Skip To ContentSkip To Content

    AP Courses (Advanced Placement)

    2021 AP TESTING UPDATE: Please visit the 2021 AP Testing page for more details

    The high school Advanced Placement program is a College Board program that allows high school students to access college-level curriculum. This curriculum assists and prepares students for their college or university coursework.

    Earn College Credit

    Students who take AP exams, which are administered annually in May, can earn college credit, depending on their score and the college they plan to attend.

    As of May 2019, Senate Bill 5410 requires that all Washington state public “institutions of higher education must establish a coordinated, evidence-based policy for granting as many undergraduate college credits, as possible and appropriate, to students who have earned a minimum score of three on Advanced Placement exams” (RCW 28B.10.054).

    This means that students who earn a passing score on any AP exam and plan to attend a Washington state public institution can learn well ahead of time which type of college credit their college or university will award with the passage of the student’s AP exam. Students and families should check the college or university website to get further details regarding college credits and AP exam scores.

    High School Advanced Placement is coordinated through the district office to standardize AP testing practices districtwide, which supports Seattle Public Schools’ staff, students and families more consistently. AP testing coordinators use approved AP testing protocols and procedures in alignment with the Seattle Public Schools strategic plan which focuses on eliminating the opportunity gaps and ensures that students of color who are furthest from educational justice will graduate ready for college and careers. Read more about the district's strategic plan.

    There are several ways to learn more about how students may benefit from taking Advanced Placement courses. Students or families can talk with a high school counselor or AP Testing coordinator, or read more on the College Board website.

    AP Courses at Seattle Public Schools

    A variety of Advanced Placement Courses are offered districtwide at SPS high schools. On the next page, you can find a list of the 2019-20 AP Courses offered at 11 comprehensive high schools. AP Course offerings change annually based on staffing and student enrollment.

    Note: Chief Sealth and Ingraham high schools are International Baccalaureate (IB) schools, so they offer fewer AP Courses. Rainier Beach High School is also an International Baccalaureate school and does not offer AP courses. Read more about IB.

    High School AP Coordinators

    Please contact your high school’s AP coordinator if you have questions about AP testing or registration.

    Ballard Mike Broom,,
    AP information on Ballard website

    The Center School Alon Patashnik,,
    AP information on Center School website

    Cleveland Jennifer Kekuna,

    Franklin Jim Jeffreys,,
    AP information on Franklin website

    Garfield Tiffany Bigham,,
    AP information on Garfield website

    Nathan Hale Melinda Greene,,

    Ingraham Susan Knutsen,,
    AP information on Ingraham website

    Lincoln Todd Bittle,,
    AP information on Lincoln website

    Roosevelt Michael Kelly,,
    AP information on Rooseveltwebsite

    Chief Sealth Lori Douglas,

    West Seattle Amy Doll,,
    AP information on West Seattle website

    AP Exams and Course Grades

    AP exams, given each year in May, are standardized tests designed to measure how well students have mastered the content and skills of a specific AP course. 

    AP testing is highly encouraged, but not required. Per College Board, AP courses offer the opportunity to study a subject in-depth at the college level. This better prepares students for college work. If the student receives a high enough score on an AP exam, the student may be eligible for credit, advanced placement or both at most colleges in the United States.

    Teachers of AP courses may not attach final course grades based on a student’s willingness and/or ability to take the AP exam. This practice is contrary to SPS Racial Equity Policy #0030, which must ensure educational and racial equity for every student in each of our schools.

    Providing incentives to attempt the AP exam is acceptable as long as it supports a culturally responsive approach to teaching and supports the SPS Racial Equity Policy #0030. Read the Ensuring Educational and Racial Equity School Board Policy #0030

    AP Exam Two-step Registration Process

    Seattle Public School (SPS) students who wish to take AP exams at their high school must complete a two-step registration process.

    Step 1: Register for the Exam 

    Students must register for AP exams using the College Board Dashboard called MyAP.

    Typically, Step 1 of the AP registration process will occur in the student’s AP classroom with the teacher of the AP course well before the districtwide AP registration deadline. Teachers will share a join code with students in their AP class along with instructions for signing in and joining the teacher’s class section. Once students have joined the class sections on MyAP, they can register for their AP exams.

    Step 2: Pay for the Exam 

    Once students have registered online using the MyAP dashboard, students and/or families must make payment to take the exam(s) by the districtwide AP registration deadline of November 1, 2019. Students and families pay for their AP exams online with SchoolPay which is accessed through the Source or to the high school’s fiscal specialist depending on the school’s preference. Students and families should check with the teacher of the AP course or the school AP testing coordinator to learn the details of which way to pay for their AP exam.

    Payment arrangements may be made for families needing support at the discretion of the school principal. Schools may choose to collect at least 50% of the exam fee for families requesting this support with no more than a 30-day payment extension.

    Registrations that are not paid for (or have no payment arrangements made) by the exam order deadline date of November 15 will be cancelled and exams will not be ordered.

