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Important Updates

2021 Exam Information
AP Exams will cover the full content in each course, giving students the opportunity to receive college credit and placement.

Given the uncertainties of the 2020-21 school year, this year there will be no fees whatsoever if a student decides not to test or to cancel their exams.

View the latest information on testing.

AP Daily and AP Classroom
Short, searchable AP Daily videos can be assigned alongside topic questions to help you cover all course content, skills, and task models, and check student understanding. Unlock personal progress checks so students can demonstrate their knowledge and skills unit by unit and use the progress dashboard to highlight progress and additional areas for support. As the exam approaches, assign AP practice exams in the AP Classroom question bank and encourage students to take advantage of live online review sessions April 19–30.

Sign In to AP Classroom

Exam Overview

Exam questions assess the course concepts and skills outlined in the course framework. For more information on exam weighting, download the AP Environmental Science Course and Exam Description (CED).

Encourage your students to visit the AP Environmental Science student page for exam information and exam practice.

  • Event
    • FRI, MAY 14, 2021, NOON LOCAL

    AP Environmental Science Exam Day

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Exam Format

The AP Environmental Science Exam has question types and point values that will remain stable and consistent from year to year, so you and your students know what to expect on exam day.

Exam Updates
2019 Exam Starting with the 2021 Exam

Section I: Multiple Choice

100 Questions | 1 Hour 30 Minutes | 60% of Exam Score

  • Currently, the multiple-choice section does not include any text-based stimulus.
  • Each question has 5 options.

Section I: Multiple Choice

80 Questions | 1 Hour 30 Minutes | 60% of Exam Score

  • New question type analyzing texts: 2 sets of approximately 3–4 questions per set will assess students' ability to evaluate sources of information with a text-based stimulus.
  • Questions will now place equal emphasis on the analysis of quantitative data and data in the form of models and representations.
  • Each question will have 4 options.

 

Section II: Free Response

4 Questions | 1 Hour 30 Minutes | 40% of Exam Score

Question types currently vary in the skills they assess:

  • 1 data set question
  • 1 document-based question
  • 2 synthesis and evaluation questions

 

Section II: Free Response

3 Questions | 1 Hour 10 Minutes | 40% of Exam Score

The three free-response question types will now remain the same from year to year:

  • Question 1 will ask students to design an investigation.
  • Question 2 will ask students to analyze an environmental problem and propose a solution.
  • Question 3 will ask students to analyze an environmental problem and propose a solution doing calculations.

 

 

Exam Tasks and Content

Section 1: Multiple Choice

80 Questions | 1 Hour 30 Minutes | 60% of Exam Score

  • Individual questions
  • Set-based questions
    • 3–4 sets include quantitative data, such as data tables, charts, or graphs. These questions primarily assess Practice 5, but can also assess Practices 1, 4, 6, or 7.
    • 3–4 sets include qualitative data or information, such as models, representations, or maps. These questions primarily assess Practice 2, but can also assess Practices 1, 4, or 7.
    • 2 sets include text-based sources. These questions primarily assess Practice 3, but can also assess Practices 1, 6, or 7.

Section 2: Free Response

3 Questions | 1 Hour 10 Minutes | 40% of Exam Score

  • There are 3 free-response questions. They ask students to:
    • Design an investigation
    • Analyze an environmental problem and propose a solution
    • Analyze an environmental problem and propose a solution doing calculations

AP Calculator Policy

A four-function (with square root), scientific, or graphing calculator may be used on the exam.

Exam Questions and Scoring Information

2020 Free-Response Questions

By Thanksgiving, 2020 free-response questions will be in the AP Classroom question bank for teachers to assign to students as homework or in class, and will not require secure assessment. These questions will be updated, where possible, to best match the format of free-response questions in the course and exam description and on traditional AP Exams.

Sign in to AP Classroom to access resources including personal progress checks and a question bank with topic questions and practice exams aligned to the current course and exam.

To preserve the large number of new FRQs for teacher use, only teachers will have access to the 2020 FRQs. If you are a higher education faculty member interested in seeing questions, please fill out this request form.

2019 Free-Response Questions

For free-response questions (FRQs) from the 2019 exam, along with scoring information, check out the table below.

Be sure to review the Chief Reader Report. In this invaluable resource, the chief reader of the AP Exam compiles feedback from members of the AP Reading leadership to explain how students performed on the FRQs, summarize typical student errors, and address specific concepts and content with which students have struggled the most that year.

Past Exam Questions and Scoring Information

For free-response questions and scoring information from the 2018 and earlier exams, visit Past Exam Questions.