• AP exams are scored on 5 point grading system. We have provided a list of the easiest AP classes in terms of
    • the percentage of students scoring 3 and above.
    • the percentage of students who received a 5 (i.e., the highest possible score)
    • the easiest AP classes based on the opinions and experiences of students who took the AP classes and exams.
  • However, you should consider your interests as well as the difficulty level of AP classes when making a decision about which AP courses to take.

Advanced Placement classes are college-level courses that high school students can take to earn college credits. You can earn AP credits and skip the affiliated general education class if you score a 3 or higher. AP classes are a great way to challenge yourself academically and prepare for college.

Several factors can influence which AP classes are the easiest and most difficult. These considerations include a student’s academic strengths and weaknesses, as well as the volume and nature of the course material. You should consider your interests as well as the difficulty level of AP classes when making a decision about which AP courses to take.

Remember that determining easy or hard AP classes is a subjective process. Students perform well in classes where they perform best and are passionate about the subject matter. With that being said let’s know about the easiest AP classes!

Need help with your 2024 AP exam preparation? find top online AP tutors to help you ace the AP exam!

AP classes ranked by difficulty: Easiest to Hardest

AP exams pass rates or the percentage of students scoring 3 is one of the ways which can help you determine the easiest AP classes. The pass rate represents the percentage of students who received a 3 or higher, whereas the perfect score rate represents the percentage of students who received a 5 or higher (i.e., the highest possible score).

Easiest AP classes based on the percentage of students scoring 3 and above

The table below lists the most difficult AP classes in terms of exam pass rate for the year 2023

S.No. AP exam % of students score 3 & above
1 AP Seminar 88%
2 Drawing 85%
3 Chinese Lang. and Culture 85%
4 Spanish Language 84%
5 AP Research 84%
6 2-D Art and Design 84%
7 Calculus BC 78%
8 English Literature 77%
9 Japanese Lang. and Culture 75%
10 Chemistry 75%
11 French Language 74%
12 Physics C Mech. 73%
13 3-D Art and Design 72%
14 Italian Language and Culture 71%
15 Government and Politics, Comp. 71%
16 Physics C E&M 68%
17 Physics 2 – Algebra Based 68%
18 Computer Science Principles 68%
19 Spanish Literature 67%
20 Computer Science A 67%
21 Microeconomics 66%
22 German Language 66%
23 World History 65%
24 Macroeconomics 64%
25 Biology 64%
26 Art History 64%
27 Music Theory 61%
28 Statistics 60%
29 Psychology 60%
30 European History 59%
31 Calculus AB 58%
32 Latin 57%
33 English Language 56%
34 Human Geography 54%
35 Environmental Science 53%
36 Government and Politics, US 49%
37 United States History 48%
38 Physics 1 – Algebra Based 45%

Source: College Board

There are many factors that influence the difficulty of a subject. The assessment, based on each AP classes percentage of students scoring 3 and above, is highly subjective. The lower passing rate does indicate the difficulty level of the subject but not necessarily. This low passing rate can be a result of other reasons like low intake or only high-achieving students taking the course.

According to 2023 data, the percentage of students scoring 3 and above was highest for AP Seminar, Drawing, Chinese Lang. and Culture, Spanish Language, and AP Research.

Easiest AP classes based on the percentage of students scoring 5

The table below lists the easiest AP classes in terms of exam-perfect scores for the year 2023

S.No. AP exam % of students who scored 5
1 Physics 1 – Algebra Based 50.00%
2 United States History 47.00%
3 Government and Politics, US 42.00%
4 Environmental Science 31.00%
5 Human Geography 27.00%
6 English Language 24.00%
7 Latin 23.00%
8 Calculus AB 22.00%
9 Psychology 20.00%
10 European History 20.00%
11 Statistics 19.00%
12 Music Theory 18.00%
13 Art History 17.00%
14 German Language 16.00%
15 World History 16.00%
16 Macroeconomics 16.00%
17 Biology 16.00%
18 Physics 2 – Algebra Based 15.00%
19 Computer Science Principles 15.00%
20 Spanish Literature 15.00%
21 Computer Science A 15.00%
22 Microeconomics 15.00%
23 Physics C E&M 14.00%
24 Physics C Mech. 13.00%
25 3-D Art and Design 13.00%
26 Italian Language and Culture 13.00%
27 Government and Politics, Comp. 13.00%
28 English Literature 12.00%
29 Japanese Lang. and Culture 12.00%
30 Chemistry 12.00%
31 French Language 12.00%
32 2-D Art and Design 11.00%
33 Calculus BC 11.00%
34 AP Research 10.00%
35 Drawing 8.00%
36 Chinese Lang. and Culture 8.00%
37 Spanish Language 8.00%
38 AP Seminar 7.00%

There are many factors that influence the difficulty of a subject. The assessment, based on each AP classes percentage of students scoring 3 and above, is highly subjective. The lower passing rate does indicate the difficulty level of the subject but not necessarily. This low passing rate can be a result of other reasons like low intake or only high-achieving students taking the course.

