The Iowa AP Index

The Top 50 AP Schools In Iowa

The AP Program

The College Board’s Advanced Placement Program allows students to pursue college-level studies and take college-level exams while in high school. In May 2022, more than 2.6 million students took approximately 4.7 million AP Exams in 38 subjects. AP exams provide a uniform standard of academic accomplishment across geography, economic status, ethnicity, and school size. Students can earn college credit or advanced placement in college courses with a qualifying AP Exam score at thousands of colleges and universities. An AP Exam score of 5 is considered top-level work in a corresponding college course; many colleges and universities recognize an exam score of 3 with college credit or advanced placement in college courses.

AP courses and exams are a rigorous and meaningful indicator of academic preparation for college (Geiser & Santelices, 2004). Keng and Dodd (2008) report that “AP Credit students consistently outperformed non-AP students of similar academic ability in all college outcome measures” (p. 1).

AP courses and exams also help students:

  • Stand out in the college admissions process.
  • Earn academic scholarships and awards from colleges and universities.
  • Experience college-level academics now, while they're still in high school.
  • Save time and money once they get to college, providing them with more study options and allowing them to move directly into upper-level courses in their field of interest.

To continue reading about the AP Program, visit the College Board's website.


AP Data and Research 2022

Geiser, S., & Santelices, V. (2004). The role of Advanced Placement and honors courses in college admissions (Paper CSHE-4-04). Berkeley, CA: UC Berkeley, Center for Studies in Higher Education.

Keng, L., & Dodd, B. G. (2008). A comparison of college performances of AP and Non-AP student groups in 10 subject areas (College Board Research Report No. 2008-7). New York, NY: The College Board.