How Much Do AP Classes Boost Your GPA?

how much do ap classes boost your gpa

AP classes boost your GPA by 0.1 to 1.0.

But there are a lot of ifs and but’s around it.

Many students get weaved in the dilemma of knowing how much do AP classes boost your GPA.

However, worry not! We have got you covered.

Do AP Classes Boost your GPA?

Yes, AP classes boost your GPA. But it depends if your school offers that particular course or not.

Let’s say your school provides AP English, French, Maths, and Science courses. So you can appear for the AP level of these courses and get the respective points as prescribed by your school in your weighted GPA.

However, since History AP classes are not offered in your school, you can’t expect a GPA rise in that subject.

Students may still take the AP exam at any testing site in their area, even if their school does not offer the corresponding AP courses. But this will not ensure additional grade points (but it provides additional benefits, keep reading to know them!)

Yes, AP classes available in your school increase your GPA.

Some students prefer self-study APs. But remember that this is difficult and won’t help your grade point average.

Enroll in an AP class for a structured way of learning, and crack the exam without much hassle.

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

How much do AP Classes Boost your GPA?

GPAs are way too difficult to calculate and may give room for ambiguity. Students often get worried about the impact of GPA, how they can be used in college semesters, college admission, etc.

However, to understand how AP classes can boost your unweighted GPA, let’s understand the concept of weighted and non-weighted GPA.

  • Non-weighted or unweighted GPA indicates the score of your regular coursework solely.
  • Whereas, weighted GPA indicates the score of your regular coursework and considers the difficulty level of the examination that comes with taking additional level courses (by additional level courses, we mean Honours, AP, or IB exams).

How much AP classes boost your GPA depends on 2 main factors:

  • Your school’s grading scales for advanced courses
  • The number of AP classes you have opted for

Let’s understand these 2 factors to see how much your GPA will increase.

Standard AP Class Grading Scale

Most schools offer one extra grade point for each AP class you enroll in.

As a result, your GPA will now be calculated on a scale of 1 to 5 and become weighted, which was earlier from 1 to 4.

All you need to do is score at least passing marks in the AP exam, i.e., 2 to 3 out of 5.

Refer to this table to understand how your grade varies in this case.

Letter grade Range Actual marks AP
A+ 97-100 4.0 5.0
A 93-96 4.0 5.0
A- 90-92 3.7 4.7
B+ 87-89 3.3 4.3
B 83-86 3.0 4.0
B- 80-82 2.7 3.7
C+ 77-79 2.3 3.3
C 73-76 2.0 3.0
C- 70-72 1.7 2.7
D+ 67-69 1.3 2.3
D 63-66 1.0 2.0
D- 60-62 0.7 1.7
F 0-59 0.0 0.0

To further understand this, let’s take a sample case:

Course Grade Regular Grade Standard Weighted Grade (upon doing AP course)
AP English A 3.7 4.7
AP Computer Science B+ 3.3 4.3
Mathematics A 4.0 4.0
Geography A- 3.7 3.7
AP World History B- 2.7 3.7
Total GPA (sum of scores/5) 3.48 4.08


  • Five demo subjects are taken, out of which 3 are AP.
  • Weighted Values vary for other advanced courses like Honors and IB courses.
  • AP beside the course name indicates that the course is of the AP level.
  • There is an increase of 1.0-grade points (AP score) for every AP course.

From this table, note that an applicant who didn’t have a good grade in geography upon appearing for AP geography gets an additional grade point and an overall increase in GPA.

Had he taken all 5 AP, the GPA would have increased by 1, i.e., GPA would now be 4.48.

However, it’s advisable not to enroll in too many AP classes. They require an additional investment of time even if you have enough time and are challenging as compared to regular courses. Enrolling in 3-4 is more than enough.

Read: How many AP classes should I take?

Non-Standard Grading system

Is the above standard grading followed everywhere?

