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Articles / Admissions / How Many Times Can an AP Exam Be Taken?

May 28, 2020

How Many Times Can an AP Exam Be Taken?

Question: Is there a limit to the number of times I can take an AP exam, if I want to improve my score?

Here’s the scoop on repeated AP Exams straight from the College Board Web site:


You can take an AP Exam each time it is offered (AP Exams are offered once a year in May). Your grade report will include your grades for all the AP Exams you have taken, including yearly "repeats" of the same subject exam.

Of course, few students will get a shot at an AP test more than twice, unless they try it the first time in the spring of sophomore year. In most cases, it probably doesn’t make sense to go for more than two rounds, anyway, since your score is unlikely to improve after your second attempt, and the tests are costly. If however, you take an exam at the end of your junior year and you score a 3, and you plan to attend a college that gives credit for 4’s and 5’s, it may be worth trying again the following spring. This is particularly true if it’s a subject you’re continuing to study even after completing the AP course.

The College Board Web site has answers to other AP questions that may arise. If you haven’t found it already, go to:

http://www.collegeboard.com/ap/students/index.html

Written by

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone knows the competitive and often convoluted college admission process inside out: From the first time the topic of college comes up at the dinner table until the last duffel bag is unloaded on a dorm room floor. She is the co-author of Panicked Parents' Guide to College Admissions; The Transfer Student's Guide to Changing Colleges and The International Student's Guide to Going to College in America. Sally has appeared on NBC's Today program and has been quoted in countless publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Weekend, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek, People and Seventeen. Sally has viewed the admissions world from many angles: As a Smith College admission counselor for 15 years, an independent college counselor serving students from a wide range of backgrounds and the author of College Confidential's "Ask the Dean" column. She also taught language arts, social studies, study skills and test preparation in 10 schools, including American international schools in London, Paris, Geneva, Athens and Tel Aviv. As senior advisor to College Confidential since 2002, Sally has helped hundreds of students and parents navigate the college admissions maze. In 2008, she co-founded College Karma, a private college consulting firm, with her College Confidential colleague Dave Berry, and she continues to serve as a College Confidential advisor. Sally and her husband, Chris Petrides, became first-time parents in 1997 at the ripe-old age of 45. So Sally was nearly an official senior citizen when her son Jack began the college selection process, and when she was finally able to practice what she had preached for more than three decades.

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