Advanced Placement Exam Grades

The scores on the free-response questions given by the readers are clubbed with the results of the computer-scored multiple-choice questions; the weighted raw scores are summed to give a composite score. The composite score will be then translated to a grade on AP's 5-point scale:

AP Grade Qualification

  • 5: Extremely well qualified
  • 4: Well qualified
  • 3: Qualified
  • 2: Possibly qualified
  • 1: No recommendation

AP Exam grades of 5 are similar to A grades in the corresponding college course. AP Exam grades of 4 are similar to grades of A-, B +, and B in college. AP Exam grades of 3 are similar to grades of B-, C +, and C in college.

Equating Grades

In the process of score-setting sessions i.e.there is one for each AP Exam, composite or overall scores are converted into AP scores by creating boundaries for each score based on a statistical technique, such technique is called equating.

The main aim of Equating is to relate an AP Exam from one year to an AP Exam from another year so that performance can be compared of two years. This is accomplished by looking at how well AP students performed on a set of multiple-choice questions that is common to both exams. The particular multiple-choice questions cover the curriculum content and hence show a wide range of difficulty, they can therefore provide key information about the ability level of the current group of students and indicate the current exam's level of difficulty, and the same set of questions may show next year's AP Exam, and the one after other.

From the year 2013, AP will introduce the online score reporting system in July, then students can access their marks online.