Are AP Exams Hard?  

Worrying, “Are AP exams hard?” won’t make things easier. According to the Best Colleges, students consider AP Physics 1 the hardest AP subject. And a series of names follow AP Physics 1 in this list.

But just because it’s hard doesn’t mean studying for AP is impossible. You must learn those subjects clearly and know the technique to conquer them.

Here you will learn everything about the hardest AP subjects and how to study them efficiently. Let’s Go!

Are AP Exams Hard? Time to Know

1. AP Exams Vs. AP classes

The difficulty of an AP exam depends on how an AP subject is taught in a high school class. For example, if you have AP calculus, it will depend on your high school teacher’s ability to teach the curriculum.

Some high schools and teachers can teach AP subjects accurately. Therefore, those students can understand their course contents well and pass exams.

Otherwise, AP exams are similar. Some exams are more complex than the rest. However, please note that all AP exams are meant to earn college credits. So, the exams are more complex than average high school classes.

Adrian Yang, who is a high school student, when asked about AP exam difficulty, states,

“AP exams are hard if you’re not going to a good school. Students who attend top schools don’t notice any difference in AP exams. I attend a good school, so I find my AP classes easy.”

Source: (Quora)

Curious about the hardest AP classes?

Read “What are the Hardest AP Classes?” to learn about it.

2. AP exams: How Difficult is it to Pass one?

The average pass rate in AP tests is 65%.

Passing your AP exam is a relatively easy task. However, according to the College Board, scoring a 5 in your AP exams can be challenging, whether easy or difficult.

Here are 6 AP subjects, easy and hard, and their overall pass rate and perfect 5:

Subject Overall Pass Rate (3 and 4) 5 Score
AP Drawing 88% 14%
AP English Literature and Composition 60% 16.9%
AP Human Geography 53% 14%
AP European History 59% 13.5%
AP Environmental Science 54% 8.9%
AP Spanish Literature and Culture 64% 8.1%

Whether it’s the easiest AP class, like drawing, or one of the hardest AP classes, like AP environmental science, scoring a 5 seems difficult.
However, not being able to score 5 on an AP test doesn’t mean that the exam material is excruciating.

  • AP courses cover a tremendous amount of material, and some students cannot cover every material due to other activities.
  • Self-motivated and experienced students score more than those with lesser experience or motivation.

Judy Levy Pordes, an independent school leader and AP Chemistry, AP Physics, and AP Calculus tutor says,

“AP classes require students’ participation. Students cover college-level courses. Therefore, they need focus and involvement in class. This participation includes asking frequent questions and reading.

Moreover, homework is also essential while preparing for AP exams. If you don’t work independently, only attending classes won’t be enough”.

Source: (Quora)

3. Factors To Keep In Mind

It takes hard work to prepare for AP exams, whether AP Psychology or AP English Language.

 A few things to keep in mind when you start working on your AP classes:

  • Focus on practicing multiple-choice and free-response questions if you want a higher passing rate
  • Take as many notes as possible; it will help you while you self-study
  • Don’t blindly depend on your high-school teachers for the exams
  • Study new materials with your AP test in mind
  • Make investments in AP prep books
  • Get external help for AP classes
  • Be self-disciplined and organized if you want to finish your courses on time

Manjari Ganesan, who had taken various AP classes, says,

“One cannot manage AP classes if they aren’t organized. Moreover, taking notes for every AP class help, students understand their subjects better.”

Source: (Quora)

Check out EnthuZiastic AP Courses to learn with the best teachers.

So, AP Exams Are Hard Or Not?

AP exams aren’t hard. However, the effectiveness of AP classes in your high school affects the AP test’s difficulty.

If you have a good teacher and you are self-disciplined, cracking the AP exams and scoring a 5 isn’t difficult. If you want to take AP classes, it’s better to check out how AP classes are conducted in your high school and seek external help.

And before you know it, AP exams will be a cakewalk for you.

Enroll in EnthuZiastic’s AP classes, and rest assured knowing you can appear for your AP exam like a pro.


Will scoring a 5 on the AP exam affect my GPA positively?

Yes, scoring a 5 on your AP test will affect your GPA positively. Achieving the perfect score will also help you transfer college credit, not your GPA.

Can I take AP English Language with AP Biology?

If you want to pursue English language and biology in college, you can take them together. However, don’t pressurize yourself just because your teachers or parents are asking; there are many workloads around both subjects.

Will memorization help me to pass AP Science exams?

For theory, memorizing course contents will help you. But for practical exams, you need to understand the content by heart.

Will experience in studying economics help me while studying AP microeconomics?

Yes, studying Economics will help you for AP microeconomics exams. However, you must also follow your AP class regularly and do your homework.

Will computer science principles help me study AP computer science?

Your knowledge of computer science principles will help you study for AP computer science. So, if you want to take AP computer science, go ahead and take it.

Will my knowledge of Latin help me prepare for AP Spanish?

Yes, it will help you prepare for AP Spanish and make your preparation process easier. Prior knowledge in any subject will help you pass your AP exam effortlessly.

Can I take AP physics C instead of AP US history in my senior year?

You can take AP Physics C if you have studied AP physics 2 in junior high school. You can replace any subject. However, it would be best if you had the prerequisite of the subject to take the workload.

In which AP classes will I learn about Newtonian Mechanics?

You will have this course material in your AP Physics 1 class. You can take AP Physics 1 in high school if you want to learn about it.

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The difficulty of AP exams depends on your preparation and help. Remember AP subjects don’t have a low pass rate. That means the exam itself isn’t difficult. With a lot of work and conviction, you can crack any AP exam you want to. You can do it!

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