According to the College Board, yes, you can take an AP test without taking an AP class. But if you decide to take an exam without taking a class, you might want to check out the College Board website for information about how the test is structured and what it tests. Our AP prep books will be very helpful if you don’t plan to take the corresponding AP class.
The teachers in charge of AP classes have access to information about how the test is structured and what the exam tests. They are able to build the course around what will be tested and utilize course tests as AP test prep. Often students in AP classes are unconsciously preparing for the exam for the entire length of the class, in addition to purposefully prepping before the exam.