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Easiest AP Classes You Can Take

AP Classes are typically more difficult than regular courses in high school. But they are not all the same level of difficulty. If you’re looking for the easiest AP Classes, you’re in the right place. We’ve got a list of the statistically easiest AP Classes to help guide your decision. We’ll also include some advice to determine whether an AP Class could be easy for you.

If you’re just starting out with AP Classes, or if you have a loaded schedule this semester, it might make sense to seek out one of the easier AP Classes to take. It’s a good idea to ensure that you don’t bite off more than you can chew, and with easy AP Classes, you’ll get a college-level course, as well as a boosted weighted GPA and the potential to impress admissions officers, without too much extra work.

Related: Scholarships360’s free scholarship search tool

Easiest AP Classes based on AP Test scores

To evaluate which AP Classes are the easiest, we can start by looking at the percentage of students who pass the corresponding AP Exam. A passing grade is considered to be any grade between 3 and 5. We’ve compiled a chart here based off of the College Board’s May 2021 data release. The highest pass rate classes are ranked in descending higher from highest pass rate to lowest.

In addition to pass rate, we’re including the percentage of students who score a 5, which is the highest possible score on an AP Test. A higher percentage of students scoring a 5 indicates an easier test, and by proxy, an easier class.

Don’t miss: What is AP self-study?

Total vs. Standard Groups

We should also note that the College Board divides language test results into two categories: Standard and Total Groups. Total Groups are the overall scores on AP Tests, while Standard Groups only include students who have learned the language as a second language.

Total Groups have a higher passing rate because they include many students who are fluent in a language from the beginning, and only take the test to certify their proficiency. As a result, for this table, we used data from Standard Groups and excluded Total Groups.

Easiest AP Classes based on AP Test Scores

Class Name Percent passing grades Percent perfect scores
  1. Art and Design – 2D
87.1% 10.2%
  1. Art and Design – Drawing
86.2% 14.2%
  1. Seminar
85.0% 11.1%
  1. Research
81.5% 13.7%
  1. Spanish Language
77.1% 12.9%
  1. Calculus BC
75.2% 38.3%
  1. Physics C: Mechanics
73.5% 23.5%
  1. Comparative Government & Politics
71.8% 16.6%
  1. Art and Design – 3D
71.4% 6.5%
  1. Physics C: E&M
69.5% 32.6%

Numbers aren’t everything

Although this chart can be very useful for an at-a-glance view of the easiest AP Classes, you shouldn’t use it as your only source of information. Class difficulty can vary by teacher and school. Remember that these numbers are only based on AP Test scores. While these test scores are a good benchmark of how a student may have performed in a class, they don’t actually factor into their grade at all. 

Here are a few other strategies you can use to find the easiest AP Classes, and decide which are the best options available at your school.

Related: What happens if you fail an AP Exam?

Talk to teachers at your school

One of the best places to start finding the easiest AP Classes is to talk to the teacher you’d study under. AP Courses have pre-set curriculums, but teachers still have a lot of leeway in how they teach it. One teacher might have a much easier AP US History course than another. The level of homework, quizzes, and reading assignments can vary widely.

If you sit down with your potential teacher before enrolling, you can get a good idea of what the class will entail. Teachers don’t want their students to fail, and they will give you ample warning about any difficulty before the class starts. They’d rather you learn before class begins than once it’s too late. Try emailing your potential teacher, even if you’ve never talked to them before. It’s their job to consult with students and they should be happy to do it.

Talk to students who are in or have taken the class

While talking to teachers is a great idea, perhaps an even better one is to talk to a trustworthy peer who has either taken the class or is currently enrolled. They’ll give you an honest rundown of what it’s actually like to be in the class and how much time they have to devote to their studies. This is a great way to get a good picture of what you’ll be asked to do.

If possible, it’s a good idea to get the perspective of a couple of different students. Each student has their own idea of what constitutes an intensive course, and so it’s good to get a breadth of opinions. Talking to students may also help you find the easiest AP teacher at your school. If two different teachers offer the same AP Course, one might be more lenient in homework and assignments.

Related: Most difficult AP Classes

Look at a practice AP Test for the class

Before enrolling in an AP Class, it’s a good idea to look over its corresponding AP Exam. You can find free AP Exams online, and many tutoring sites offer free practice tests. While they might make you pay to continue taking exams, these sites should serve perfectly for surveying a class you’re considering taking.

But don’t be offput if the exam seems difficult at first glance – it’s natural that you don’t know the material yet – that’s why you’re taking the course! But you should check to see whether the type of information on the exam is typically easily digestible for your brain, and if it’s something you’re interested in learning about.

Discuss your schedule with your guidance counselor

Your high school guidance counselor might also be able to help you craft an approachable schedule with some easy AP Classes. Guidance counselors can vary in availability by school, so some students might find it harder to make an appointment. However, if you’re able to get a meeting, a guidance counselor can be a great resource.

Students who have a hard time meeting with their guidance counselor should also consider CollegePoint. The organization matches low-income high schoolers to a college student who serves as a virtual guidance counselor throughout high school and college admissions. This can be hugely helpful not only in finding easy AP Classes, but also for every step of the admissions process.

Also see: How to get an AP Fee Reduction

Key Takeaways

Key Takeaways

  • The difficulty of AP Classes varies by individual class and school; different teachers can run more challenging courses than others, even if they are teaching the same curriculum
  • You’ll also find AP Classes that are in your wheelhouse to be easier than those which are out of your normal comfort zone
  • If you are looking to take AP Classes that will not demand too much of your time for the semester, try talking to upperclassmen to get an idea of how each teacher runs their class
Key Takeaways

Next steps

Now that you’ve seen our list and tips, you can continue your search for an AP Class that’s a good fit. It’s a good idea to balance the data from the table with the information you gather by talking to people at your school and examining your own academic strengths and weaknesses.

As a high school student looking at AP Classes, you probably have a lot on your mind for how to best use your high school years. We’ve got lots of resources for you to help you enjoy your time in high school while setting yourself up for success when it comes time to apply for college.

Check out our article on why extracurricular activities are so important, as well as our guide to dual enrollment, which shares a lot in common with AP Classes. You can also check our guide to successful college applications and our list of the best high school internships. Finally, it’s never too early to start looking at scholarships! Check out our free scholarship search tool, which custom-matches you with scholarships based on your age, demographics, interests, and location. Good luck!