AP Exams By Difficulty | Easiest To Hardest

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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%
 Seminar  81.1%
 Calculus BC  81%
 Japanese Language and Culture  79.3%
 French Language and Culture  77.1%
 Research  75.9%
 French Language and Culture (Standard)  73.9%
 Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism  73%
 German Language and Culture  72.3%
 Spanish Literature  72.3%
 Computer Science Principles  71.9%
 Studio Art: 3-D Design  70%
 Computer Science A  69.6%
 Microeconomics  69.6%
 Chinese Language and Culture (Standard)  66.8%
 Italian Language and Culture  66.1%
 Government and Politics – Comparative  66%
 Physics 2  65.4%
 German Language and Culture (Standard)  65.1%
 Biology  64.7%
 Psychology  64.5%
 Music Theory  63.7%
 Art History  63.1%
 Latin  62.9%
 Japanese Language and Culture (Standard)  62.4%
 Italian Language and Culture (Standard)  62%
 Statistics  59.7%
 Macroeconomics  58.9%
 Calculus AB  58.4%
 European History  58.1%
 Chemistry  55.6%
 World History  55.3%
 Government and Politics – United States  55.1%
 English Language and Composition  54.3%
 United States History  53.7%
 Environmental Science  49.2%
 English Literature and Composition  49.7%
 Human Geography  49.1%
 Physics 1  45.4%

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
 Art History  63.1%
 Chinese Language and Culture  60.1%
 Japanese Language and Culture  45.3%
 Calculus BC  43%
 Physics C: Mechanics  37.7%
 Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism  37.6%
 Computer Science A  26.7%
 Spanish Language and Culture  25.2%
 Microeconomics  24.3%
 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%
 Physics 1  6.7%
 Seminar  7.1%
 Biology  7.2%
 German Language and Culture (Standard)  8.7%
 World History  8.6%
 Environmental Science  9.4%
 Spanish Literature  9.5%
 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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