AP Exams at Home During Pandemic


Skye Isenblatter, Copyeditor

As the United States is struggling with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, everyone had to make adjustments involving their education, since it is unsafe to be in school at this time. Schools all over the country, including elementary, high school, and college, have shut down to stop the outbreak and protect the students and staff of all schools.    

Many AP students spent the year working hard in their classes so they could earn a college credit by scoring at least a 3 on their AP exams in May. With schools closed for the rest of the year, students were unsure if they were going to still get that chance and feared the challenging class was a waste. However, College Board asked students all over the United States if they still wanted the opportunity to take their AP exams. Obviously, most students said yes. So College Board created an at-home, open note test that could be done on any device that is only going to cover what most AP teachers have already taught by March. 

How does it work?  

The exams will be given between May 11-22. (See attached schedule.) Each subject will be given on the same day at the same time all over the world. For example, every AP Psychology student will be taking the test the same time on Tuesday, May 19. During the test itself, students will have 45 minutes to answer one to two free response questions. Students will need to get in 30 minutes early to do a pre-registration. Students will also have an additional five minutes to submit their answers, whether it is a typed response that is uploaded or a handwritten response where a photo is submitted. 

How can you prepare for the exam? 

To prepare for the exam, students can try an interactive demo that will simulate how the online exam will be on test day. To do this, log on to collegeboard.org and go to AP students. In the demo, you will fill in your AP IDs, personal info, and practice answering a question and submitting your response. You can also prepare by studying previous notes, doing practice questions, and watching the online review sessions that AP teachers all over the country have created. 

What do you need on exam day? 

You will need your exam ticket email which has your AP ID, a device with a browser such as Chrome (which is recommended), Firefox, Safari, or Edge, and Internet connection. For most classes, you may also want to have class notes, textbooks, a calculator, and reference sheets close-by to help you with your exam. 

What will happen after exam day? 

The work will be scored by the usual faculty that is selected. They will score on a 1-5 scale. The scores should be released on College Board around July. Most universities give college credit for those who score a 3 or above, but it differs for each college. College Board stated that most colleges still plan to accept these scores and award credit like they would for a normal exam. 

Although this way of testing is very different from the usual three hour exam in school, many teachers are confident that most students will do well. To get the best score you can, make sure to prepare for the exam by having everything ready and reviewing material from the year.