What You Should Know About Online AP® Classes

Online High School Student working on her laptop

In-Person and Online AP Classes Require Syllabus Approval

In order for an AP course to be approved, the syllabus must be submitted and approved by the College Board regardless of if it was done online or in-person. In a traditional school setting, the AP course teacher submits the syllabus. However, in an online school setting, the curriculum department submits the syllabi for all AP courses in each subject offered. In this instance, all online teachers use the same approved syllabus.

Flexibility to Determine AP Course Prerequisites

In terms of prerequisites, each traditional and online school makes its own rules. While the College Board has recommendations for prerequisite courses, each school has the flexibility to decide which prerequisite courses it will require a student to pass before they may take an AP course. 

In-Person AP Exams

It is possible for AP tests to be administered by online schools, but this is uncommon. While the College Board grants traditional schools the ability to administer AP tests, online schools are not granted this privilege automatically. Many online students are generally referred to local brick-and-mortar schools to take these exams. 

A student taking AP classes online.

Middle School Students and AP Classes

Middle school students can start preparing for high school AP courses by considering their personal strengths and interests. If a middle school student has a particularly strong interest in a certain subject, then they can talk with school counselors and teachers to determine which classes will provide an academically rigorous foundation. 

A student researching online AP courses.

1. Focus on Their Subject of Interest

By taking advantage of the most rigorous courses in a particular subject area, the student will likely demonstrate to college admissions advisors that they have already started pursuing extra coursework in their area of interest. 

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