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What Happens If You Fail an AP Class?

If you’re an AP student who is taking an advanced course, you’re probably aware that it’s not easy and you might be wondering “What happens if you fail an AP class.” If you fail one of these classes, do you have to retake the entire class? The answer depends on what kind of high school experience you’re looking for and what college admissions officers expect from their students. You can view a list of all the AP classes here

It’s not the end of the world | What Happens If You Fail an AP Class?

If you’re feeling down about failing an AP class, it’s important to remember that everyone fails at some point. It’s not the end of the world, or even the end of your education—in fact, most people have a much better chance of getting into college when they’ve taken AP classes and improved their test scores.

If you’re lucky enough to have one or more years left in high school before college, it means there’s still time for you to retake that class and get back on track. You probably won’t be able to take any other classes while repeating your failed one (unless they offer it again), but there are still plenty of ways for you to develop skills outside of classwork.

what happens if you fail an ap class

The consequences are different if you fail an AP class junior year or senior year

The consequences of failing an AP class are different, depending on whether you’re a junior or senior. Juniors who fail an AP class have the opportunity to retake that same course during their senior year and take advantage of the “five-year rule.” If they pass it then, they receive full credit for both semesters’ worth of work.

On the other hand, if you’re a senior and fail an AP class during your junior year, things get tricky: You may not be able to graduate with your class because graduation requirements vary from school to school. 

Some schools require that students earn at least seven credits in certain subjects (for example, math) while others require students complete at least one yearlong course in each core area (English/language arts/social studies). The best way to find out what will happen if you fail one or more classes is by contacting your guidance counselor or principal directly!

If you fail freshman or sophomore year, it doesn’t matter too much | What happens if you fail an AP class

Failing an AP class in your first two years of high school does not necessarily mean that you won’t get into college. You can retake the class and do well in the course your second time around, and there are other ways to make up for a bad grade, such as with extracurriculars, essays, and recommendation letters. Colleges look at freshman grades less harshly than they do junior or senior year grades.

You don’t overload on AP classes to get into a good college

There’s no denying that taking Advanced Placement courses is a great way to get into a good college. This is because colleges like to see students challenging themselves and succeeding. However, it’s important not to put too much weight on the importance of AP classes in the admissions process. If you want to go to a top university, you shouldn’t overload yourself on AP classes you hate, but rather take the most AP classes that you are passionate about that you can handle. Doing so will ensure that you are still challenging yourself while being able to maintain your grades and manage your time.

One of the most important things when it comes time to apply for colleges is that you do well in the classes you take. Schools are looking for students who strive for excellence and challenge themselves by taking challenging courses at their school or online. This shows that you have initiative, an active interest in learning, and an ability (and desire) to work hard—all things colleges look for!

Taking an AP class can be a good experience

Taking an AP class can be a good experience, especially if you’re willing to put in the time and effort necessary to succeed. You’ll learn how to work with a team, and if you don’t do well on the test, you can earn college credit for what you learned in class.

Retaking and failing again can be a big deal.

If you fail an AP class twice, you might not be able to take it again with your school. The CollegeBoard suggests that if you want to retake a course after failing it, try to wait until the next summer or fall semester. 

This will give you time to brush up on your material, take practice tests and make sure that this is something that’s actually possible for your schedule (and wallet). If a second try at an AP class doesn’t work out for you, don’t worry! 

Expectations to graduate with higher GPAs, honors diplomas, and/or more AP credits than others.

Some students are expected to graduate with higher GPAs, honors diplomas and/or more AP credits than others. 

Whether you’re an AP student or not, your school will expect you to meet certain standards for graduation requirements that include a GPA of at least 2.0 on your high school transcript (or its equivalent).

In addition to general state-wide requirements for graduation from high school, each individual school district has its own policies and procedures that apply specifically to the needs of its students. 

This includes how many credits are required for graduation; whether or not the class is considered an “extra” credit course; if there is a minimum grade requirement; if it counts toward college admission criteria; if it earns any extra points towards an honors diploma or advanced placement (AP) designation etc.

Do your best on the work

Failing an AP class is not the end of the world. You’re still probably going to get into college, and you can still get a good job after college.

Take the classes again: Some colleges allow students to retake failed AP exams, so if that’s an option for you, go for it! It may even feel more manageable because you’ll have experience under your belt.

Take easier classes: If retaking an AP class is too stressful or time-consuming (or just not worth it), consider taking a class that won’t affect your GPA as much if you fail it. This could be anything from a basic English course in high school to an introductory college course on something like photography or art history—whatever grabs your interest and gets those brain cells working. 

Take classes with less stress: Taking one difficult class at a time can be overwhelming enough without also taking on additional stressors like extracurricular activities and relationships outside of schoolwork—so if none of those things sound appealing right now either, don’t worry.


Remember, the best thing you can do is put in your best effort. If you try hard and still fail, don’t worry too much about it. 

College admissions officers understand that not everyone is perfect and they know that not everyone has perfect grades or gets into every AP class they apply for. 

College admissions are about more than just academics; they’re about who you are as a person and what kind of experiences have shaped who you’ve become as an individual. Don’t let one failure define your entire future!

Other resources

You can read about how many credits are AP classes.

You can read about if you can take AP classes over the summer.

You can read about Pre AP Classes.

You can read about what happens if you fail an AP class.

You can also read about the easiest AP classes.

You can read about are AP classes worth it.

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