This position enunciated by Duke as to the connection between AP and admission lends support to this view:
"As part of the applicant evaluation process, we assess the degree to which a student has challenged himself/herself academically. We determine the quality and rigor of a student's curriculum in several ways, including the number of AP courses the student has taken. We also use AP Exam results to help us understand a student's academic accomplishments."
Given this, it is interesting to note that in some cases having high AP scores does not necessarily qualify you for college credit. At MIT for example, you receive no credit for the College Board AP Biology and Chemistry. If you are to receive credit you must pass MIT's Advanced Placement (Advanced Standing) Examination administered during Orientation. Contrast this with Dartmouth where a grade 5 in AP Biology grants you one unspecified Biology credit. At Duke also you can gain credit with a score of 4 or 5 in AP Biology.
Whatever the credit policy at the various colleges, sitting AP's seems to be standard fare and in view of the fact that it does not guarantee advanced placement in some cases it invites speculation that it is a basic requirement for some introductory courses.
In the case of non-US students the following international exams are comparable to the AP exams.
- International Baccalaureate
- GCE Advanced Level
- German Abitur
- French Baccalauréat
- Swiss Maturité