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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.

Teacher at School

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.

Four Steps to Take Digital Exams

illustration showing timeline for Digital Exam Readiness

View Steps


AP Digital Testing Guide

The AP Digital Testing Guide provides detailed information about 2021 digital AP Exams, including:

  • Four steps students need to take before they can test
  • The digital exam experience
  • Technical requirements
  • Accommodations for digital exams
  • Policies and procedures for administering digital exams in school

April 8 updates include:

  • Expanded information about downloading the digital testing app and digital practice
  • Instructions for downloading and installing the digital testing app on school-managed devices
  • Details about the digital exam readiness dashboards for AP coordinators and teachers
  • Exam day instructions for proctors administering digital exams in schools

Download the Guide Get Ready for Digital Exams

Managing Student Readiness

Beginning April 22, AP coordinators and teachers can use new dashboards to track students’ progress on required readiness steps for digital testing.

Preview Dashboards


2021 Exam Schedule

The new 2021 AP Exam schedule provides three testing dates for each subject between early May and mid-June.

In person instructional model

Administration 1: May 3–7, 10–12, 14, and 17
In School

Traditional, full-length paper and pencil exams, administered in school, for all subjects.

hybrid instructional model

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.

online instructional model

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.

View Exam Schedule About the Exam Schedule

Digital Exams

For many subjects in Administration 2 and 3, students will take digital exams on computers. If needed, the AP coordinator can authorize students to take these exams at home.

2021 AP Exam Format Information

View a consolidated summary of 2021 exam modes and differences, if any, between paper and digital exams, for all AP courses.

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

  • 2021

    APRIL 8

    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.

  • 2021


    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.

  • 2021


    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. 

  • 2021

    APRIL 30, 11:59 p.m. EDT

    Finalize Student Fee Reduction Status in AP Registration and Ordering

View Full Timeline

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.


Instructional Resources

As the exam approaches, teachers can use free, flexible resources to help students develop their knowledge and skills and practice answering AP questions.

AP Daily: Live Review

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.

AP Classroom and AP Daily

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.

AP Instructional Resources Built for Any Learning Environment

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.

AP 2020-21 Guides

Get resources to help AP teachers, students, coordinators, and administrators navigate this school year. Download guides, a communications kit, and more.