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Whether you want to build your resume, earn college credit, or challenge yourself in high school, AP courses offer various advantages. And since all Advanced Placement (AP) has the same amount of credit, finding the easiest ones can help you reach your goals.
However, sometimes it can be difficult to find the time or resources to take an AP class. The good news is that you can self-study for an AP exam without being enrolled in a formal class. Each year, thousands of students prepare for and take the exams independently with great success.
This blog post will look at the easiest AP classes to self-study so you can decide which one is right for you.
You might also enjoy reading: A Level Vs. AP Exam: Which One Is Right For You? (Including their key differences)
How To Self-Study For An AP Course?
- If you are taking foreign languages, such as Chinese, Japanese, or Latin, I suggest you find a tutor or supplemental resources.
- If you love music and have been taking music lessons when you are a kid. In addition, if you are lucky to have a good music teacher who can teach you Music Theory, you will find this AP course easy and increase your chances of scoring high.
If you can learn discipline, you should be able to take an AP course and score higher on your exam. More importantly, taking an AP course will teach you how to study a broad range of subjects thoroughly and efficiently.
1- AP English Literature and Composition
Many people consider English Literature to be one of the easier AP classes mostly because all the material is readily available in books and online, and anyone can access it.
Furthermore, AP English Literature and Composition exam covers reading comprehension strategies and writing skills such as argumentation and rhetoric. If you are like, you enjoy reading, this AP may be a good option for self-study since plenty of resources are available online to help guide your preparation.
Additionally, it’s important to familiarize yourself with rhetorical devices like simile, metaphor, and alliteration to recognize them when they appear in passages during the test.
2- AP Psychology
AP Psychology is another class that many people find easy enough to self-study for an AP exam. There are plenty of textbooks available on psychology from which you can learn concepts such as cognitive processes, social behavior, perception, and personal development.
The content covered on the AP Psychology exam includes basic psychological concepts such as memory formation or emotional development; theories from prominent psychologists like Freud or Skinner; research techniques; and ethical considerations related to psychological studies.
Many online resources, like podcasts or video lectures, can help guide your study sessions.
3- AP Calculus AB/BC
Calculus may seem difficult, but it can be studied independently for an AP test quite easily with the right materials. There are tons of textbooks available on calculus that provide detailed explanations about important concepts such as integrals, derivatives, limits, and series expansions, so make sure you have one handy before starting your studies.
AP Calculus AB and BC are among the 11 hardest AP classes, particularly for students who don’t enjoy mathematics.
Additionally, numerous online courses and practice tests will help you better understand the subject matter.
4- AP Art History
If you’re passionate about art history and have already completed some coursework in the subject, then this may be the right choice for you.
The AP Art History exam covers various topics worldwide, including architecture, painting, sculpture, and other visual arts.
You can find study materials online that will help you prepare for the exam, such as practice tests and review books.
It will also be helpful to visit museums or galleries in person so you can better understand how works of art are structured and composed.
5- AP Environmental Science
AP Environmental Science is among the easiest AP courses; however, it requires memorizing many terms.
While self-studying for AP Environmental Science, you will explore and examine the interrelationships of the natural world and analyze natural and human-made environmental issues.
In 2021, about half (around 50.3%) of the AP Environmental Science exam takers passed with a score of 3 or higher.
6- AP Human Geography
If I can return to high school, AP Human Geography will be among my AP courses. It is currently on the list of the most frequently tried by students.
In 2021, about 59.0% of students who took the AP Human Geography passed with a score of 3 or higher.
Words of caution: You might find AP Human Geography difficult if you don’t like subjects requiring a lot of memorization, analyzing, and critically observing social organization and its environmental impacts.
7- AP World Languages
If you love and fluently speak a language, you might find its AP exam relatively easy to self-study for it. Below is a list of the 7 AP language-related exams:
With its 88.2 % passing rate in 2021, the AP Chinese Language and Culture exam is one of the AP exams with the highest passing rates. The AP covers language skills, culture, and history and requires you to learn cultural concepts, including familial structure, the influence of art, science, technology, and political challenges.
8- AP Art and Design
AP Art and Design is not for everyone, but if you are an artist or designer, you will enjoy self-studying for this AP, increasing your chances of success.
Three AP Art and Design exams exist 2-D, 3-D, and Drawing. According to College Board, about 86 percent of students passed the AP Drawing exam.
The AP Art and Design exams require you to put together a portfolio of your original work and an investigative portfolio, including any research, inspiration, planning, and investigation of the material.
9- AP Computer Science Principles
AP Computer Science Principles is an elementary college-level computing course that teaches students the breadth of computer science.
AP Computer Science Principles is one of the most valuable and practical AP exams as it can help build your resume for college and earn you college credit, similar to all AP courses.
What to read next:
- 6 Reasons Why Statistics Is So Hard (And helpful tips for studying stats!)
- Is Taking AP Classes Worth It? (Including AP Classes Pros And Cons!)
- Do You Have To Take College Algebra Before Statistics?
Self-studying for an AP exam has become increasingly popular in recent years due to its convenience and affordability compared to traditional classroom learning.
However, before committing to self-studying any AP course, I suggest you carefully weigh all your options to ensure it’s right for your learning style and goals.
I hope this blog post has given insight into which AP classes are easiest to self-study so you can decide which is best suited for your needs. Any student can easily ace these exams with discipline, dedication, and determination!