Advanced Placement (AP) is a program that offers college-level curriculum and examinations to high school students. Many colleges and universities in the U.S. grant credits and/or advanced placement based on AP exam scores. More than 60 other countries also grant credit and/or placement for qualifying AP Exam scores.

Advanced Placement examinations are taken each May by students at participating educational institutions. The exams are the culmination of year-long AP courses. The final score for each AP Exam is reported on a 5-point scale. Studies have been conducted in all AP subjects to compare the performance of AP students with that of college students in comparable college courses. These studies have help establish criteria that determines how AP students’ scores are translated into an AP score of 1–5. This final score offers a recommendation about how qualified a student is to receive college credit and placement:


How Qualified

Equivalent College Grade

5 Extremely well qualified A+, A
4 Well qualified A-, B+, B
3 Qualified B-, C+, C
2 Possibly qualified  
1 No recommendation  

Many colleges and universities in the U.S. grant credits or advanced placement based on AP exam scores; those in over twenty other countries do likewise. Policies vary by institution, but most schools require a score of 3 or higher on any given exam for credit to be granted or course prerequisites to be waived. Colleges may also take AP grades into account when deciding which students to accept, though this is not part of the official AP program.

Montana Academy AP Literature and Composition Exams Results for May 2013

 Instructor: Phil Jones

Score 5 4 3 2 1 Total Students Average Score
Total Students 4 4 1 0 0 9 4.333

As you can see 8 out of 9 students scored a 4 or 5. This means 89% of the students are in the extremely well qualified or the well qualified range and all of them passed the exam. Montana Academy students traditionally score higher than the national average. The average score for the 2012 AP Exams was 2.91. Nearly 60% of all exams taken earned a score of 3 or higher.