The 2021 exam schedule provides three testing dates (Administrations 1, 2, and 3) for each subject between early May and mid-June.
- In Administration 1, all exams are full-length paper and pencil, administered in school.
- In Administration 2, half of the subjects are full-length paper and pencil, administered in school, and half are full-length digital, administered in school or taken at home.
- In Administration 3, most subjects are full-length digital, administered in school or taken at home; nine subjects remain full-length paper and pencil, administered in school.
Administration 2 and 3 can be used in the event that testing is not possible for some or all subjects in Administration 1. They may also be used if a school lost significant instructional time due to a delayed school start. Note: If a student takes a digital exam in Administration 3 but becomes sick or otherwise prevented from testing, a separate, later makeup date will be provided.
All versions of the AP Exams in all subjects will be full length and cover the course’s full scope of content required for college credit. However, the exam formats offered in each administration vary by subject, to align with what teachers have told us they want, allow for appropriate contingency options, and maintain AP Exam requirements. While this year’s exam options look different from years past, this schedule will maximize opportunities for AP students in a variety of different situations to test and earn college credit and placement.
- Calculus, Chemistry, Physics, and Statistics are offered solely as paper and pencil exams in both Administration 1 and 2. Teachers in these subjects told us they prefer in-school paper and pencil contingency options to digital options because the free-response questions require complex symbols that can’t be easily typed with a keyboard. To preserve testing opportunities for students who aren’t able to take the paper and pencil exam, we’re offering a full-length digital exam in Administration 3 to be taken entirely on a desktop, laptop, or school-managed Chromebook.
- French, German, Italian, and Spanish Language and Culture; Latin; Music Theory; and Spanish Literature and Culture won’t have any digital versions of the exam. Students’ access to translation applications via mobile devices, musical instruments, and other resources means that not all parts of a full-length digital exam in these subjects can be securely and fairly administered in students’ homes. Therefore, these exams can only be administered in a proctored school environment in Administration 1 and 2, reserving Administration 3 as the last make-up testing opportunity for these subjects.
- Chinese Language and Japanese Language exams are also only able to be administered in schools, for the same reason that applies to the other world language exams. Schools should plan to administer these exams in school on the Administration 1 or Administration 2 test dates, reserving Administration 3 as the last make-up testing opportunity for these subjects. As always, these exams will be computer-based. Details about the new online platform for these exams, which is different than the application for digital AP Exams, will be shared in the coming weeks with AP coordinators who have ordered these exams.
- As always, paper-and-pencil exams and Chinese and Japanese exams have local start times and can begin up to one hour after the official start time (i.e., morning exams can begin between 8–9 a.m. local time and afternoon exams can begin between 12–1 p.m. local time). However, digital exams have synchronous start times worldwide, and automatically begin at the same official start time everywhere: 12 p.m. EDT and 4 p.m. EDT.
- We’ve extended the deadline for final digital submission of AP Art and Design portfolios and AP Computer Science Principles (CSP), AP Seminar, and AP Research performance tasks to Thursday, May 20, 2021, 11:59 p.m. EDT, to support students and teachers impacted by delayed school start dates. The AP Seminar end-of-course exam will be administered during the three administration windows.