AP Exams: What Do Students Need to Know? (Part 2)

We started talking about AP exams last week, and provided questions and answers to help Iowa Online AP Academy site coordinators and mentors discuss AP exams with their students. Here are some more common questions and answers that may help Iowa Online AP Academy mentors and site coordinators explain the process to students.

How do AP credits work at different colleges? The College Board has an AP Credit Policy database that allows students to find institutions that offer the maximum benefit for the courses they’ve taken.

When are the AP exams? AP exams are usually scheduled for the first two weeks in May. A full schedule can be found on the College Board’s website.

How much does it cost? Each AP exam is $91, but sometimes states or school districts reduce the cost for students.

I’d like to take the AP exam, but I don’t think I can afford it. The College Board provides some assistance to students for whom the fee might be too much. Some schools and districts are also able to offer financial support for interested students to prevent cost from becoming a barrier.

Does taking the AP exam really save that much money? If students earn course credit, they can often waive required classes early on, leading to early college graduation, the opportunity to double major, or take on an internship/study abroad. At the University of Iowa, one three-credit course costs approximately $1000-$1700 whereas the AP exam only costs $91. For students who earn credit for multiple AP exams, this adds up quickly.

When do I need to sign up? Starting thinking about taking the AP exam now. Most schools want to know by February (sometimes earlier) as they must order exam materials by March.

Where can I find more information about AP exams? Students can check out the College Board’s AP Students website. Educators can explore the AP Central website for information about exams and other AP topics.


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