AP Overview

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Since 1955, the College Board's Advanced Placement Program® (AP®)—the collaborative community of AP teachers and students, states, districts, schools, colleges, and universities committed to the daily work of developing college-level knowledge and skills—has been delivering excellence in education to millions of students across the country.

AP enables willing and academically prepared students to pursue college-level studies—with the opportunity to earn college credit, advanced placement, or both—while still in high school.

Through AP courses in 38 subjects, each culminating in a rigorous assessment, students learn how to:

  • Examine texts
  • Interpret data
  • Evaluate evidence
  • Construct solid arguments
  • See multiple sides of an issue

College faculty who teach the corresponding introductory courses on campus are involved in every step of the course and exam development process as well as in exam scoring and score setting. Regular surveys of college curricula in addition to comparability studies—in which portions of the exams are administered to college students—are undertaken for each course and exam to ensure that they cover the information, skills and assignments found in the corresponding college courses.

To ensure alignment with current best practices in college-level learning, AP has been redesigning AP courses and exams. The redesign process moves beyond standard content updates, instead focusing on course objectives and teaching methods that align with current practice on college and university campuses.