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Important Updates

The information on this page is about proctoring for paper and pencil exams. For details about proctor duties for digital exams administered in school, go to the “Administering Digital AP Exams In School” section of the AP Digital Testing Guide.

Here is everything proctors must do before, during, and after the administration of paper and pencil AP Exams.

Before the exam administration:

  • Familiarize themselves ahead of time with the administration and exam security procedures in the AP Coordinator’s Manual, Part 2.
  • New! Familiarize themselves with the school’s particular health and safety protocols in place in 2021.
  • Familiarize themselves with any special equipment (such as CD players or digital recording equipment) well before exam day. (Note: Master CDs and exam CDs must not be opened before the exam administration.)
  • If administering exams to students testing with accommodations, familiarize themselves with the students’ specific accommodations and, for exams with extended time, understand how to time each section.
  • Read all the general and the appropriate subject-specific exam administration instructions in the Exam Instructions book to understand the flow of the administration.
  • New! If proctoring the AP Chinese or AP Japanese Exams, review all exam day procedures and the proctor script in the 2020-21 AP Chinese and AP Japanese Exams: Setup and Administration Guide (which will be available in late-March at collegeboard.org/apcj-examadmin).
  • Prepare the exam rooms.
  • Set up exam equipment (such as CD players, computers with recording software and headsets, and handheld digital recorders).
  • Make sure the AP coordinator provides an AP ID label sheet for each student who will be taking the exam.
  • Admit and assign seats to students. Use a preassigned seating chart if provided by the AP coordinator. (Review the AP Seating Policy.)
  • Check identification of homeschooled students and/or students from other schools.
  • If proctoring an exam at an off-site location, familiarize themselves with all off-site testing requirements.

During the exam administration:

  • Bring all necessary materials to the exam room.
  • Count and check the exams received for the exam administration upon arrival in the exam room. Confirm the exam title of each AP Exam to be sure that no other exams are included.
  • Ensure each student has their correct personalized AP ID label sheet.
  • Check that students with disabilities have brought their SSD Student Accommodations Letters to verify that they are approved for these accommodations.
  • Ensure the exam room is set up to meet AP Program testing room compliance requirements.
  • Ensure the proper seating distance is maintained between students and that all students are facing the same direction. (Review the AP Seating Policy.)
  • Distribute exam materials.
  • From the 2020-21 AP Exam Instructions, read the General Instructions and the instructions for the exam being administered. (If administering AP Chinese or AP Japanese Exams, the proctor script is in the 2020-21 AP Chinese and AP Japanese Exams: Setup and Administration Guide.)
  • Ensure students properly complete the identification information on the front of their answer sheets.
  • Assist students with the operation of digital recording devices used for AP Exams in world languages and the AP Music Theory Exam.
  • Create a seating chart (or use the one provided by the AP coordinator).
  • Supervise the testing room.
  • Supply pens, pencils, calculators (when appropriate), and extra paper (as necessary).
  • Walk around the room to ensure students are working on the correct exam section.
  • Guard against attempts at cheating.
    • This year, pay particular attention to students’ PPE (masks, gloves, etc.) to ensure they’re not being used to conceal any information during the exam.
  • Keep the room and exam materials attended at all times.
  • Never read, eat, drink, engage in conversation, correct papers, use a computer or laptop, or perform any activity not related to the administration.
  • Never use phones/mobile devices during the exam unless it is an emergency or an administration incident warrants. If a proctor has a mobile device, it must be set to silent so it won’t cause any disturbance or be a distraction.

After the exam administration:

  • Collect and account for all exam materials before dismissal.
  • Ensure students have properly identified their exam materials (with AP ID labels, etc.).
  • Dismiss students, making sure they do not take any exam materials from the exam room. Students must be dismissed at the same time, unless there are different groups recording responses for AP Exams in French, German, Italian, and Spanish Language and Culture or Music Theory Exams.
  • Return all exam materials to secure storage or wait for the AP coordinator to collect the exam materials from the exam site. (Proctors should follow the post-exam instructions provided by the AP coordinator.)
  • Ensure a Nonstandard Administration Report (NAR) is completed for each student who tested with accommodations.
  • For world language and Music Theory Exams, ensure student audio responses have been properly saved in MP3 format (1 file for each student) and named with the student AP ID and exam form.
  • For AP U.S. History, AP European History, and AP World History: Modern, insert all the short-answer response booklets inside the yellow short-answer response booklet return envelope(s) before leaving the testing room. Within each envelope, the spines of all the booklets should face in the same direction. Group by subject. Keep these short-answer response booklets separate from the multiple-choice answer sheets, which will be placed in the answer sheet return envelope(s) before being packed for shipment.

Also be sure to visit Choosing & Preparing Proctors for more information about proctors.

What Proctors Need

  • Printed exam packets, any associated CDs, and all equipment related to these materials.
  • Printed copies of Nonstandard Administration Reports (NAR) for any students testing with accommodations.
  • Answer sheets.
  • The AP ID label sheets for the students taking the exam being administered.
  • The AP Coordinator’s Manual, Part 2 and the AP Exam Instructions. (If administering the AP Chinese or AP Japanese Exams, proctors need the AP Coordinator’s Manual, Part 2 and the 2020-21 AP Chinese and AP Japanese Exams: Setup and Administration Guide.)
  • Pencil sharpener.
  • Extra No. 2 pencils with erasers (have enough pencils so students don’t have to share and they can keep their pencils at the end of the exam).
  • Extra pens with black or dark blue ink (have enough pens so students don’t have to share and so they can keep their pens at the end of the exam).
  • Extra paper in case a student’s response exceeds the space allotted in the free-response booklet.
  • Stapler to attach extra paper, if used, to short-answer response booklets and/or free-response booklets.
  • Extra calculators for the AP Biology, Calculus, Chemistry, Environmental Science, Physics, and Statistics. Visit the AP Calculator Policy page for information.
  • Door signs: “EXAM IN PROGRESS” and “PHONES OF ANY KIND ARE PROHIBITED DURING THE EXAM ADMINISTRATION, INCLUDING BREAKS.”
  • A watch (but not a stopwatch). Each exam room should have at least 2 timepieces as a check against mistiming, and a clock should be visible to all students. If an exam room doesn’t have a wall clock, or the wall clock is not easily visible to all students and proctors, the time remaining for each exam or exam section should be posted or announced at regular intervals.
    • A school may use a computer to display the time, provided that no personnel other than the responsible coordinator or proctor have access to the computer and the computer is not connected to the internet during the administration. No other content should be displayed aside from the clock. Electronic/computer clocks should not be set to count forward or count down.