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Advanced Placement: Student Must Take AP Exam to Receive Course Credit

Advanced Placement (AP), first established in 1955 as a program for gifted students, has seen tremendous growth since the 1990s. This database provides information on state policies and programs to support AP offerings in the states.

Student must take AP exam to receive course credit: If a student doesn’t take the exam, it’s not possible to tell if he/she learned the content one would expect of an AP course. Requiring a student to take the exam ensures that the grade in the class is aligned with the student’s mastery of the course content knowledge. One state -- South Carolina -- requires students in state-funded AP programs to take the AP exam to receive course credit. Arkansas specifies that the student must complete the AP exam to receive weighted course credit.

This information was collected from statutes, state board regulations and state education agency Web sites from April to August 2006, and will be updated as new policies and programs are enacted. Limited information is included on federal AP programs; for details on states receiving funding through the U.S. Department of Education's Advanced Placement Incentive Program, please visit the department Web site.

Sources for all data points are accessible through this link.

This database was compiled by Jennifer Dounay, project manager, ECS High School Policy Center. For questions, additions or corrections: 303.299.3689 or

Student must take AP exam to receive course credit
Arkansas Yes. Student must take AP course and exam to receive weighted course credit.
Indiana No. However, effective with the Class of 2010, two of the 6 additional measures required to earn a Core 40 diploma with academic honors are to complete 2 AP courses and the related AP exams, or a combination of dual enrollment credit and 1 AP course and exam.
South Carolina Yes. "All students enrolled in Advanced Placement programs for which funding is provided under these regulations shall be required to take the College Board administered examination."
West Virginia No. It is "strongly recommended" but not mandated that students in AP courses take the corresponding AP exam.

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