    AP Exam Fees for Seattle Public Schools Students

    The SPS registration fee to take an AP Exam for 2020 is $102 per exam due by November 1, 2019. The SPS late registration additional fee to take an AP Exam is $15 per exam after November 1 and no later than November 15, 2019.

    Students eligible for Free and Reduced Lunch are not required to pay the $40 canceled-exam fee prior to taking the AP exam.

    Registrations that are not paid by the AP exam registration deadline date of November 1 may be cancelled and exams may not be ordered.

    Students who do not show up on the scheduled day to take the AP Exam will be charged the College Board defined $40 cancellation fee.

    AP Exam Refund Policy

    If students are unable to take the AP exam after the exam has already been ordered, students and families are eligible for a partial refund minus the imposed College Board exam cancellation fee of $40.

    Students and families must notify the AP testing coordinator at their school before the date of the AP exam to receive the partial refund. Coordinators will work to refund as much of the AP exam fee as possible after deducting the College Board cancellation fee (a minimum of $40) and/or any other fees incurred by the school.

    AP Exam Fee Reductions and Waivers

    AP exam fee reductions or waivers are available for students that are eligible for free and/or reduced lunch fees.

    If students or families believe they may qualify for an AP exam fee reduction or fee waiver and have not completed a Free and Reduced Lunch (FRL) form, please complete a confidential Free and Reduced Meal Application form online.

    You may also request a hard copy of the form from your School Counselor or AP Testing Coordinator. School staff may assist you to complete the form if needed. Students and families should be sure to mark the checkbox on (FRL) the form to indicate that the family would like to access the added benefits, such as AP Fee Waivers.

    AP Testing Coordinators are notified if a student is eligible for an AP fee waiver. Students and families who are eligible should request the waiver when paying for the AP exam.

    Late Registration

    Seattle Public School staff coordinate and administer over 6,000 exams for almost 4,000 students districtwide. As a result, Seattle Public Schools does not have the capacity to provide individual students with late registration options once AP exams are ordered.

    The College Board in New York sets the national deadlines for AP exam orders. College Board charges schools additional fees to make changes to existing exam orders, which negatively impacts families and central office departments in addition to schools. However, students and families still have options if the AP registration deadline is missed.

    Option 1: If a student in 9th, 10th or 11th grade misses the AP exam registration deadline, the student has the option to take the desired AP exam next year.

    Option 2: The College Board has an Advanced Placement phone number for Students and Families that may be helpful. They are usually able to offer students and families a current list of smaller districts or private schools that may have the capacity to offer late registrations.

    College Board AP Help Line for Students and Families: 888-225-5427

    Students Not Enrolled with Seattle Public Schools

    If students live in the Seattle Public Schools (SPS) attendance area, but do not attend an SPS high school and would like to register to take an AP exam, students and families can contact the high school offering the AP exam to check if the school has the capacity to test a student that does not attend an SPS high school.

    There is an additional fee of $25 for a non-SPS district student to take an AP exam. If the neighborhood high school cannot accommodate the family, the AP coordinator at the high school may refer the family to the district’s AP testing coordinator to determine if there is space available at another SPS high school.

    Since the AP exam is not a state or district required exam, SPS is not required to offer the AP exam to students that are not enrolled. However, SPS staff work hard to try to accommodate a limited number of requests if there is room available.

    Important Note: The larger SPS high schools are typically unable to provide AP exams to students not enrolled at SPS due to capacity issues, but attempts will be made to find space at smaller SPS high schools to support our students within the SPS attendance area. Non-enrolled SPS students may be referred to another school that may be able to provide the exam. For additional questions about AP testing for non-enrolled SPS students, please contact the Advanced Learning Department.

    The College Board also has an Advanced Placement phone number for students and families to call, so students and families can access a current list of smaller districts or private schools that may have the capacity to offer AP exams to non-enrolled students.

    College Board AP Help Line for Students and Families: 888-225-5427

    Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) Accommodations

    Students that are eligible for Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) Accommodations must work with the school’s SSD coordinator to complete the required paperwork to receive approval from College Board.

    It takes several weeks for College Board to process these requests, so paperwork must be submitted by SSD coordinators as soon as students enroll in the AP course. To begin this process, students and families must communicate with their IEP case manager or the school counselor to communicate the need for the SSD accommodation for the AP exam.

    Late Testing

    SPS High Schools offering AP courses and exams may need to offer late exams, although late exam exceptions are rare, (fewer than 1% districtwide). The College Board publishes a list of approved circumstances that will not incur a late testing fee, however, late testing at SPS is typically reserved for high school seniors that do not have the option to take their AP exam the following school year. Read the late-testing policies on the College Board website.

    The team of AP testing coordinators will work collaboratively to determine which exams can be offered districtwide based on capacity and need. SPS may not be able to offer late exams for all AP courses or for all requests.