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What is the Advanced Placement (AP) Program?

AP is a program of college-level courses and exams that give secondary school students an opportunity to gain advanced placement and/or credit for college. More than 90 percent of the colleges attended by AP candidates grant credit and/or placement to students whose AP Examination grades are considered acceptable.

What is an AP course like?

It is a special college-level learning experience that most often takes a full academic year. It is challenging and stimulating and compared to other high school courses often takes more time, requires more work, gives greater opportunity for individual progress and accomplishment, and explores subjects in greater depth.

Why should I take the AP Exams?

The benefits of an AP Program are numerous. Advanced placement in college allows you to avoid repeating work you've already done. You can also take advanced courses in your AP subject, explore other subjects that interest you, and join honors and other special programs. If you earn the required grade on an AP Exam, you may receive the equivalent of credit for a one-year course.

What are the AP Exams like? When are they given?

All AP Exams for courses given at Costa Mesa High School contain both multiple-choice and free-response questions that require essay writing, problem solving, and other skills.  Tape recordings are used with certain portions of the foreign language exams. Most of the exams are three hours long.  AP exams are given every year in May. 

How can I get involved in AP classes?

Students must be recommended by a current teacher in the subject area. An AP contract must be signed by student, parent, and specified teachers.

Advanced Placement Program

2021 AP Testing Schedule
Dates, Test, Time, and Format for all CMHS AP Tests
Students should see their AP teacher for testing details and location information. 
AP Course List


English Language
English Literature


Environmental Science

Social Science

World History
US History
American Democracy
Human Geography


Calculus AB
Calculus BC

Visual & Performing Arts

Studio Art
Studio Art Drawing

World Language

Spanish Language 
Spanish Literature