The AP designation may only be applied to courses offered at or above the ninth-grade level that have received authorization through the annual AP Course Audit process. The AP label cannot be affixed to courses and transcripts earlier than ninth grade. There is one exception to this policy: AP world language and culture courses. These courses focus on linguistic proficiency and cultural competency, so in rare situations these courses can be successfully offered earlier than ninth grade among students who can already speak, read, and write the language with fluency. In summary, the AP Course Audit will only renew or authorize courses that are offered exclusively in grades 9–12, with the exception of AP world language and culture courses.