AP U.S. History Exam Information

Learn What Score You'll Need and What Course Credit You'll Receive

Lincoln Memorial
Lincoln Memorial. Kelli / Flickr

Score and placement info for AP: Biology | Calculus AB | Calculus BC | Chemistry | English Language | English Literature | European History | Physics 1 | Psychology | Spanish Language | Statistics | U.S. Government | U.S. History | World History

The AP U.S. History exam takes 3 hours and 15 minutes. The exam covers the history of the United States from pre-Columbian society to the present. The exam is the second most popular of all AP subjects, and in 2016 over 489,000 students took the test (the English Language exam is the only one with more test takers).

The mean score on the exam was a 2.70. Many colleges and universities have a history requirement, so a high score on the AP U.S. History exam will sometimes fulfill that requirement.

The table below provides some representative data from a variety of colleges and universities. This information is meant to provide a general overview of the scoring and placement information related to the AP US History exam. For other colleges, you'll need to check the school's website or contact the appropriate Registrar's office to get AP placement information. And you'll also want to check with the schools below to make sure you are getting the most up-to-date information.

For more information on AP classes and exams, check out these articles:

The distribution of scores for the AP U.S. History exam is as follows (2016 data):

  • 5 - 11.9%
  • 4 - 17.9%
  • 3 - 22.5%
  • 2 - 23.3%
  • 1 - 24.3%

To learn more specific information about the AP U.S. History exam, be sure to visit the official College Board website.

AP U.S. History Scores and Placement
CollegeScore NeededPlacement Credit
Hamilton College4 or 51 semester credit toward general requirements
Grinnell College4 or 5HIS 111 and 112
LSU3, 4 or 5HIST 2055 or 2057 (3 credits) for a 3; HIST 2055 and 2057 (6 credits) for a 4 or 5
Mississippi State University3, 4 or 5HI 1063 (3 credits) for a 3; HI 1063 and HI 1073 (6 credits) for a 4 or 5
Notre Dame5History 10010 (3 credits)
Reed College4 or 51 credit; no placement
Stanford University-No credit for AP U.S. History
Truman State University3, 4 or 5HIST 104 (3 credits) for a 3 or 4; HIST 104 and HIST 105 for a 5
UCLA (School of Letters and Science)3, 4 or 58 credits; fulfills American History requirement
Yale University-No credit for AP U.S. History

If you're a senior taking AP United States History, you obviously won't have a test score in time for college applications. Nevertheless, the course will still help you in the college admissions process. The admissions officers want to see that you have taken the most challenging courses available to you, and Advanced Placement can play a meaningful role on that front, especially if you have strong grades from the first marking period.

Finally, don't be discouraged if you received an exam score that doesn't earn you college credit. Your efforts haven't been wasted, for taking AP classes helps prepare you for college-level courses and will help you succeed in college.