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What to expect from AP exams in 2021 | College Admission Manual

By on April 19, 2021 0

The College Board recently announced its 2021 testing plan for the end of the year Advanced placement exams. As the coronavirus pandemic continues to affect PA assessment procedures, this year’s changes differ significantly from 2020.


The College Board is expanding more assessment options in 2021 to allow for greater flexibility during what has been an extremely difficult time for education and the world at large. Here’s what students can expect for their AP test sessions this year.

When will the AP 2021 exams take place

The AP end-of-year exams will take place over a relatively long period: from early May to mid-June. The reason for this change is that exam dates will be organized into three different phases, or what the College Board calls Administrations 1, 2, and 3.

Administration 1 will take place on May 3-7, 10-12, 14 and 17; administration 2 is scheduled for May 18-21 and 24-28; and Administration 3 will run from June 1-4 and June 7-11.

The transition from one administration to another can take place mid-week, so mark your schedule carefully.

Formats for AP 2021 exams

The format of each AP exam is determined in part by the administration to which it is assigned. For example, Administration 1 will only include traditional paper-based and comprehensive tests to be taken at school. Administration 2 will consist of a mix of paper-based exams at school and digital exams at school and home, while Administration 3 will be primarily digital exams with options at home and at home. school.

Paper-based exams, as well as non-English language exams, will be given at local time and may start up to one hour after the official start time. Digital tests, however, will start synchronously around the world, meaning they will start everywhere simultaneously.

Review it AP 2021 Exam Schedule for more specific information on testing, but note that your school’s finalized exam schedule may be less comprehensive than what you see online.

Also, it is important to know that since the full digital AP exams require free typed answers, these exams cannot be taken on a smartphone. Candidates will need to install a digital exam app on the computer they will be using for the test, which will not be the same digital platform used for emergency testing in Spring 2020.

How to find out the format of your AP exam

The only way to know how and when you will take the test is to inquire directly with your school. While the College Board offers a wide range of AP testing options, individual schools work from this to determine their own particular schedule and which exams to offer.

How to prepare for the AP 2021 exams

Since this may be your first time taking a digital AP exam, consider these study tips.

Train yourself in the online testing process. Taking a digital exam is different from taking a paper exam. As soon as possible, switch from using print content to digital test prep content as preparation for the online testing process.

Take advantage of free resources. Regularly check the news and updates section for information and free practice resources.

If you have limited time to prepare for your AP exams, the following tips may be helpful.

Familiarize yourself with the format of the test. You know your testing strengths and weaknesses better than anyone, so apply that personal knowledge to the exam format to maximize your chances of getting a high score.

For example, if you know that you tend to make careless mistakes on math exams, give yourself enough time at the end of the AP math tests to check your work. Also be aware if your exam is only available in a format like music theory and languages ​​like Latin – or if the assessment varies between paper and digital formats, as in chemistry, for example.

Study selectively. AP courses cover a lot of the material, and it’s probably not possible to review all of the content in the class in the last few weeks before your AP test. The best strategy is to selectively study the parts of the course that you find most difficult.

When studying for multiple AP exams at once, try these two strategies.

Create a personalized schedule. Students who keep a calendar can better handle the challenges of AP Exam Week if they set aside time to meet all of their individual academic needs. Design a schedule that includes realistic blocks of time for studying, as well as regular breaks. If you have two tests on the same day or exams on several days in a row, space your review sessions appropriately.

Vary your examination methods. Start by asking yourself how you study best for testing. Do you work better in a group or alone? Could you use one study technique, like referring to flashcards when tackling vocabulary, but switching to another – like summarizing key primary documents – when tackling open-ended questions? The variation can help limit boredom and burnout while preparing you for the different skills required for different AP topics.

Stay on top of the changes to the AP 2021 tests and study accordingly to shine on your exams this spring.

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