What do your students need to know about the upcoming AP exams?

I attended the Collegeboard counselor event last Thursday to learn more about the details of the AP exams for 2020.  How were they going to be offered? What courses would be offered?  How would the tests be secured?  So many questions!  I summarized my biggest take aways for you to share with your students here.

Cyndy McDonald


How will students take the AP exam online?

    • AP exams are all online, free-response, and 45 minutes long
    • Exams will be open note
    • Students can choose between hand writing responses or typing answers for submission
    • Students can take the exam on any device:  computer, tablet or phone
    • Students will be responsible for keeping track of their time, and turning in their exam on time
I think this is one of the key items to emphasis with students.  They will not have a test proctor helping them keep track of the test and time.  If they don’t submit on time, the test will not count. The AP test will have a timer displayed, so students will know how much time they have. They have to understand how important it is to pay attention to the timer and submit on time.

Are all subjects offered online?

    • 32 subjects will be offered online
    • 6 subjects have portfolio submission requirements, and do not have an online exam.
    • Language exams will be spoken, and not have written responses.

Have students check online for the status of their subjects? Do they have portfolios due?  Are all their tests online?

Will the students need proctors available to take the exam?
    • Students who registered for AP exams in the fall will receive unique access link or code to use when taking the exam
    • Some very sophisticated software has been implemented to deter cheating and validate a student’s identity
    • Anti-plagarism software is being used to ensure student’s work is original
    • Collegeboard is purposely being vague about the exact measures they are using to minimize cheating
    • Teachers will have access to all their students’ exam responses at a later point

Emphasize to your students the importance of doing your own work, and the futility of trying to cheat.

Can a student change their mind?
    • Students can drop AP tests from their schedules and receive a refund of fees paid (which should still be held by the school)
    • Students cannot add an AP exam to their schedule at this point. They have to take the tests they registered for in the fall.

If a student did not sign up for an AP exam for an AP course they are in, it is too late to sign up now.  It has to do with the security measures put in place.


What are my options for review prior to the AP exam?

This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for any high school student to learn from the most experienced AP teachers in the world. Encourage students to use their extra time to take advantage of this unique opportunity. Some of the classes are livestreamed. New lessons are posted on April 6, 8, and 13.


The new AP Exam schedule was posted to the Collegeboard AP page recently.
When are the AP Exams offered?
    • May 11 exams start
    • May 22 exams end
    • up to 3 exams per day
Students should create a personal AP Exam schedule, based on the exam charts.  How many days in between their exams?  Or are they offered all on the same day?
What if a student has a problem on exam day?
    • June 1 make up exams start
    • June 5 make up exams end
Students  can retake a test during this one week in June.  Collegeboard is encouraging students to take their AP exam in May.  Then, if the student experiences a problem or situation that would warrant a retest, they will have the date in June to fall back on.

AP Exam Chart as listed on the Collegeboard website.