No, although the standard pattern is followed across most schools, few schools also have a variable distribution of points depending on your existing GPA in the subject.

Refer to the table below:

Letter grade Range Actual marks AP
A+ 97-100 4.0 4.3
A 93-96 4.0 4.3
A- 90-92 3.7 3.9
B+ 87-89 3.3 3.5
B 83-86 3.0 3.2
B- 80-82 2.7 2.9
C+ 77-79 2.3 2.4
C 73-76 2.0 2.1
C- 70-72 1.7 1.8
D+ 67-69 1.3 1.4
D 63-66 1.0 1.1
D- 60-62 0.7 0.9
F 0-59 0.0 0.0

In the above tables, we can see that as the score lowers, the weightage of the AP class also reduces, i.e., 1 full grade point for the maximum score and 0 in the case of the lowest.

Let’s understand it with an example following the 1.25 grading:

Course Grade Regular Grade 1.25 Weighted Grade
AP English A 3.7 4.625
AP Computer Science B+ 4.0 5.0
AP Mathematics A 3.0 3.75
Geography A- 3.7 3.7
World History B- 2.7 2.7
Total GPA (sum of scores/5) 3.42 3.955


  • The rise in GPA was by 0.535.
  • See how taking an AP course in Computer with a good existing GPA gave him a full 1 GP and impacted his overall score better.
Pro Tip: It’s better to consult the school’s administration and admission officers regarding their grading system and proceed accordingly.

The demerit of such a system is that if you already have a low existing GPA, AP classes won’t contribute much to it. However, there is still a fix for this as well. Keep reading!

What to do if your School Follows a Non-Standard Grading System?

Life is tough for you if your school follows the nonlinear grading system, but here is the fix!

AP classes are quite advanced, as their name suggests. If you have scored less in a particular subject, it signifies that you are weak in it. But the key is here.

Pro Tip: You may use your AP classes as a counterweight to subjects in which you are weak.

  • If you’re not very good at English and have an AP score of C but excel in AP Maths with A, you can end up with a better cumulative grade point average than if you’d taken standard high school Maths instead.
  • Enrolling in easy AP classes like Psychology and Environmental science can fetch you good marks without much struggle.

AP Resources

How much do AP exams cost? AP vs Honors
AP Class Benefits How long does AP test take?
Life of an AP student How many AP classes should I take?


Is the AP class the same as the Honors course?

No, both of them are different and impact your college applications, transcripts, high GPA, college credits, and semesters differently. Read AP vs Honors to know more about the difference.

Is taking AP classes common among high-school students?

Advanced Placement courses may work wonders for your high GPA and college applications. The popularity of these rigorous, college-level courses has skyrocketed in the last decade, as seen by a 43% increase in the number of applicants in the United States taking AP exams between 2010 and 2020.

Is AP class mandatory for getting college admission into the top colleges?

Having this on your side improves your chances of getting into your dream school and ivy league schools like Standford to a great extent. However, note that getting into your dream college is a mixture of good grades, SAT test scores, AP scores, good prep, extracurriculars, enrollment in advanced courses, etc. At the same time, please note that selective colleges provide a lot of benefits for AP applicants.

Should I enter my weighted or unweighted GPA in the college application process?

Usually, you need to add your weighted GPA only for college applications. However, if specifically needed, they will mention the requirement of an unweighted GPA in the form itself.

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So, how much do AP classes boost your GPA? In a nutshell, you can expect a GPA to rise anywhere between 0.1 to 1.0 depending on the number of AP classes you enroll in and the school grading scheme.

Having already great scores provides you with the maximum benefits, whereas a low GPA can still be compensated by opting for your strong points or easy ones and scoring well in them. So worry not!

But are you avoiding an advanced course because you think you won’t be able to handle the vast content? Please allow us to assist you. Our professional team of Advanced Placement (AP) tutors at Enthuziastic can help you with a plan to boost your GPA today. Visit us today!

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