2021 AP Testing FAQ

Updated 03/09/2021

Have the AP dates or times changed? 

For some, yes! Exams will be given from May 3-28. Makeup test dates will be available for each subject from June 1-11. 

For the school’s health and safety of students and testing proctors, as well as to accommodate all students who are on full-time distance learning, we are offering a blended testing format. AP Calculus, Statistics, Physics, Chemistry, Spanish, French, and Latin will be administered in paper-pencil format on the Bishop Manogue campus. All other exams will be taken at home digitally on different dates. 

Has the format of the AP Exam changed? If yes, then how so?  

  • AP Calculus, Statistics, Physics, Chemistry, Spanish, French, and Latin will continue to be on their original dates and will be administered in paper-pencil format on the BIshop Manogue campus. 
  • All other exams will be taken at home digitally on different dates. 
  • Students will be able to take exams on a desktop or laptop computer only. 
  • For all subjects, the exams will be traditional full-length exams.  
  • Certain courses—Art and Design: 2D; Art and Design: 3D; Computer Science Principles; Drawing; Research; and Seminar—will use portfolio submissions.  All deadlines for these submissions have been extended to May 20, 2021, 9:00 PM (PST). 

How are the digital exams different from the paper and pencil exams? 

The exams were designed to be as similar as possible and assess the same course content. However, there are differences related to the testing format and exam security. For example, because it’s not feasible to have students draw graphs and figures online this year, students will be asked to answer questions about provided graphs and figures. View a summary of all 2021 AP Exam formats for further details. Synchronous start times and restrictions on going back to previous questions are also key differences from paper and pencil exams, but important to help ensure that students don’t gain unfair advantages during testing.

Will Digital Exams be shorter than paper and pencil exams? 

No. Digital AP Exams will be the same length as traditional paper and pencil AP Exams and include both multiple-choice and free-response questions (as always, AP Computer Science Principles remains a multiple-choice-only exam and AP Seminar remains a free-response-only exam).

Can digital AP Exams be taken on iPads? 

No. Digital AP Exams can only be taken on laptop and desktop computers (Mac, Windows, or school-managed Chromebook). In future years, it may be possible for students to take full-length digital AP Exams on other devices, once we confirm they can be used successfully for AP testing.

Why don’t AP Exams in world languages have a digital exam that can be taken at home? 

The world language exams require translation to and from written forms of the language, which a student with a smartphone can do by holding a translation app up to the computer screen. Accordingly, there is no way to administer exams at home that assess reading and writing of another language. Last year, colleges were willing to accept an abbreviated exam that only assessed speaking skills, but this year, their preference, understandably, is that if a student can’t take an AP Exam that measures reading and writing, and not just speaking, the student should take their own college’s placement exam when they arrive on campus. 

How is exam security maintained when students take exams at home? 

The College Board is confident that the vast majority of AP students will follow the rules for taking the exams. For the small number of students who may try to gain an unfair advantage, they have a comprehensive and strict set of protocols in place to prevent and detect cheating. While some of these practices are confidential to maximize their effectiveness, students and education professionals can learn more about our security measures.

What are the consequences for any academic dishonesty detected on an AP Exam? 

  • Students whose responses mirror online content or other students’ submissions will have their scores canceled.
  • Students sharing or receiving exam content or exam responses, or engaging in any plans or efforts to provide or gain an unfair advantage, will be blocked from testing or their AP scores will be canceled. This includes communications or assistance in person, via the Internet, via social media, or by any other means.
  • If the College Board determines that a student gained or provided an unfair advantage on an AP Exam, they will notify Bishop Manogue so the school can choose to take necessary disciplinary action, as appropriate. The College Board also provides information about the incident to colleges or other organizations to which the student has already sent any College Board scores (including SAT scores)—or to which the student would send scores in the future.
  • Students who attempt to gain an unfair advantage also may be prohibited from taking a future Advanced Placement Exam as well as the SAT, SAT Subject Tests, or CLEP assessments.
  • Under certain circumstances, the College Board may inform law enforcement of any incident to determine if prosecution of the test taker, or anyone assisting the test taker in misconduct, is warranted.

We encourage anyone with knowledge of any dishonest behavior with respect to the Advanced Placement Exams to contact College Board Test Security. Reports can be made confidentially at Test Security Web Hotline.

How is exam scoring and college credit impacted by these changes? 

As usual, students’ work will be scored by The College Board’s network of college faculty and AP teachers, and will be reported on a 1–5 scale. They anticipate releasing scores as close to the usual July timeframe as possible.

They have spoken with hundreds of institutions across the country that support their solution for this year’s AP Exams. Colleges across the country are voicing strong support for students to complete the AP experience, take the exam, and receive the college credit they deserve. Colleges are especially supportive given the uncertain financial future many families face, and the value of students entering college with credit.

Will my child still be able to test with their approved accommodations?

Yes. Students will be able to take paper or online AP Exams with College Board–approved accommodations such as extended time. The amount of extended time awarded to your child will be automatically extended in the digital AP Exams. 

My child is on full-distance learning. Can we opt-out of in-person testing? 

For the 2021 school year, students who are scheduled for paper-pencil exams may opt-out of testing (for a full refund) or request a digital at-home exam. You may request a digital at-home exam for Calculus, Physics, Statistics, or Chemistry; however, no digital world language exam is offered. You must notify Dr. McBride of your desire to either opt-out or receive a digital at-home exam no later than March 11th at 3:00pm. Please contact Lauren McBride for details. 

What if my student doesn’t have internet or device access to complete their AP exam? 

If you require a device or a secure location to test due to internet access, please contact Lauren McBride no later than April 9th. 

What are the expectations for attendance? 

