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Ensuring a fair and secure testing environment

All students should have the same opportunity to succeed on AP Exams. Therefore, the AP Program maintains strict test administration and test security procedures to prevent any testing incidents or improper conduct that could disrupt the test administration or give any student an unfair advantage.

Participating schools and students agree to meet all the security requirements in the AP Coordinator’s Manual and the Bulletin for AP Students and Parents.

In Case of a Security Breach

A breach of exam security at a school’s administration site could result in the invalidation of exam scores for individual students or for all the students taking that particular exam at the school. In addition, if a school does not adhere to the policies and procedures detailed in the AP Coordinator’s Manual, it will not be allowed to offer AP Exams in subsequent years and may be held liable for financial damages incurred by the College Board as a result of a breach of security.

If you discover or suspect any issues related to the security of your school’s exams, call the ETS Office of Testing Integrity (OTI) immediately at 609-406-5430 or 800-750-6991 (toll free) for instructions.

Examples of Misconduct

Exam security policies are detailed in the AP Coordinator’s Manual and the Bulletin for AP Students and Parents. Here are a few examples of misconduct:

  • An AP teacher “interviews” students after the exam to gather information about specific multiple-choice questions.
  • A student takes an AP Exam on a day or at a time when it is not supposed to be administered.
  • A student is observed with electronic equipment (phone, smartwatch, or wearable technology of any kind, laptop, tablet computer, Bluetooth device, portable listening or recording device—MP3 player, iPod ®, etc.—camera or other photographic equipment, device that can access the internet, separate timers of any type,  or any other electronic or communication devices) in the exam room or break area. 
  • A student posts to any form of social media during the exam.
  • Anyone (including, but not limited to, the AP coordinator, the proctor, school staff, members of the media, and students) takes photos in the exam room during an exam.

Consequences of Violating Security Policies

The College Board regularly enhances its test security policies to ensure valid, reliable scores are delivered to colleges and universities, and to protect each student’s opportunity to demonstrate their abilities on a fair and level playing field.

As stated in the AP Coordinator’s Manual and Bulletin for AP Students and Parents: “Violation of test security policies may result in score cancellation, and under some circumstances individuals may be permanently barred from future testing.”

The following security policy update is now in effect:

The College Board will prohibit individuals from taking the SAT, SAT Subject Tests, or AP Exams when we conclude they have deliberately gained or attempted to gain or share an unfair advantage on any College Board test, or otherwise threatened the integrity of the test. Examples include viewing or capturing images with a cell phone on test day or being caught with a “cheat sheet” containing test content, answer keys, or other content that would provide an unfair advantage.

The duration of an individual’s ban may vary depending on the circumstances and severity of the violation, as determined by the College Board’s discretion. The College Board reserves the right to share information, including the names of banned test takers, with their attending high schools and interested higher education institutions.

Appeals of the ban will be considered and decided at the College Board’s discretion.

Office of Testing Integrity

If you observe any behavior that might lead to invalidation of scores, contact us as soon as possible.

Office of Testing Integrity
P.O. Box 6671
Princeton, NJ 08541-6671
Phone: (800) 750-6991 (toll free in the United States and Canada)
or (609) 406-5430
Fax: (609) 406-9709
Email: tsreturns@ets.org