Can I take APs Exams Not Offered at My School?

Advanced Placement (AP) classes are college-level courses that you can complete during high school. There are several perks to taking APs, such as boosting your GPA, showing colleges you can tackle rigorous coursework, and earning college credit that could save you thousands in tuition! Typically, you enroll and take AP classes that are offered at your school and then sit for the AP exams in May. However, some schools don’t offer the APs you want, you may not have room in your schedule, your school might not offer AP at all, or you may be homeschooled. Many students wonder whether they can take AP exams if they can't take the class, and the answer is yes!

How do I sign up for an AP exam if the class isn’t offered at my school? 

Check out the AP Course Audit ledger to find a school near you that offers the AP you’re interested in taking the exam for. Then, call the school and ask their AP coordinator about whether they’re accepting outside students for exams this year. You’ll want to reach out to them in early Fall to make sure your test gets ordered! After that, your AP coordinator will tell you about exam day details and collect your AP fees.

How do I prepare for AP exams if I don’t take the class?

Self-studying for AP exams requires self-motivation since you don’t have a teacher grading you, but it can definitely be done successfully! First, you’ll want to get an AP textbook. You can reach out to the AP coordinator at the school you’ll be taking the test and ask to borrow the book they use, you can check out this page from CollegeBoard, or just Google “AP textbooks” for the particular course you’re interested in. OpenStax, Khan Academy, and YouTube are great free resources as well. Each AP exam follows a specific format so make sure you take AP practice tests periodically to make sure you’re comfortable with the material and test style. After you have access to all your materials, start learning! Check out the course content for the exam you’re interested in. Then, create a study plan that allows for you to learn the material at a reasonable pace, practice, and have enough time to review everything before the exam.If you need help with the material, you could get a Brains and Brawn tutor. 

Deciding to take an AP exam when you can’t take the class at your school is a great way to build self-studying skills, show colleges that you’re a motivated learner, and save money on college! 

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