Students are excused from their classes on each day of an AP exam. Students are still responsible for any missed instruction or assignments resulting from an absence due to AP testing. Students are given an additional day to turn in any missed assignments resulting from their absence. 

When will my child receive their AP score(s)? 

Scores will be released in July via students’ College Board Accounts. 

 

How to Set up Digital AP Testing At Home

 

Do I need to do anything in the My AP Portal in order to take the exam? 

No action is required by the student or the school to communicate to the AP Program the date students intend to test; the student will just sign in for the exam on the date they want to test following the information provided by the AP Program.

What device should I test on? 

Each student will need access to a laptop or desktop computer (Mac, Windows, or school-managed Chromebook). The computer can be a personal computer or a school-provided computer but must not be shared between students after exam setup is completed. Smartphones are not permitted for testing. 

Students’ computers must be fully charged to last through the full-length exams and be able to be plugged in during the exam, if needed.

Students will need to complete exam setup ahead of each exam day on the specific computer that they plan to use for testing. Exam setup will be available 3 days before exam day and must be completed no later than the day before exam day. Information on this will be disseminated in the student’s AP class. 

See a list of Supporting operating systems here

What happens if I briefly lose internet connectivity? 

Students must have a reliable internet connection. The College Board testing application has been designed to be tolerant of disruptions in internet connectivity during the exam. Here are some best practices  

  • Students must have all software applications, internet browsers, camera and microphone/audio programs closed before testing.  
  • Students must close any active screen capture programs, live web conferencing tools (e.g., Skype), media players (e.g., iTunes) and printing capability. 
    • They must disable tools such as application switching and smart assistants (e.g., Siri and Google Assistant). 
    • The only application that should be open for check-in and during the exam is the digital testing application. 
  • Student devices should be configured to prevent these common application types from launching during testing:
    • Antivirus software performing scheduled or automatic scans
    • Screen savers and sleep or hibernate mode
    • Automatic updates to software or applications 
    • Email, calendar, text, or instant messaging alerts 
  • To minimize the risk of bandwidth disruptions, test environments should limit unnecessary internet traffic or high-volume content streaming on other devices on the same network during student test activity. 

 

How do I download and install the Digital Testing App?

More information will be provided to students in April, including where and how they can download the app. 

 

What steps do I take to receive my exam?

There are two steps students are required to complete before exam day to confirm that their computer is ready to test:  

  1. Downloading and installing the digital testing application (beginning April 8) 
  2. Completing exam setup on their testing computer for each exam subject they plan to take (1-3 days before each of their digital exams)
  3. Check that you know your College Board username and password and have a safe place to keep this information, so you can retrieve it closer to exam day. 
    1. It’s important that students’ personal information is accurate in their College Board account. They must use their legal name, correct date of birth, etc. Inaccurate information could jeopardize their ability to test or access their scores.
    2. If any students need to correct information in their account, they should contact AP Services for Students (888-225-5427, apstudents@info.collegeboard.org) as soon as possible. 

A student who attempts to complete these steps on exam day puts their ability to test at risk. If the student is unable to complete all pre-exam steps and begin the check-in process before the official start time of the exam, the student will not be permitted to test and will need to request a makeup exam.

What if my College Board account utilizes my school email address? 

You may not use your Bishop Manogue email address for your College Board account. The AP Exam cannot be delivered to the student email addresses. Please change your College Board account settings to an email address your student can access at home. 

What do I do if I am not receiving updates from the College Board? 

If students aren’t receiving email updates from the AP Program, they should: 

  1. Sign in to My AP (myap.collegeboard.org)
  2. Confirm their email address: 
    1. Click their profile in the top right corner. 
    2. Go to Account Settings and confirm that their email address is the one they want to use for 2021 AP Exam reminders. 
    3. If they need to change their email address, they should click Update. 
  3. In Subscriptions, they should confirm they’ve checked the box to receive updates from the College Board. 
  4. Finally, they should create a new contact with the email address collegeboard@e.collegeboard.org in their address book or safe sender list.  

How should I prepare my home testing environment? 

Students should do their best to test by themselves in a quiet room. They should:

  • Remove distractions. 
  • Enable the do not disturb or quiet setting on their testing device.
  • Let parents, guardians, siblings, and friends know when they’re testing so they won’t be disturbed. 
  • They should make sure their device is fully charged or plugged in. 
  • If they have limited bandwidth, they should ask others on their network to limit their use of the internet during the exam. 
  • Students should have calculators (depending on the subject), scratch paper, pens, and pencils. 
  • Prohibited devices and reference materials should not be accessible during the exam. 

What do I need on exam day? 

Before exam day, students should review the materials and equipment that are required, allowed, and prohibited when taking digital AP Exams. Students will see the following checklist during exam setup and check-in:

REQUIRED: 

  • This device and its power cord. 
  • Some AP Exams require or allow a calculator. Review calculator policies. 
  • Students testing in person are required to follow all safety procedures as dictated by their school or testing location.

ALLOWED: 

  • Students testing in school will be provided scratch paper and may not use their own. Students testing at home may use their own scratch paper.

 PROHIBITED: 

  • Notes, books, or any other reference materials. 
  • Headphones or earbuds—unless you have a College Board–approved accommodation. 
  • A smartwatch, smartphone, or any other connected device. 
  • A camera, recording device, or timer. 
  • Multiple devices—you cannot run the exam app on more than 1 device.

 

Who should I contact if I have additional questions? 

Please contact your child’s AP teacher or the AP Coordinator, Lauren McBride

 

Course Specific Exam Information

AP Research, Seminar, Computer Science Principles, Studio Art, and Drawing Information: 

The deadline for submission is extended to May 20, 9:00PM PST.