The coronavirus pandemic has fundamentally changed the ways many teachers deliver instruction and many students learn. Since widespread disruptions began in March of 2020, the AP and higher education communities have guided the creation of options for supporting teachers and students.
We’ve made decisions that prioritize the health and safety of educators and students while preserving opportunities for motivated students to earn college credit. Rather than offering a single testing approach that would serve only some students and educators well, we are offering a variety of testing options that reflect the unique characteristics of each exam and the preferences we've heard from AP teachers, coordinators, and school leaders.
Some students may be unsure of their readiness for the AP Exam. AP Daily: Live Review sessions, April 19–29, can help students review course content and skills before exams. In addition, we’re waiving all cancellation fees to give students utmost flexibility.
2021 Exam Schedule
The new 2021 AP Exam schedule provides three testing dates for each subject between early May and mid-June.
Administration 1: May 3–7, 10–12, 14, and 17
Traditional, full-length paper and pencil exams, administered in school, for all subjects.
Administration 2: May 18–21, 24–28
In School and At Home
Half of the subjects are paper and pencil, administered in school, and half are full-length digital exams, administered in school or taken at home due to coronavirus precautions.
Administration 3: June 1–4, 7–11
In School and At Home
Most subjects are full-length digital exams only, administered in school or taken at home due to coronavirus precautions.
Schools don’t need to pick just one of the testing windows or modes. AP coordinators can authorize a mix of at-home and in-person exams and mix testing dates, as needed.
Administration 2 and 3 can be used as makeup dates for students who have conflicts or disruptions during the earlier administration(s). In all subjects that have digital exams, an additional makeup date will be provided after Administration 3.
Planning Your Exam Administration
Schools can choose the exam administration options that work best for them—paper and pencil exams administered at school, digital exams administered at school, digital exams taken at home, or a mix—provided the school meets all requirements for each option.
See Planning Your Exam Administration for guidance on selecting exam options.
See Updating Your Exam Order for information about how and when to assign students to later testing dates, if needed.
2021 AP Exams Timeline
Digital Testing Application Available
The digital testing application required to take AP digital exams this year becomes available to students and educators. School and district technology staff can begin the process of pushing the application to school-managed devices or making the application installable on school-managed devices.
Schools Receive Student AP ID Label Sheets and Paper and Pencil Exam Materials
If an AP coordinator decides to shift a student to digital testing after receiving these materials, the AP coordinator will simply need to ship the materials back unused. There will be no fee for unused exam materials.
Students Install Exam Application and Practice for Digital Exams
Students taking digital exams complete the required step of downloading the digital testing application before exam day. Students will then be able to access digital exam practice for each of their exam subjects, enabling the school to confirm the viability of students’ technology before exam day.
APRIL 30, 11:59 p.m. EDT
Finalize Student Fee Reduction Status in AP Registration and Ordering
Help Students Access Devices for 2021 Digital AP Exams
Connecting students to college opportunity is our top priority. While most schools are planning to offer in-school paper and pencil AP Exams this year, some students will need to take digital AP Exams. We’re teaming up with Connection, a Global IT Solutions Provider, to make laptops and hotspots available for students who truly don’t have access to a supported school-issued or personal device for digital AP Exams. Learn more about helping students access devices for digital exams.
As the exam approaches, teachers can use free, flexible resources to help students develop their knowledge and skills and practice answering AP questions.
This new series of review sessions goes live on April 19—and will be hosted by AP teachers from across the country. Recordings of each session will be available on YouTube and AP Classroom for students to watch on demand if they can't join live.
Short, searchable AP Daily videos can be assigned alongside topic questions to help cover all course content and skills. Teachers can use topic questions, progress checks, and the progress dashboard and assign AP practice exams in the AP Classroom question bank.
Whether your school is in-person, hybrid/blended, or online this year, AP teachers can use free, digital resources in AP Classroom to provide students with daily instruction, practice, and feedback on every topic and skill covered on AP Exams.