Administering AP Exams outside your school
For schools with large AP programs, off-site testing is a way to accommodate a larger number of students taking a single exam and allows for the simultaneous administration of multiple exams.
Some schools test in community centers, church halls, hotels, public libraries, or local colleges. See the AP Coordinator’s Manual (.pdf/5.61MB) for full details on how to successfully select and prepare testing sites.
Evaluating potential off-site testing locations
Once you have identified a place to test, the first step is to make sure that you are speaking with the key person responsible for reserving rooms to outside agencies.
Things to consider include:
- Building access: How will the facility be accessed? Will someone be there during setup? Is it possible to get a key to the facility?
- Tables and chairs: Are tables that meet AP’s standards available? If so, how far in advance may they be set up before the first testing day? If tables are not available, can tables be brought in beforehand? Can they be left in place over the course of testing? Does the facility have chairs, or do those need to be brought in?
- Exams with Special Preparation: AP Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, and Spanish Language and Culture, Spanish Literature and Culture, and Music Theory, as well as exams for students with disabilities, have special requirements that must be taken into consideration when selecting testing sites and testing rooms.
- Bathrooms: Are there bathrooms? Where are they located? Do they require a key?
- Air conditioning: Is there air conditioning? Where are controls located? If the air conditioning doesn’t work during the exams, is there someone to call?
- Electrical outlets and other equipment: How many electrical outlets are there, and where are they located? Is there a wall clock? Are there lecterns, microphones, whiteboards, or other ways to post information for students?
- Storage: Can items such as tape recorders and CD players be stored safely within the facility or delivered on the day of a specific exam?
- Accessibility: Does the facility support the special requirements of students with disabilities?
- Shared space: Is your school the only group using the facility during testing times? If not, will such setup arrangements create disruption for your students?
- Public works projects: Will any public works projects take place adjacent to the building? If the facility contact is not aware of such work, you may also call the Department of Public Works to verify that no such work will be taking place.
Telling students how to get there
- Clearly communicate the exact address for each testing location.
- Make sure both students and parents understand that the school is not responsible for their transportation.
Thanking your hosts
If your experience is a positive one, a thank-you note that expresses the desire to use the facility again can lay the groundwork for successful AP Exam administrations in years to come, and can help build good long-term relationships within your community.