high-quality support, flexible learning options, subject-specific expertise and tailored programme sessions, we encourage you to get in touch with us through our Contact Form today. You can also email us, and our team will promptly respond to arrange a free personal consultation!
To know more about our outstanding IB services, speak to our team today on +91 98191 24000. You can also email us at email@example.com!