by | Feb 16, 2021

By Prep Expert

AP exams are graded on a scale of one to five.

One represents the lowest possible score, while five represents the highest possible score. Normally, a score of three is considered passing. However, many colleges require a score of four to five, in order to receive credit for their classes. To measure harder vs easier classes, the College Board provided data on the percentage of students in 2019 who received three or higher across exams.

You can use this as a measure of which classes are harder to score four and fives in:

ExamStudent % Who Scored 3 or Higher
 Studio Art: Drawing 91.1%
 Chinese Language and Culture 89.9%
 Spanish Language and Culture 88.7%
 Studio Art: 2-D Design 86.4%
 Spanish Language and Culture (Standard) 82.4%
 Physics C: Mechanics 81.8%
 Seminar 81.1%
 Calculus BC 81%
 Japanese Language and Culture 79.3%
 French Language and Culture 77.1%
 Research 75.9%
 French Language and Culture (Standard) 73.9%
 Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism 73%
 German Language and Culture 72.3%
 Spanish Literature 72.3%
 Computer Science Principles 71.9%
 Studio Art: 3-D Design 70%
 Computer Science A 69.6%
 Microeconomics 69.6%
 Chinese Language and Culture (Standard) 66.8%
 Italian Language and Culture 66.1%
 Government and Politics – Comparative 66%
 Physics 2 65.4%
 German Language and Culture (Standard) 65.1%
 Biology 64.7%
 Psychology 64.5%
 Music Theory 63.7%
 Art History 63.1%
 Latin 62.9%
 Japanese Language and Culture (Standard) 62.4%
 Italian Language and Culture (Standard) 62%
 Statistics 59.7%
 Macroeconomics 58.9%
 Calculus AB 58.4%
 European History 58.1%
 Chemistry 55.6%
 World History 55.3%
 Government and Politics – United States 55.1%
 English Language and Composition 54.3%
 United States History 53.7%
 Environmental Science 49.2%
 English Literature and Composition 49.7%
 Human Geography 49.1%
 Physics 1 45.4%


Here are the ten easiest AP exams:

These tests had the highest percentage of students scoring a 5 on them:

ExamStudent % Who Scored 5
 Art History 63.1%
 Chinese Language and Culture 60.1%
 Japanese Language and Culture 45.3%
 Calculus BC 43%
 Physics C: Mechanics 37.7%
 Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism 37.6%
 Computer Science A 26.7%
 Spanish Language and Culture 25.2%
 Microeconomics 24.3%
 Government and Politics – Comparative 22.4%


Here are the ten hardest AP exams, based on the 2019 data.

All of these tests have the lowest percentage of students scoring a 5 on them:

ExamStudent % Who Scored 5
 Italian Language and Culture (Standard) 5.8%
 English Literature and Composition 6.2%
 Physics 1 6.7%
 Seminar 7.1%
 Biology 7.2%
 German Language and Culture (Standard) 8.7%
 World History 8.6%
 Environmental Science 9.4%
 Spanish Literature 9.5%
 English Language and Composition 9.9%


Weil College Advising

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

You have Successfully Subscribed!