AP Practice Tests | Free Practice Questions

What is AP?

The AP program is a collaborative effort of secondary schools, colleges and universities, and the College Board through which students like you who are enrolled in AP or honors courses in any one or more of nineteen subject areas may receive credit or advanced placement for college-level work completed in high school. While the College Board makes recommendations about course content, it does not prescribe content. The annual testing program ensures a degree of comparability among high school courses in the same subject.”

To simply explain, the AP or Advanced Placement examinations is a national program that is designed to assess high school students’ skills and abilities for college admission. Moreover, the College Board nor your high school grants AP credit. Thus, you need to make sure that the colleges or universities that you are planning to apply are awarding credit and/or use AP scores for placement. It is also important to acquire each school’s policy in written format to ensure that when you apply, you will have proof of what you were informed about.

AP Exam Structure and Format

The AP test consists of 38 examinations in total. Each of these exams has its own unique format and structure:

  • AP Research
  • AP Seminar
  • Art History
  • Biology
  • Calculus AB
  • Calculus BC
  • Chemistry
  • Chinese Language and Culture
  • Computer Science A
  • Computer Science Principles
  • English Language and Composition
  • English Literature and Composition
  • Environmental Science
  • European History
  • French Language and Culture
  • German Language and Culture
  • Government and Politics (Comparative)
  • Government and Politics (US)
  • Human Geography
  • Italian Language and Culture
  • Japanese Language and Culture
  • Latin
  • Macroeconomics
  • Microeconomics
  • Music Theory
  • Physics 1: Algebra-Based
  • Physics 2: Algebra-Based
  • Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism
  • Physics C: Mechanics
  • Psychology
  • Spanish Language and Culture
  • Spanish Literature and Culture
  • Statistics
  • Studio Art Drawing
  • Studio Art 2-D Design
  • Studio Art 3-D Design
  • US History
  • World History (Modern)

According to the College Board,  most of the AP examinations share the same format and structure. Please refer to the table below for the general format of the AP exams:

AP Exam Format and Structure
AP Exam Time 2-3 hours
AP Exam (First Part) Multiple-choice Questions
AP Exam (Second Part) Free-response Questions

Based on the table shown above, most of the AP exams can last up to 2-3 hours. The first part of the exam is usually composed of multiple-choice questions. You will be given 4-5 answer choices for each of the questions. The second part of the exam is usually a series of free-response questions that will require you to generate your own responses. Depending on the test, you may be asked to write an essay, solve a problem, or even present a spoken response.

Note: The format may vary depending on the AP subject. Since the AP test is made up of 38 examinations, it is important to find out the exact format and structure of the test that you are planning to take.

AP Exam Scoring System

For the majority of the AP examinations, your final score is calculated based on the combination of your score in the 2 sections of the AP test (Multiple-Choice and Free Response)

Note: Some AP class or courses have different scoring components, but are calculated the same way.

Furthermore, your overall score for each AP test is ranked on a scale ranging from 1-5. Getting a 5-point scale automatically grants you recommendation regarding how qualified you are to have college credit and placement. Nevertheless, keep in mind that college placement and credit grants vary from school to school.

Please refer to the table below for an overview of the AP exam scoring format:

AP Exam Scoring Format
AP Scaled Score Recommendation Grade Equivalent in College
5 Extremely Well Qualified A+ or A
4 Very Well Qualified A-, B+, or B
3 Qualified B-, C+, or C
2 Possibly Qualified —–
1 No Recommendation —–

The AP Program conducts studies in all AP courses to associate the performance of AP students with that of college students in relative college studies. These studies help set out the scoring range that will determine how AP students’ composite scores are being translated into an AP score of 1-5.

The multiple-choice section of the AP exam is scored through a computer. Each answer sheet is scanned to determine the total number of accurate answers. For the free-response section, appointed college professors and highly experienced AP teachers score this section of the exam.

The total scores from the multiple-choice and free-response section are then combined to come up with a composite score. The composite score that a test-taker acquires will be translated into a 5-point scale with the use of statistical processes to ensure that the results are consistent.

AP Exam Requirements

Below are the requirements to successfully take the AP examinations:

Step 1: Join Your Class Section Online

You have to sign in to My AP with your College Board account and ensure that you have joined your class section. If you haven’t joined yet, follow the steps to below:

  • Get your join code(s) – Your AP instructor will provide you with a join code in order for you to join his/her class section online. A unique AP code is given for each AP class.
  • Sign in to MY AP –  Use your College Board login credentials to sign in to MY AP.
  • Join a Course – Click the “Join a Course” or the “Exam” button.
  • Enter your join code. – Enter the join code your AP teacher provided and click Submit.
  • Check the course information.
  • Fill out the registration information.

