Can You Take An AP Exam Without Taking The Class?

We all know that AP classes are specifically designed to give you the experience of an intro-level college class while you’re still in high school. Moreover, taking this course can earn you extra credits for college, literally making your college application shine if you have scored well. 

Generally, many people recommend that you take the AP class before directly jumping into the AP exam. But in case you are wondering if there is another way around it? Then let me clear this up for you: there is another way around this case. 

This post will cover everything you need about self-studying for an AP exam.

Can You Self-Study for An AP Exam?

AP classes have their advantages. Considering how it is specifically designed to help the students pass their AP exams, it is generally expected that you take the class along with the exam. But if you don’t have the time to take the course, then you can prepare for the exam with your self-study. 

Though you might face a lot of problems and confusion during your study sessions, with the help of the best resource and a strict study routine, achieving this feat is not entirely impossible. 

Therefore, let us give you a thorough rundown of all the essential resources that will come in handy while you are at your self-study. 

Resources for AP Study

Next in line, we have curated a list of three online resources students can check out to find helpful online material for their AP preparation. 

  1. College Board Website: This website gives you online access to notes, exam papers, and video links that can be helpful when you are studying independently. The website is free, and it is aligned explicitly with AP courses as well.
  2. Advanced Placement YouTube Channel: This YouTube channel is dedicated to teaching AP-related courses. It covers most of the subjects wherein the courses start by covering chapters first and end with a review of exam questions. 
  1. Website: This website has full-length practice exams, free response questions, and answers for students and teachers on various AP subjects. With a course that is based on AP subjects and a guide that provides a good explanation, the only con of this platform is that it is only partially accessible. Most of the resources cost between 17-79 dollars. 

How Many APs Can You Self-Study?

There is no bar on how many APs you can take in one school year. However, there are a few colleges that do not accept AP credits, too. Depending on the amount of college coursework you can take up yourself, you can take as many AP exams as you wish. The average student gives three exams over their high school career and passing these three exams with golden colors lands them good college admission. 

So if you are wondering how many APs you can study on your own, then let me give you two most important points of consideration that could help you make your decision:

  1. Decide whether you have enough time or not. A typical subject will require you to devote a minimum of 3 hrs per week of study time. So, if you have the luxury of time and good retention power, you may study more than one or two APs independently. 
  2. If you have taken an AP exam while taking the non-AP version of the course, then you only need to supplement what you learn in class with the extra material covered on the AP exam. In that case, you can self-study more than one AP because one AP will require less preparation since you are also covering it in an honors class.

Do AP classes count if you don’t take the exam?

While the student can take an AP class out of their interest, it is generally advised that they take the exam because it would earn them college credits. Not taking the exam would mean no college credit. Also, a good AP grade means that you have more options to choose from while applying for college. 


For students who are appearing for the AP exam, and that too without taking any classes, a smart tip would be to have an AP exam checklist handy at all time. All said and done, you must remember that “where there is a will, there is a way”. Therefore, if you are sure you can pass the exam without enrolling yourself in the said course, then we wish you our best with your preparation. Study well and ace the exam. 

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