How Many Points does an AP Class add to Your GPA?

How Many Points does an AP Class add to Your GPA?

To know how many points does an AP class add to your GPA….Read on this article….!


From the time one is in school, preparations are made to achieve a seat at one of the best colleges. This is done in terms of a high GPA, participating in various competitions and events, and adding skills to flaunt on your application form. One of the common ways to add credit points to your GPA is to take AP class- or at least that’s what is told. Many students blindly opt for AP classes thinking that it’s tough and would be better to take. The rest opt for the same because they’re under the presumption that it’s the better option. However, there are pros and cons to taking AP classes. Also, how many points does it add to your GPA? Find out as you read on.  

What is an AP class and how is it different from regular classes? 

An AP class, also known as an Advancement Program, is designed for college-level preparations. One may call it higher learning or so, the idea is to give you a taste of what college life will be before you get to it. You’ll be learning more or less the same main topics, the methods and structures are more suited for college-level minds. 

However, being the more sophisticated and challenging version of regular classes, these are also the smarter option. In simpler terms, a B in an AP class is way better than an A in a regular one. However, the catch is that it’s not easy to get and a slight difference in grades can matter a lot. 

How does an AP class affect your GPA

Since the curriculum is set to a higher level of skills, there is a lower expectation for AP grades. Most college applications want to see an O or A+ grade for regular class students, a B on your AP report would still suffice. If you’re thinking that’s great, you may want to reconsider. 

This benefit has its limit as well. In the 5-points grading system most schools follow, you receive a credit that adds up to your GPA only if you score 4 or 5 on 5 on your AP class tests. Even 3 is not that bad a score but it’s not as promising. Acquiring these kinds of grades isn’t easy. It is a challenge to score on AP tests given the level set beyond one’s natural capacities. 

Think of it this way, a higher class has a higher scope and higher hardships to achieve. Here are a few ways in which AP classes may be of use in your application 

  • As credit 

First of all, AP classes add credit. Unlike what many assume, an AP class will only add credit if you score a 4 or a 5, i.e. an A or B. Anything below will add minimal value and not count as the wholesome credit that you think. Few colleges cut some slack and provide credit for a C grade.

  • As a general addition

If you don’t get that credit from your AP classes, they still don’t go to waste. A mention of AP classes on your application allows you to skip the introductory phases of a few classes. Not all, but it counts for some benefit overall. 

  • On the scoreboard! 

Your grade card gets more value with AP classes. The concept of weighted and unweighted GPA plays a significant role in adding scores from your AP classes to increase your overall GPA. If you want to boost your GPA, you can opt for AP classes but you’ll have to work hard to show a notable difference!

  • Point system 

How does the point system get affected when you take AP classes? Good question. This entirely depends on your score and figures. A simpler calculation tells that there is at least a difference of one point between your AP classes and regular ones. If you scored a four on your regular test, it’ll be a four but a four on your AP is equivalent to a 5 in a regular test score. Similarly, a three on an AP test is as good as a four, 2 is as good as a 3, and so on. The best part is a 4 in an AP test gives you an A on your grade card indicating a full 5 points in the regular structure!

Things to consider before opting for AP courses

While you can slog and strive your way forward and earn that 4 on your AP tests, you may want to consider other factors:

  • Costly – AP classes can be very costly compared to regular ones given the extensive methods. Therefore, you want to think hard about whether you want this option or not.
  • Hard to master – needless to say, they’re tougher than regular classes. If a four is as good as a 5 in an AP class, it’s going to be hard to learn. If studying is not your best feature, you may want to stick to regular classes 
  • Close differences in scores matter – while everyone is boasting of a 4 and 5 point on an AP test, points below three can take a negative toll. Regular classes would have got you a B which would be okay but getting a C that shows on your grade card might affect your overall performance.  


AP classes have more defined methods of teaching and curriculums that are designed from college perspectives. Mostly, the grading system can be beneficial compared to that of a regular class. If you can get a good grade on your AP test, go for it. If you’re shaky you may as well boost your grades with the regular classes. 

  • If one gets a B on my AP test, is it good? 

Yes. A B grade on an AP test could refer to a three that shows as a four overall on your grade card. 

  • Is it bad to get below three on an AP test?

It’s not bad per se. However, scores lower than three would mark for a C or D which is not a favorable grade to see on grade cards. You may as well do regular classes and get a solid B instead.