Step 2: Check the AP Test Date

AP Exams are offered every year over two weeks in the month of May. Late testing may be available in certain situations. Please refer to the AP Exam 2020 test dates below:

AP Exam Week 1
Test Date Morning (8 A.M. Local Time) Afternoon (12 P.M. Local Time) Afternoon (2 P.M. Local Time)

May 4

AP United States Government and Politics AP Physics C: Mechanics AP Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism

May 5

AP Calculus AB

AP Calculus BC

AP German Language and Culture

AP Human Geography


May 6

AP English Literature and


AP European History

AP Physics 2: Algebra-Based

Thursday,May 7 AP Chemistry

AP Spanish Literature and Culture

AP Japanese Language and Culture

AP Physics 1: Algebra-Based


May 8

AP United States History AP Art History

AP Computer Science A

AP Exam Week 2
Test Date Morning (8 a.m.  Local Time) Afternoon (12 p.m. Local Time)

May 11

AP Biology


AP Chinese Language and Culture

AP Environmental Science


May 12

AP Seminar

AP Spanish Language and Culture

AP Latin

AP Psychology


May 13

AP English Language and Composition AP Microeconomics

AP Music Theory


May 14

AP Comparative Government and Politics

AP World History: Modern

AP Italian Language and Culture

AP Macroeconomics


May 15

AP Computer Science Principles

AP French Language and Culture

AP Statistics

AP Frequently Asked Questions
Where can I find the past AP world history exams?

There are many information on the internet that will allow you to access the past AP world history exams and other tests. The information contains prompts, range of scores, selected answers, and resulting statistics from those exams there.

Why do AP Exams get more expensive each year?

One of the biggest factors that contribute to the increasing price of the AP exams is due to the economic status of a particular state. When economic values fluctuate, it can cause periods of low value. At the end of the day, the College Board is a business.

Should I have my AP result rescored?

There aren’t many things you can do when you receive your AP score. The only instance that you can considerably file for rescoring is when you get a score which is drastically different from what you are expecting. For instance, expecting a score of 4 or 5 and only getting 1.

Is a 3 on an AP exam considered failing?

No, a grade of 3 is considered as a passing score by The College Board.

Do you know of any free AP practice websites?

There are a variety of websites that you can visit to take advantage of some AP practice test materials. Some of these websites are providing free AP practice tests online. Other than that, you can also utilize AP Exam PDF books that you can also download for free.

How many credits do you get for each AP class in high school?

Before anything else, the credits you’ll get will not come from taking the AP class. Instead, it will come from your score on the AP exam. Moreover, the number of credits you’ll get may vary from school to school. 

How are the score cutoffs for AP tests determined?

As discussed earlier, your overall score for each AP test is ranked on a scale ranging from 1-5. Getting a 5-point scale automatically grants you recommendation regarding how qualified you are to have college credit and placement. Nevertheless, keep in mind that college placement and credit grants vary from school to school.

How do AP exams work?

AP exams evaluate your knowledge of the AP course materials. The exam aims to determine whether you are qualified for college course admission or not. Getting a high score or a passing score on the AP test indicates that you are capable of taking a college-level introductory course.

Do you have to send all of your AP scores to colleges?

It is actually not necessarily needed to submit your AP scores to the colleges and universities that you are applying to. Moreover, some schools will leave a space in the application where you can indicate your AP scores.

AP Exam Prep Guide

There are a lot of AP test preparation tips that can be found online. Moreover, to help you get a single look of the best prep strategies that you can use when taking the AP exams, we’ve gathered a few of them below:

#1 Create a Study Plan

Creating a study plan for your AP course preparation is one of the most effective ways to secure your chances of getting a passing score on the test. While some AP students rely on the AP classes, it is also not wrong to create your own study plan that you can use when you study at home.

#2 Be Informed about the Test

If you’re taking the AP exams, it is advisable to gather any information about the exam you’re planning to take. This is one way of making sure that you will be familiar with it before you take the test. The College Board is providing information for each of the 38 examinations on its website. Take this as a chance to learn more about the course’s format and structure, as well as its specifics.

#3 Test Yourself

It is not enough to read and read about the AP course that you are planning to take. You also need to apply what you have learned to ensure that you will gain a clear understanding of how the exam works. With that being said, apply what you have learned by utilizing AP practice test questions. This is the best way to test yourself and determine how much knowledge you have already gained during your review sessions.

AP Exam Sample Test Questions

Practice Test Question #1

Which of the following best describes the site of Manhattan?

(A) A regional transportation hub for the northeastern United States.

(B) A midway point along an urban corridor stretching from Boston to Washington, D.C.

(C) An island bordered by the Hudson and East Rivers.

(D) An important center for international trade and commerce.

(E) An urban center located two hours northeast of Philadelphia by train.

Practice Test Question #2

Which of the following is not true of culture?

(A) It is biologically inherited.

(B) It varies from place to place.

(C) It can converge and diverge over time.

(D) It can diffuse across space.

(E) It expresses human adaptations and innovations.

Practice Test Question #3

The principle of distance decay describes

(A) a positive correlation between distance and degree of relation.

(B) a neutral correlation between distance and degree of relation.

(C) a negative correlation between distance and degree of relation.

(D) an uncertain correlation between distance and degree of relation.

(E) no correlation between distance and degree of relation.

Online Source: https://apstudents.collegeboard.org