Easiest AP classes in student’s opinion

We have taken the passing rate into consideration and drawn out a chart of the easiest AP classes based on the percentage of students who have secured the exam in the respective AP classes. But this list is very subjective and is also influenced by many factors.

For example, if you refer to the above table you can see that AP Physics C Mechanics has a passing rate of 76.10% which goes on to say that students perform fairly well in the Physics C Mechanics AP exam but if we go by the opinions of students who have appeared the Physics C Mechanics exam, it is considered one of the hardest subjects to pass. So, the passing rate of a subject can not fully determine its easiness.

But if we read about students’ views and opinions through popular surveys or YouTube videos, we can get a somewhat better idea of which are the easiest AP classes. So, we have gone through some popular channels like Reddit’s r/APStudents, Mahad Khan’s YouTube channel mahadthementor, and many more and compiled a list of the easiest AP classes based on opinions and experiences of students who took the AP classes and exams.

S. No. AP Class Course Difficulty

5- hard 1- easy

1 Computer Science Principles 1.4
2 Japanese 1.5
3 Psychology 1.7
4 Chinese 1.9
5 Computer Science A 2.1
6 Human Geography 2.1
7 Environmental Science 2.2
8 Microeconomics 2.2
9 US Comparative Government 2.2
10 US Government and Politics 2.2
11 Macroeconomics 2.3
12 Statistics 2.4
13 Seminar 2.5
14 Spanish Language 2.5
15 English Language 2.6
16 Calculus AB/BC 2.8
17 German 2.8
18 Research 2.8
19 Studio Art 3
20 US History 3
21 World History 3
22 Music Theory 3.1
23 Biology 3.2
24 European History 3.2
25 Physics 2 3.3
26 French 3.4
27 Physics 1 3.6
28 Chemistry 3.7
29 English Literature 3.7
30 Physics C – Mechanics 3.7
31 Spanish Literature 3.7
32 Physics C – E/M 4.1
33 Latin 4.3

Which are the easiest AP classes?

We have compiled a list of the easiest AP exams based on the percentage of students scoring 3 and above, the percentage of students who received a 5 (i.e., the highest possible score) and based on the opinions and experiences of students who took the AP classes and exams for the year 2023.

We have excluded AP Seminars, AP Research, AP Art and Design, and AP Language from consideration because they are portfolio-based courses.

Calculus BC

[3+ rate: 78%| Student Scoring 5: 11% | Reddit Survey Result 2.8/5]

AP Calculus BC has earned a reputation as an easy AP course because many of its students master the material. Most AP Calculus BC students perform at an advanced level — at least one year ahead of their high school class in math — helping them achieve a high pass rate.

The percentage of students scoring 3 and above for the AP Calculus BC exam is 78% for 2023. However, the exam is still challenging, and students who want to do well need to have a strong foundation in math and be willing to put in the time to study.

The course covers college-level differential and integral calculus concepts and functions. The exam lasts for roughly three hours and includes both multiple-choice and free-range questions. It is administered both in person and in a digital format.

English Literature

[3+ rate: 77%| Student Scoring 5: 12% | Reddit Survey Result: 3.7/5]

AP English Literature is considered a challenging AP course but according to the 2023 data, the percentage of students scoring 3 and above for AP English Literature is 77%.

The average pass rate for all AP exams in 2023 was 60.2%. This means that AP English Literature is a challenging course, but it is not impossible to succeed in.

There are a number of factors that can affect how difficult you find AP English Literature, including your prior experience with literature, your reading and writing skills, and your motivation. If you are a strong reader and writer, and you are motivated to learn about literature, then you are more likely to succeed in AP English Literature.

Chemistry

[3+ rate: 75%| Student Scoring 5: 12% | Reddit Survey Result 3.7/5]

According to student reviews the course is a 3.7/5 which is considerably hard but the percentage of students scoring 3 and above for AP Chemistry is 75%.

A pass rate of 75% is considered to be higher than average for AP exams. The average for all AP exams in 2023 was 60.2%. This means that AP Chemistry is a challenging course, but it is not impossible to succeed in.

There are a number of factors that can affect how difficult you find AP Chemistry, including your prior experience with chemistry, your math skills, and your motivation. If you are a strong math student and you are motivated to learn about chemistry, then you are more likely to succeed in AP Chemistry.

Physics C: Mechanics

[3+ rate: 73%| Student Scoring 5: 13% | Reddit Survey Result 3.7/5]

AP Physics C: Mechanics is considered to be one of the most difficult AP courses offered by the College Board. It covers a wide range of topics in classical mechanics, including kinematics, forces, energy, momentum, and rotational motion. The course also requires students to be able to solve complex problems and apply their knowledge to real-world applications.

A pass rate of 73% is considered to be higher than average for AP exams. The average for all AP exams in 2023 was 60.2%. This means that AP Physics C: Mechanics is a challenging course, but it is not impossible to succeed in.

AP Physics C: Mechanics is recommended for students planning to pursue a physics, math, or engineering degree.

