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Advanced Placement 2021-02-05T08:04:38-07:00

Advanced Placement (AP)® is a program of the College Board. Students in AP courses do college-level work in high school classes. At the end of the year, students can take the corresponding AP exam. When students earn a score of 3 or higher (on a 5-point scale), they may qualify for college credit.

AP Classes

There are 38 different AP courses. AP classes are taught by high school teachers on high school campuses (or online) during the regular school day. Some schools may have pre-requisites for students who wish to enroll in AP classes, or requirements for teachers interested in teaching AP classes. Some schools offer students weighted GPA scores for AP classes, but the course work itself does not qualify for college credit.

AP Exams

All public colleges and universities in the state of New Mexico guarantee college credit to students who earn a 3, 4, or 5 on an AP exam. Thousands of institutions of higher education across the country and around the world also grant college credit for AP exams.

AP exams take place in May. The courses are designed to prepare students to succeed on the exam, but students may take an AP exam without having completed the course. Most students take the AP exam at their own high school campus. The exams are scored on a scale from 1 to 5, last for two to three hours, and consist of both multiple choice and written questions.

Students must pay a fee to take an AP exam. In 2021, most* exams are $95. Some schools pay the cost of the exam. The College Board reduces the fee for students whose households qualify for free or reduced-price lunch, and the New Mexico Public Education Department pays an additional portion of their exam fee, so that qualified students only pay $3 per exam. For more information, see the Fee Reduction Program.

*Additional fees apply to AP Capstone, cancelled exams, and exams requested after the ordering deadline.

Benefits of Taking an AP Course

Although students can expect that AP classes are more rigorous than regular high school classes in the same subject, they are worth the effort for those willing to try. Besides potentially earning college credit, just a few of the many reasons to take AP are:

  • AP classes provide a challenging and engaging environment where students get a taste of college work, boost college skills and increase their confidence.
  • AP students are more likely to be accepted by the college of their choice.
  • AP students are more likely to graduate from college in four years.

Online AP

Public and charter schools in New Mexico can offer tuition-free online Advanced Placement courses that are not offered on their own campus, without having to supply their own teacher. Twenty four courses are available through multiple vendor partners. Schools can enroll as little as one student and must participate in a mandatory webinar before applying for the tuition scholarship. Contact the Advanced Placement Coordinator for more information.

Professional Development and Coaching for AP

New Mexico teachers benefit from workshops throughout the school year as well as AP Summer Institute. The New Mexico Public Education Department pays the registration fee for teachers in New Mexico’s public and charter schools to attend these in-state events, as well as travel expenses for teachers who live a considerable distance from the venue. Visit for information and registration as the events develop. Additional opportunities include workshops and trainings offered through other conferences and venues.

New Mexico public and charter schools benefit from the services of two College Board regional coaches, who are available by phone, email or in-person at no cost to the school or district. The coaches can assist with any College Board matters for students, teachers and administrators, as well as coordinate personalized training as needed.

Coach 1: Pam Richards (

Coach 2: Gloria Lueras-Kidd (

The Value of PSAT

When students take the PSAT, they receive more than just a prediction of their SAT score. Among other benefits:

  • Students can link their College Board account to a Khan Academy account to get personalized exam practice.
  • Students discover their AP Potential – a list of AP exams on which they are likely to score 3 or higher. Schools can use this information to help develop course schedules.

All versions of the PSAT are now administered through the Assessment Bureau. For more information, contact the College Board Program Coordinator.

AP Exam Policies and Guidelines:

Resources for teachers and students (English, Spanish and Diné):

AP course list with descriptions:

New Mexico Higher Education Department Advanced Placement Credit Policy:

College Board credit search policy:

Fee Reduction Program:

AP Professional Development in New Mexico:

Florida Virtual School:

VHS Learning:


Please contact NMPED’s Advanced Placement Coordinator for more information.

Page last updated February 5, 2021