How Much Do AP Examinations Cost

Are you interested in learning how much it costs to take an AP Test? Find out how much your Advanced Placement examinations will cost you in 2019-2020 by visiting this page—also covered will be how to obtain financial assistance if required. So, continue reading for the most cost-effective AP test possible!

Changes to the AP Test in 2021 as a result of COVID-19


AP tests will now be conducted over three separate sessions between May and June, given the continuing coronavirus pandemic. COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

Your school will determine the dates of your tests, as well as whether or not your tests will be taken online or on paper. Check out our 2021 AP COVID-19 FAQ post to learn more about how it’s all going to operate, as well as the most up-to-date information on test dates, AP online review, and what these changes mean for you.

The cost of the AP Exam in 2019-2020

In the 2019-2020 school year, the fee for each AP Exam is $94. This represents a modest increase above the $92 price charged in 2015-16. Overall, the cost of AP tests tends to climb by a dollar or two per year on an annual basis.

If you’re curious about the pricing for future years, you should expect the charge to grow somewhat — perhaps to $95 or $96 in the next year or two — due to inflation. Don’t worry about a significant price increase occurring soon.

Also, international students should be aware that exams at schools outside the U.S. and its territories, commonwealths, and Canada is $124 per exam (plus applicable taxes). Because College Board is situated in the United States, it incurs additional expenses when handling overseas testing.

In short, Advanced Placement examinations are costly! However, financial assistance is possible. Continue learning more about the College Board’s fee reduction program.

Is it possible to receive financial assistance for AP exams?

Students who have proved financial need might receive a $32 cost discount for each exam they take through the College Board. This $32 savings lowers the total cost of the exam down to $53 to $62 each exam ($32 plus a $9 school rebate if you’re eligible), saving you money. When determining the financial necessity for the fee reduction, your state and whether your district participates in a program referred to as the Community Eligibility Provision will play a role in how this is determined (CEP).

It is a program that allows schools and districts with high percentages of low-income children to give complimentary breakfast and lunch to all of their pupils through the CEP.

If your institution participates in the CEP, your validity for AP Exam fee minimization is reviewed on a case-by-case basis if your school is a participant in the program. Students from CEP schools or districts were previously eligible for a fee reduction from the College Board; but, this is no longer the case as of January 1, 2019. Make sure to check the College Board’s AP Fee Reduction website for further information.

The College Board applies the qualifying rules for the federal Free and Reduced Lunch program. If your area does not take part in the CEP program, the College Board applies the qualifying rules for the federal Free and Reduced Lunch program. These eligibility requirements will be discussed in further detail further down the page.

If your school takes part in the CEP

Guidelines for determining whether or not you qualify for an AP fee decrease in CEP areas are as follows:

Maybe your family’s income is at or below 185 percent of the poverty level established annually by the US Department of Health and Human Services, or you qualify as an “identified student” because you are registered in a program that is not available to the general public:

  • in foster care or Head Start, or
    • homeless or migrant, or
    • living in households that receive SNAP/Food Stamps, TANF cash assistance, or the Food Distribution on Indian Reservations benefits

If Your School Does Not Take Part in CEP

Enrolment in, or ability to participate in, the federal Free and Reduced Lunch program can be utilized to qualify for an AP Fee reduction in schools and districts that do not participate in the CEP (Community Education Partnership).

The qualifications for free and reduced lunch are nearly identical to those for CEP:

Your family’s wage is at or below 185 percent of the federal poverty level, as determined by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on an annual basis, or you are automatically certified for free school meals without having to apply because you are eligible:

  • in foster care or Head Start, or
    • homeless or migrant, or
    • living in households that receive SNAP/Food Stamps, TANF cash assistance, or the Food Distribution on Indian Reservations benefits

You may learn more about the College Board’s fee reduction policy by reading their documentation.

But what if you don’t meet all of the requirements? Or if you do meet those requirements, but the $53 per exam is still prohibitively expensive?


Some states provide additional financing for AP tests, which may be available in some cases. This could result in a further reduction in the $53 pricing.

You can find those guidelines right here. In addition, your school or district may have its fee reduction policies or programs in place.

The question is, how do you find out exactly how much financial help you are eligible for AP?

Actionable

There are various options for obtaining funding for your AP exams, but the options available to you will be different depending on where you live. You may be eligible for financial assistance from the College Board, your state, or perhaps your institution.

To learn more about how much financial help you are eligible for, visit your school’s guidance counseling office and inquire about the AP Exam fees that are charged there. The guidance counselors can assist you in determining whether or not you qualify for the College Board’s fee reduction. They may also inform you of any extra funding schemes your school or state may be offering. The guidance counseling office should be familiar with the process of assisting students in obtaining financing for AP tests, especially if your institution offers a large number of AP courses.

Is it Worth It to Pay $94 Per Exam?

If you were anything like me when I was in high school, you’re probably experiencing some sticker shock right about now.

$94 per exam is a substantial sum of money! The College Board charges $53 for each exam, even if you are eligible for the cost reduction offered by the College Board. So, is the price tag justified?

Whether or not you pass the exam, and how your score converts into college credit and admissions competition will determine how successful you will be.

The expense of $94 may be well worth it if you pass an exam that is suitable for college credit at the school you ultimately choose to attend. That $94 may be used to pay for a course that costs hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

Some kids can even start college as sophomores and save a full year of tuition as a result of their Advanced Placement credit. As the adage goes, “in for a penny, out for a pound,” this is undoubtedly true.

In addition, the $94 fee may be worthwhile if you receive a high score that will help you gain enrolment to a selective college, even if that college does not accept AP credit. To illustrate, during my senior year of high school, I enrolled in nine AP courses. Even though many of them did not result in course credit at Stanford, those classes — as well as the high scores I received on AP tests — significantly boosted my application. AP tests turned out to be an excellent investment for my family, mainly because I was awarded a significant financial aid package from Stanford in exchange for taking the examinations.

For each AP class and test, you must make an informed decision about whether the class will provide a real challenge to your schedule or whether you will pile on more AP classes.

A well-organized timetable makes it more probable that you will pass each Advanced Placement (AP) exam you sit for. Consider the implications of this carefully. As we’ve previously stated, don’t feel obligated to enrol in AP classes simply because you want to.

Take classes you are confident you can do well in and have a strong personal interest.

Finally, if you fail the exam, the money is not worth it because you will not receive college credit, and the $94 you paid will have been completely squandered. Also note, a score of 1 or 2 does not appear to be particularly impressive to colleges, even if you receive high marks in the AP course (in fact, that may signal to the colleges the AP classes at your school are too easy). Make sure not to overburden yourself with AP classes once more!

What’s Next?

Learn even more about AP classes, including how colleges use AP credit, which AP subjects are the most difficult and the simplest, and if the AP program is doing a good job.

Are you also preparing for the SAT/ACT?

Learn how to set a goal score for the SAT/ACT, depending on the schools you want to attend.

Do you have college applications on your mind?

Learn all about writing a college essay and keep an eye out for deadlines that you must miss.