Comparative Government and Politics

[3+ rate: 71%| Student Scoring 5: 13% | Reddit Survey Result 2.2/5]

AP Comparative Government and Politics compares and contrasts the governmental systems of countries like China, Iran, Mexico, Nigeria, Russia, and the United Kingdom. The curriculum touches lightly on each of these governments. Many students find the coursework less rigorous than that of the AP U.S. Government class.

The pass rate for the AP Comparative Government and Politics exam is 71%, which is higher than the average pass rate for all AP exams 60.2%. However, the exam is still challenging, and students who want to do well need to have a strong foundation in government and politics and be willing to put in the time to study.

How to choose the ideal AP classes for yourself?

There are 39 AP classes as of June 2023 that students can choose from and sometimes that decision can be hard and confusing. Here are some tips for helping you in choosing the ideal AP classes for yourself.

Take your strength into account

The most important things to think about when selecting an AP class are your own strengths and flaws. After all, you’re more likely to do well on a test in a subject that interests and excites you. So, even though the Physics 1 AP exam is reportedly difficult, if you’re strong in numerical subjects and enjoy physics, you might want to take it.

However, if you struggle with art history, you may not want to take a course in this subject, even if many students pass the AP exam. When in doubt, take AP classes in the fields in which you are most interested and willing to work.

Learn more about a class

To learn more about an AP class, speak with your guidance counselor first. Inquire about the syllabus, the class’s AP exam pass rate over the last few years, and what other students have to say about the class. This will give you an idea of how well a class is taught. Your guidance counselor can also suggest appropriate set criteria and teachers.

Next, if possible, speak with the teacher or a teacher who teaches the prerequisite class (for example, the Honors Biology teacher if you’re considering AP Biology). The teacher can tell you about the workload, what they expect from their students, and how much work they have.

At last, talk to senior kids at your school to find out what the buzz is about the class. Don’t rely on a single person’s opinion because students can overstate it, but instead look for general trends. For example, if everyone says AP Biology is extremely difficult, but they learned a great deal and passed the AP exam, it’s a sign that the class is worthwhile.

Examine educator experience

While students’ strengths should be considered when selecting AP classes, they should also consider the experience level of their faculty members. In general, the longer a teacher has been teaching an AP subject, the better the students who performed on the exam. So, if you have the option of taking a “harder” subject like Physics with a teacher who has 10 + years of experience or an “easier” subject like Art History with someone who has only two years of experience, you should probably choose the former.

Consider your overall schedule

Your schedule may also influence how well you perform in a difficult AP class. For example, AP Biology may be more feasible in your sophomore or senior year because you will not be concerned with the ACT/SAT. However, if you take it junior year, you may find balancing ACT or SAT prep with the AP Biology class difficult.

Before enrolling in any of the AP classes, consider your other classes, extracurricular activities, work schedule, and family obligations. You don’t want a difficult AP class to add to your hectic schedule. Similarly, do not feel obligated to overload AP classes in general. Even if you are under duress, more is not always better.

Conclusion

In this article, we have discussed some of the easiest AP classes, including AP Calculus BC, AP English Literature, AP Chemistry, Physics C: Mechanics, and AP Comparative Government and Politics. These classes are not impossible to succeed in, but they do require a lot of hard work and dedication.

The difficulty of an AP class can vary depending on the student’s individual strengths and weaknesses, as well as the rigor of the school’s curriculum. However, some AP classes are generally considered to be more difficult than others. These classes often is a challenging course, but it is not impossible to succeed in.

If you are considering taking one of these classes, be sure to do your research and make sure that you are prepared for the challenge.

Here are some tips for succeeding in an AP class:

  • Start studying early. The material in these classes is a lot to cover, so it is important to start studying early.
  • Take advantage of your teacher’s resources. Your teacher is a great resource for help with the material in these classes.
  • Join a study group. Studying with other students can help you stay motivated and learn the material more effectively.
  • Use practice exams. Practice exams are a great way to assess your knowledge and prepare for the real exam.

If you are willing to put in the hard work, you can succeed in even the AP classes. Just remember to stay organized, stay motivated, and ask for help when you need it.

Need help with your 2024 AP exam preparation? find top online AP tutors to help you ace the AP exam!

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

What is the clearest and simple AP Physics course?

While classifying easy AP classes is a subjective process, students can assess the potential difficulty by looking at the pass rate. More than 84% of students passed the Physics C: Mechanics exam in May 2020, according to the table above. Based on this result, a large number of test-takers may consider this course to be simple.

Can I take an AP exam without enrolling in classes?

Yes. Students can access test guides and sample tests that outline the topics covered in the exam. It is not necessary to attend the class in order to take or pass the test. Self-study, on the other hand, is not always easy and necessitates additional rigor, time, and dedication.

What are the easiest AP classes to self-study?

Students frequently self-study for AP Psychology, AP Environmental Science, and AP Human Geography classes. These subjects’ exams are generally brief and require little to no previous understanding of the subject. Students who can learn the vocabulary and memorize the material will benefit from this.

Which of the AP classes has the lowest pass rate?

All AP exams have a minimum passing rate of 50%. Physics 1 (failed by 48.4% of all students), Environmental Science (failed by 46.6% of all students), and Chemistry (failed by 43.9% of all students) are the most commonly failed AP exams.

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