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Advanced Placement

For most students, taking an Advanced Placement (AP) Exam in May serves as the natural culmination of their AP course experience. Schools wishing to provide this experience to their students should be aware of the different AP Exams available, the responsibilities associated with administering exams, and the exam development processes that ensure college-level learning is being assessed.

Fast facts about AP Exams

  • In 2014, over 4.2 million exams were taken by more than 2.3 million students at over 19,000 high schools. 
  • The AP Program offers 36 courses in a wide variety of subject areas.
  • The majority of U.S. high schools currently participate in the AP Program.
  • Except for the three Studio Art exams, which are portfolio assessments, AP Exams contain multiple-choice questions and a free-response section.
  • Because the College Board is committed to providing access to AP Exams to all students—including homeschooled students and students whose schools do not offer AP—students do not have to take an AP course before taking an AP Exam.
  • The AP Exam fee is $92 per exam. The fee for exams administered outside of the United States and Canada is $122 per exam. The fee for Exams administered at Authorized Test Centers outside of the United States varies. The College Board provides a $29 fee reduction for qualifying low-income students. Most states use federal and/or state funds to contribute to the remaining exam fee for low-income students.
  • More than 3,600 colleges and universities annually receive AP Exam scores. Most four-year colleges in the United States provide credit and/or advanced placement for qualifying scores.

Helpful Links

Mesquite ISD offers students an array of advanced learning opportunities including Advanced Placement and Dual Credit courses. The chart below will help you in planning your high school courses that earn college credit. Please see your school counselor if you have any questions.


Advanced Placement (AP)

Dual Credit (DC)


AP courses allow students to take college-level courses and exams,
and to earn college credit while still
in high school.

Dual Credit courses allow high school students to simultaneously earn high school and college credit while still in high school.


Students can receive college
credit upon passing
(with a score of 3, 4, or 5)
AP exams based on individual
college requirements.

High School and college credit is earned when the students pass the Dual Credit course with a grade of C or higher. The grade earned will be recorded on college transcript.


Taught by high school teachers
rained by The College Board.

Taught by college instructors or high school teachers who serve as adjunct professors.

College/University Acceptance

Earned AP credits are accepted throughout the nation; however, students should check individual colleges and universities for their policies (some accept different
passing scores).

Dual Credit courses are accepted at most colleges and universities in and around Texas. Students should check with individual colleges for their academic requirements/policies.


Open to any academically ready student.

Must be a high school student.
Must have high school approval.
Must meet TSI eligibility requirements for college-level course work.

Impact on High
School Rank

Double accumulated rank points plus 1

Double accumulated rank points