How International Students Can Earn College Credits in the U.S. with AP (Part 2)

What Is a Good Score on the AP Exam?

What number defines a qualifying AP Exam score? That depends on the college you are interested in attending. Exams are scored on a 1 to 5 basis with a 1 indicating no recommendation for college credit and a 5 indicating extremely well qualified. Typically, a student who earns a 3 or above is considered qualified to receive college credit for that subject.3 Each college will have its own policy regarding AP credit acceptance and credit equivalency. To begin researching the AP Credit Policy for the U.S. colleges you are interested in attending, do a search on the College Board’s website. You can also search AP International Recognition for schools outside the U.S. on a worldwide basis or by region.

Where Can Foreign Students Take an AP Course and Exam?

As a foreign student, you can still take an AP course in your home country. First, many high schools in foreign countries offer AP courses. If yours does, be sure to get in touch with the AP advisor at your school to learn more. Alternatively, you can take AP courses through an online course provider, such as those offered by low-cost, U.S.-based college course provider StraighterLine offers access to 5 AP courses (Macroeconomics, Microeconomics, English Composition, General Calculus 1 and Introduction to Psychology) as well as other college-level courses through a $99/month plus one-time $49 per class fee subscription basis. Taking AP classes online allows you to literally take classes anytime, at any pace, anywhere in the world.

If your high school offers AP courses, you will register for the exam through your institution’s AP advisor. If you are attending an institution outside the U.S. that does not offer AP, you will still need to take an AP exam by registering through a participating school. To obtain the names and telephone numbers of local AP coordinators in your region, you will need to call AP Services no later than March 1 and contact, and register through, an AP coordinator no later than March 15. Students in mainland China will need to contact AP Services via These deadlines are hard and fast; the AP course is given annually in May no matter where in the world you are located. You must be registered by the deadline to have your exam available on test day, as well as to know where and when you will be taking the exam. The AP coordinator willing to administer your exam will be in charge of ordering your exam materials, telling you where to appear for the exam, and collecting fees.

AP courses are for students who are up to the challenge, even if they live outside the United States. If you are looking to extend yourself academically, and be able to demonstrate your academic aptitude on a standardized exam, no matter where you are located geographically -- then AP is for you. With qualifying scores on AP exams, an international student can earn college credits from their secondary institution of choice in the U.S. and beyond. With AP, you can save time and money for college, no matter where you start your college path.

3 The College Board, AP: The Score-Setting Process, 2012.

4 The College Board, AP: Registering, 2012.