Is AP Environmental Science Hard? Can You Scale It Easily?

Taking Advanced Placement courses is a great way to boost your college credits and get some insight into the future. College credits help out by reducing your load when you start your degree.

However, choosing suitable AP courses isn’t easy and requires you to judge how difficult the subject might be for you.

What To Expect From AP Environmental Science

AP Environmental Science is one of the courses you can take to prep for your college education.

This introductory college-level course is known to be more difficult than others. This is because it focuses on a variety of scientific principles and tests multiple skill sets.

The main reason this course is rigorous is that it intends to prepare students for laboratory science classes.

However, students who have a basic background in high school sciences can manage well enough. If you are unfamiliar or lack science skills, this course will be much harder to take up.

Exam Pattern And Course Content

The difficulty of AP Environmental Science can be divided into the toughness of course structure and scoring.

The course content covered ranges across 7 overarching topics that you will be tested on. The topics will differ in how much attention is focused on them in classes.

One of the longest topics in this course is on Pollution. Other significant topics include Earths’ Systems and Resources, Land and Water Use; Global Change; Energy Resources, etc.

Skills Required

AP Environmental Science also demands that students study in their own time in addition to classes.

You will be expected to find texts that cover all the topics and study from extra materials as well. Lectures should be regularly attended to ensure you don’t feel lost right before the exams.

Other aspects of this AP course include laboratory experiences, assignment writing, individual and group projects, and basic note-taking in class.

To be able to keep up, AP Environmental science also requires some basic skills. These skills include reading and writing ability and some basic maths.

What Else to Keep in Mind?

Since the course is vast, you must be a quick reader as well as good at comprehension. Scientific concepts are complex and thus must also be explained through great linguistic skills.

Most teachers will expect you to hand in essay assignments that can be quite long. Not to mention, some fundamental knowledge of algebra is a prerequisite for AP Environmental Science.

It’s best if students have studied at least one physical and one life science before taking up AP Environmental Science. The course will further test their current knowledge of environmental issues around the world.

How Difficult Is It To Score Well For AP Environmental Science?

Compared to other AP courses, AP Environmental Science is not easy to score well in.

Fewer students score a 5 in this course. However, this does not necessarily determine the toughness of the classes conducted.


Since AP Environmental Science is not a popularly studied course, it may not be available in your high school. However, you can always take up self-study, do online courses, or study it in a different high school.

Ask for multiple opinions about the teaching staff and course difficulty wherever you plan to pursue this course. The difficulty of a course can vary according to the institution.

AP Environmental Science combines a lot of fields of study and is a great course for those interested in science. Despite being tough, this course is niche and can help you get involved in some very meaningful work.

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