Which Are the Most Popular AP Classes?

most popular ap classes

Do you know how many AP classes you should take in high school?

If yes, then congratulations! You have done the groundwork and possess a good idea about the available AP courses.

The next step is to decide which AP subject to opt for.

I am here to help you with this challenging decision. That’s why I have come up with a list of the top 5 most popular AP classes.

Top 5 Most Popular AP Classes

AP subjects have, time and again, proved to be the most popular, depending on the following factors:

  • The number of students opting
  • Difficulty level
  • Pass rate
  • Interesting Course Structure

Apart from these factors, most high school students select these courses because they are genuinely interested in studying them.

Refer to this table to know the most popular AP classes at a glance:

AP Courses No. of Students who Sit for the Exam Pass Rate
AP English Language and Composition 520,771 62.1%
AP United States History 456,520 59.9%
AP English Literature and Composition 339,401 60.1%
AP World History 314,716 60%
AP United States Government and Politics 298,118 57.5%

1. AP English Language and Composition

Like any other AP class, AP English Language and Composition follows an introductory college-level syllabus. It especially focuses on understanding and using rhetoric in the prescribed text.

most popular AP classes

Simply put, AP English Language and Composition is all about the rhetorical play.

Rhetoric is the art of persuasion through the usage of effective grammar and logic. The four important rhetorical appeals are- ethos, pathos, logos and kairos.

As a prospective student, you must read various texts to analyze the author’s arguments, style, and composition structure.

Primary Objectives

As the name suggests, AP English Language and Composition hones the verbose skills of the students by developing the following abilities:

Rhetorical Skills: You should be able to use rhetorical techniques in your essay compositions. At the same time, you are expected to read and recognize rhetorical devices in other works of the prescribed authors.

Argumentative Skills: You should be able to apply compelling arguments and facts in your essay writing to either prove or dismiss the author’s ideas.

Recognizing Writing Style: Lastly, you should be able to identify a writer’s distinctive stylistic decisions. Discuss how those decisions support the writer’s point.

Course Syllabus

AP English Language and Composition classes contain famous speeches, letters, and essays as rhetorical non-fiction writing. These texts can be recent or several decades old.

Free Response Questions

There are three kinds of free response questions:

Rhetorical Essay: You will be given a written text. Afterward, you have to write an essay explaining how it relates to the author’s overall message or subject.

Synthesis Essay: You will be given a prompt as well as various reading materials. With the help of these materials, you have to write an essay that draws support from the sources.

Argumentative Essay: You will be presented with a query, remark, or statement. Then you have to write an essay that either supports the argument, refutes it, or explains it.

2. AP United States History

AP United States History counts as one of the most popular AP courses. If you are considering getting an ‘A’ in AP United States History, read the following carefully.

AP United States History

Primary Objectives

By enrolling in AP United States History, you develop skills like:

Critical Thinking Skills: This subject promotes critical thinking abilities. Students are taught to assess primary source documents and take historical context into account while analyzing them.

Argumentative Skills: You develop your argumentative skills by presenting historically accurate statements with necessary supporting data.

Course Syllabus

AP U.S. History covers the period from 1491 to the present. The first topics covered in the course are Native American cultures and the New World exploration by the Europeans.

Before finally advancing into the 20th century, the information discusses the European colonies in North America, the Revolutionary War, the Republic’s early days, and the Civil War.

Still wondering about the cost of AP exam?

Read How Much Does an AP Exam Cost to find out.

3. AP English Literature and Composition

AP English Literature and Composition is one of the most enjoyable courses. I recall thoroughly liking this subject when I opted for it during my junior year. The regular mock exams and writings keep you on your toes. But you need to know a few things that will help you excel in this subject.

AP English Literature and Composition

Primary Objective

Developing such interpretative skills is necessary to excel in AP English Literature and Composition:

Analyzing Text: You should be able to describe the purpose of the narrators, speakers, storyline, setting, and structure.

Rhetoric and Prosody: As part of the course, you need to explain how language, visuals, symbolism, and comparisons work.

Argumentative Skills: For this skill, you should be able to construct arguments from the given texts to support your interpretation of the same.

Course Syllabus

According to the College Board, “The AP English Literature and Composition course focuses on reading, analyzing, and writing about imaginative literature (fiction, poetry, drama) from various periods.”

AP English literature and composition is a reasonably fast-paced English subject. You have to read a lot to keep up with the curriculum and understand complex materials. You also acquire a working grasp of literary ideas through regular writing tasks.

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

4. AP World History

Keeping aside its popularity, AP World History can be a challenging subject. Still, it is one of the most popular AP classes.

AP World History

Primary Objectives

Is rote learning the only skill required to score well in AP World History? That is not true. Forget rote learning and develop these skills instead:

Research Skills: As a student of AP World History, you must carefully examine materials, pinpoint historical processes, and effectively present their contents.

Evaluative Skills: You are challenged in this course to recognize statements from primary and secondary sources. After doing the same, analyze the evidence, and create arguments based on the source materials.

Course Syllabus

AP World History mainly covers economic, political, social, and cultural developments from 1200 to the present. Try studying primary materials, photographs, and other historical documents to improve your comprehension of historical inquiry.

5. AP United States Government and Politics

This subject will prove worthwhile for the ones who are seeking a career within governance. Keep the following details in mind before enrolling in this course.

AP United States Government and Politics

Primary Objectives

Memorization Skills: This subject covers an ample amount of facts. Therefore, you must follow and develop all the memorization techniques on the internet.

Critical Thinking Abilities: In this course, you relate historical choices and themes to present events. The best way to do this is to bring what you learn in class about American politics to the actual world. This makes critical thinking particularly crucial.

Course Syllabus

With a focus on political philosophy and the various governmental branches, AP U.S. Government and Politics explores the subject of American democracy. This course examines the American government’s foundations and theoretical and practical development of American political thought.

Additionally, the class looks at how people influence politics and the government.

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?


How many AP classes are impressive?

Try to take four to eight AP examinations in your junior and senior years.

What AP classes do Ivy Leagues like?

Most colleges, as well as the Ivy League, value students who excel in challenging classes while maintaining a high GPA. You can select subjects from AP English, AP Chemistry, AP Biology, AP Calculus AB, AP Psychology, AP Human Geography, AP Physics C, or AP Computer Science Principles.

What are the top 5 easiest AP Classes?

High school students have ranked AP Computer Science Principles, AP Chinese Language and Culture, AP Psychology, AP Human Geography, and AP Environmental Science as the easiest AP classes.

What is the toughest AP exam?

AP Physics 1 is considered as the toughest AP class with the students spending 25% of their time performing college-level lab experiments.

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In Conclusion

If your interest is outside the most popular AP classes, then do not worry! Just follow your passion, and you will successfully select the AP subject that will challenge you the most intellectually!

It is okay not to like what everybody likes! It is okay to think differently and want different things in life!

I hope you enjoyed reading this article as much as I enjoyed writing it! I’ll see you next with another blog to help you with your AP Preparations.

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