Wouldn’t it be great to earn college credit for completing an AP class? After all, you learned college-level material at a rigorous pace before graduating high school. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy. Colleges only offer credit for AP classes if exam score requirements are met, which means you have to prove you learned and comprehended the material (if you want to take a college-level class in high school and earn credit without taking an exam, consider enrolling in dual enrollment classes). AP exam scores range from 1-5 with a high score of five and a passing score of three. Passing with a three seems good enough for college credit, right? Maybe, maybe not.

Each college and university determines their own AP score requirements for college credit. One college might only accept scores of fours and fives while another might accept threes. Not only do score requirements vary by college, they also vary by subject. For example, the University of Virginia accepts a four on the AP Calculus exam but requires a five on the AP Biology exam. And these scores can change from year to year.

The good news is that you can find AP subject score requirements for each Virginia college in one place. Click here and search for the college you plan to attend in the “Please select an institution” dropdown menu. You can now see a wealth of information including scores required for college credit on AP, IB, and CLEP exams. It also specifies if different scores are accepted based on a student’s major.  It’s helpful to compare score requirements of different colleges when considering what schools you might want to attend as it can give you some clues on the academic rigor expected at various schools.

A sample of the AP score requirements for a few of the most popular schools in Virginia can be found in the chart below:

AP History AP Calculus AB AP Chemistry AP Physics AP Literature
James Madison University 5 4 3 3 5
Radford University 4 3 3 3 4
University of Virginia 4 4 4 4 4
Virginia Commonwealth University 3 3 3 3 3
Virginia Tech 3 3 3 3 3

Interested in an out-of-state school? Click here, type the name of the college in the text box, then click search for that school’s AP exam score requirements.

*Data updated 8/22/2021