Updated Information Regarding AP Exams
Q: When will AP Exams be offered this year?
We’re providing two online testing dates for each AP subject—one sooner, one later—so that students can choose what works best for them. Because each AP Exam will only include questions about the units of the course typically taught prior to March each year, many students will prefer to test sooner, while the material is still fresh. By April 3, we’ll publish the full exam schedule including the specific free-response question types that will comprise each AP exam.
Q: Will schools be charged a fee if students decide not to take the exam?
No. Given the circumstances, we are waiving all fees for unused/canceled exams this year, regardless of when the cancellation decision was made (even prior to the COVAD outbreak).
We’ll continue to support students with free resources through exam day. And while we encourage students to wait until closer to the test date to decide, any student already registered for an exam can choose to cancel at no charge.
Q: What should AP coordinators do?
Because there will not be any AP paper-and-pencil testing in schools, AP coordinators will not need to handle incoming or outgoing shipments, organize test rooms, assign proctors, or any of the tasks associated with running a school-based exam administration. Instead, AP coordinators can help by letting students know that they’ll be able to take AP Exams this year, even if they’re at home. It won’t matter if they’re currently registered for regular or late testing, so long as they’re registered for an exam. AP Registration and Ordering will automatically mark any unused exams. We’ll share details with coordinators in the coming weeks. Another thing coordinators can do is to indicate student’s fee reduction eligibility in AP Registration and Ordering by April 30—this will help ensure that the school is billed correctly. If schools remain closed, AP coordinators who haven’t collected exam fees have the option to arrange a payment partner through which students can make payments.
Q: Do I need to mark which students took exams in AP Registration and Ordering?
No. This will be updated automatically. You will only be billed for students who take the exam. You do not have to update your order at this time.
Q: What should AP teachers do?
Teachers are not required to do any new tasks related to AP instruction and testing.
Teachers that are continuing instruction can view a syllabus for the new online video AP lessons by visiting collegeboard.org/ap-covid19-updates and consider if they’d be helpful to students. Beginning on Wednesday, March 25, students will have access to free, live AP lessons, delivered each weekday by AP teachers from across the country. These optional, mobile-friendly classes will review the AP content and skills typically taught in the first 75% of the course and are designed to be used alongside work that may be given by schools. There will also be some supplementary lessons covering the final 25% of the course.
We know that schools and students are managing remote learning in different ways, and while these options may work for many, they may not meet everyone’s needs during this extraordinary time.
Teachers can also use the free resources at AP Classroom to check students’ understanding of key content and skills. See the one-page guide at http://www.collegeboard.org/ap-covid19-updates for more information about how AP Classroom can help support student learning during school closure.
Q: What should I tell my students and families?
We are committed to providing students with opportunities to demonstrate the knowledge and skills they’ve developed in AP classes this year. During this extraordinary time, we’re launching daily video lessons, taught online by AP teachers, as well as AP Exams that can be taken at home.
More information is available at collegeboard.org/ap-covid19-updates and we will email schools and students with important updates.
Online AP Classes
Q: When do online AP classes begin?
Wednesday, March 25, 2020. A schedule of classes, including descriptions of each lesson is available at collegeboard.org/ap-covid19-updates. All classes are available for free and are completely optional.
Q: Where can students access the classes?
Students can find the classes at youtube.com/advancedplacement.
Q: What if a student can’t attend a particular class?
The classes will also be available on-demand at youtube.com/advancedplacement so teachers and students can access them any time. But remember these classes are optional, not required. They will begin finishing up the AP course so students have the knowledge for the subsequent coursework in college and loop back to review the entire course.
Q: Will all AP subjects have online classes?
All subjects will have live online classes except for 2-D Art & Design, 3-D Art & Design, Drawing, Seminar, and Research. These courses will instead receive on-demand lessons that will cover the tasks required for the course. These will be available by early April. Computer Science Principles students will receive support from endorsed providers.
Q: Can students attend these classes, even if they’re not taking the AP Exam?
Q: Can homeschooled, virtual school, independent-study, and self-study students attend these classes?
At Home Testing
Q: What kind of exam will students receive?
Students will receive a 45-minute online free-response exam (exact timing to be announced). There will be no multiple-choice questions. Students will complete the exam at home, online, on a specified day and time. To minimize conflicts, students will be able to choose from two different test dates, one earlier or one later.
Like a college exam, these exams will be open book/”open note.” They won’t test simple factual recall; instead they’ll be focused on skills and thematic understandings. Students will not be tested on content typically taught in the last 25% of an AP course, as laid out in the unit structure shown in the AP Course and Exam Description. Visit collegeboard.org/ap-covid19-updates for a list of which units will be included in each AP Exam this year.
Each student response will be monitored by plagiarism detection software, and students whose responses mirror content from the web or other students’ submissions will be disqualified.
Student responses will be submitted digitally and scored by remote readers. This is a similar process to the one we have used for years in scoring AP at-home work for college credit in courses like AP Seminar, AP Research, and AP Computer Science Principles.
By April 3, we’ll publish the full exam schedule including the specific free-response question types that will comprise each AP exam.
Q: All of my students do not have access to a computer and/or the internet at home. How can they test?
Students can test on a laptop, desktop, tablet, or smartphone. Some schools have indicated that they are willing to loan laptops for students who do not have home computers.
We recognize that the digital divide could prevent some low-income and/or rural students from participating. Working with partners, we'll invest so these students will have the tools and connectivity they need to review AP content online and take the exam.
Q: How will you prevent students from cheating?
The exams will be designed to measure skills developed over the course of the academic year that cannot be learned on the fly from Google or chatrooms. Like college history and literary essays, these AP Exams are open book/open note. Students will see the topic at the start of the exam and they’ll need to write and submit their responses within the testing time.
Each subject’s exam will be taken on the same day at the same time, worldwide. Students may consult textbooks and notes. Each student response will be monitored by plagiarism detection software, and students whose responses mirror content from the web or other students’ submissions will be disqualified. We will also disqualify any student sharing exam content via social media, websites, and other means.
Q: Will students with approved testing accommodations such as extended time be able to use them on the exams?
Yes. Details will be shared closer to the exams.
Q: Will exams be available in all subjects?
Yes. By April 3, we’ll publish the full exam schedule including the specific free-response question types that will comprise each AP exam.
Q: Will the exam cost the same as before?
Yes. Last year, the College Board’s expenses (e.g., printing, shipping, scoring of AP Exams) and services (e.g., fee waivers, scholarships, professional development of teachers) took up ~98% of annual revenues. This year, the unanticipated cost of building and deploying new capabilities like online testing, plagiarism checks, and online scoring of student essays – all on top of our regular expenses and services, will more than fully consume the test fees we receive, even with a shorter exam.