Colleges consider AP classes as honors level courses. Colleges also consider Urban UAS classes as honors level courses. The University of California and some other colleges assign extra points for honors courses when calculating a grade point average (GPA). Most colleges look favorably on students who take a challenging course load that includes some honors level courses.
Because many schools adopt the standardized curriculum of the College Board, college representatives will sometimes adopt language in which they refer to AP courses as the most advanced curriculum. This might create an impression that AP courses are required for selective college admissions. In fact, there are many schools that do not teach the standardized AP curriculum of the College Board and, like Urban, are recognized and respected as having a very rigorous independent curriculum that is excellent preparation for college and university work.
A student can get the extra point for taking an AP (or UAS) course without taking the AP test. However, a college will not award college credit unless the student takes (and passes) an AP test. AP tests are an indication of how well a student has mastered the material covered in an AP course. Many colleges use the test to award college credit for mastering the material covered in the course.A score below 3 is not considered a passing score. Each college has its own AP policy about how (or if) credit is given and what AP tests and scores qualify. There is little uniformity from college to college, so the student should research the policies of the colleges in which he/she is interested. Colleges award credit based on the results of the AP test, not the AP course. It is possible to receive credit based on the results of the AP test without having taken the AP course, as is the case of Urban students.