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 were held April 19-29 to help students review course content and skills before exams. This series of review sessions was hosted by AP teachers from across the country. Recordings of each session are available on YouTube and AP Classroom for students to watch on demand.
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 digital AP 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.
Students Complete Digital Exam Setup for each of Their Administration 2 and Administration 3 Digital Exams
Exam setup will be available three days before exam day and must be completed no later than the day before exam day. Students must complete setup for each digital exam they take, on the device they plan to use for testing.
Last Day for Schools to Ship Exam Materials
This is the final deadline for schools to ship back exam materials. Schools are billed twice the fee for each exam in shipments returned after this date. This is an update to the previous deadline of June 1 for the AP Program to receive materials. This deadline has been updated due to the change in the 2021 exam schedule.
Students Indicate Free Score Recipients
Students can send their scores for free to one recipient every year that they take AP Exams. They need to sign in to My AP, go to My AP Profile, select the Score Send tab, and choose the college, university, or scholarship organization that they want to receive their score report.
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.
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.