How important are AP exams without classes

I live outside the US, and my school does not offer AP/IB courses. While it’s not unheard of for people to take the exams alone, I was wondering if it actually plays a role in college admissions. I get that it shows you can handle ‘high rigour’ and such, but I’m also pretty sure colleges are aware of the education system in my country (owing to a lot of applications/year) and don’t really need the AP benchmark to assess my course rigour. I guess my question is, do internationals who take AP exams have an edge in the eyes of AOs or are they just doing it for college credits (which really isn’t a motive for me).

Course rigor is more important within the context of your school’s offerings. If the school offers no APs, no US college will expect AP exams. Self studying, particularly for the easy APs, will not be viewed as impressive. But go ahead if you are looking for potential college credit

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From what you say here, I don’t see a benefit to taking these exams. Your time will be better spent doing great in your current courses and making the most of your ECs.