AP Exams By Difficulty | Easiest To Hardest
Thinking about taking the AP exams? Not sure which ones to take? Here’s a ranking of the different AP exams by difficulty.
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AP Classes By Difficulty
AP exams are graded on a scale of one to five.
One represents the lowest possible score, while five represents the highest possible score. Normally, a score of three is considered passing.
However, many colleges require a score of four to five, in order to receive credit for their classes. To measure harder vs easier classes, the College Board provided data on the percentage of students in 2019 who received three or higher across exams.
You can use this as a measure of which classes are harder to score four and fives in:
|Exam||Student % Who Scored 3 or Higher|
|Studio Art: Drawing||91.1%|
|Chinese Language and Culture||89.9%|
|Spanish Language and Culture||88.7%|
|Studio Art: 2-D Design||86.4%|
|Spanish Language and Culture (Standard)||82.4%|
|Physics C: Mechanics||81.8%|
|Japanese Language and Culture||79.3%|
|French Language and Culture||77.1%|
|French Language and Culture (Standard)||73.9%|
|Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism||73%|
|German Language and Culture||72.3%|
|Computer Science Principles||71.9%|
|Studio Art: 3-D Design||70%|
|Computer Science A||69.6%|
|Chinese Language and Culture (Standard)||66.8%|
|Italian Language and Culture||66.1%|
|Government and Politics – Comparative||66%|
|German Language and Culture (Standard)||65.1%|
|Japanese Language and Culture (Standard)||62.4%|
|Italian Language and Culture (Standard)||62%|
|Government and Politics – United States||55.1%|
|English Language and Composition||54.3%|
|United States History||53.7%|
|English Literature and Composition||49.7%|
Easiest AP Exams
Here are the ten easiest AP exams, based on the 2019 data.
These tests had the highest percentage of students scoring a 5 on them:
|Exam||Student % Who Scored 5|
|Chinese Language and Culture||60.1%|
|Japanese Language and Culture||45.3%|
|Physics C: Mechanics||37.7%|
|Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism||37.6%|
|Computer Science A||26.7%|
|Spanish Language and Culture||25.2%|
|Government and Politics – Comparative||22.4%|
Hardest AP Exams
Here are the ten hardest AP exams, based on the 2019 data.
All of these tests have the lowest percentage of students scoring a 5 on them:
|Exam||Student % Who Scored 5|
|Italian Language and Culture (Standard)||5.8%|
|English Literature and Composition||6.2%|
|German Language and Culture (Standard)||8.7%|
|English Language and Composition||9.9%|
Additional AP Exam Helpful Tips
Click below for more helpful information about the AP Exams:
Now you have a better idea of how to rank the AP exams by difficulty overall.
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