Accommodations for Digital AP Exams

Deadline: Submit accommodations requests through SSD Online by January 18, 2024.

We’ve designed digital AP Exams so all students can take them, including those with approved accommodations. As always, students may only use accommodations they’ve been approved for by the College Board Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) office.

AP coordinators and SSD coordinators should review digital exam accommodations details in this section and discuss this year’s testing options with students who plan to test with College Board–approved accommodations.

For questions about accommodations for digital exams, contact the College Board SSD office.

Note: For schools piloting AP African American Studies in 2023-24, orders submitted for AP African American Studies Exams will be set to digital by default—paper AP Exams will not be available to order, unless students have approved accommodations requiring paper testing.

New: There are new guidelines regarding the Personalized Project Reference for students taking the AP Computer Science Principles Exam with certain accommodations, including braille, large-print, and screen readers. See AP CSP: Questions About Accommodations for complete information.   

Confirming or Waiving Accommodations for Digital AP Exams

In AP Registration and Ordering, AP coordinators should review and confirm students’ accommodations listed for digital AP Exams and can also waive students’ accommodations if they don’t want to take a digital exam with accommodations. Review details for how to confirm or waive accommodations.

Digital AP Exams Versus Paper Exams

Many accommodations work the same way for digital exams as they do for paper exams. For example, students who are approved for extended time will receive a digital exam enabled with their approved amount of extended time per section/or part of the exam.

Some accommodations differ for digital testing because of features available in the Bluebook™ testing app. For example, students approved for large-print test books won’t need separate exam materials. They can take the digital exam with an increased font size by zooming in to enlarge the content as needed.

Students don’t need to submit new accommodations requests to use a digital alternative for an accommodation they’ve already received College Board approval for. For example, a student approved for a human reader doesn’t require additional/new approvals to test using a screen reader with a digital exam. However, if a student needs to take a digital exam using a human reader or human writer/scribe, their SSD coordinator must submit a request in SSD Online for this accommodation by January 18, 2024.

For digital exams only, AP coordinators don’t need to complete a Nonstandard Administration Report (NAR) for students testing with accommodations. NARs still must be completed for paper exams and AP Chinese and AP Japanese Exams. More details about NARs are available in the AP Coordinator’s Manual, Part 2.

Types of Accommodations for Digital AP Exams

Review this list to learn how common testing accommodations will work for this year’s digital AP Exams, including designated digital alternatives for accommodations. Options are also listed for students who may still require paper exams.

Extended Time

Students will receive their approved amount of extended time within the digital exam. Extended time will be applied per section and/or part of the exam based on the student’s specific approval.

Breaks

Extra Breaks

Students approved for extra breaks will receive an exam with an extra five-minute break applied midway through each section.

Extended Breaks

Students approved for extended breaks will receive an exam with twice the time of the regularly scheduled break applied between Section I and Section II of the exam. 

Extra and Extended Breaks

Students approved for extra and extended breaks will receive an exam with twice the time of regularly scheduled and extra breaks applied.  

Breaks as Needed

Students approved for breaks as needed will receive an exam that allows them to pause their exam to take breaks as needed. The pause feature is below the timer.

Braille

Braille with Raised Line Drawings, Contracted

Options are available for either digital or paper exams for students approved for a braille accommodation. Students may: 

  • test with the digital exam using a refreshable braille display or screen reader; or 
  • test using the braille paper exam. 

Note: If a student wants to use a human reader and is not already approved for extended time or human reader, contact the College Board SSD office. 

Raised Line Drawings (formerly “braille graphs and figures”)

Students may:

  • test with the digital exam using a screen reader with or without a refreshable braille display; or
  • test using the braille paper exam, either with or without a human reader.

Note:

  • Raised line drawing supplements are not available with digital exams.
  • If a student needs to take a digital exam using a screen reader, their SSD coordinator should submit the request for this accommodation in SSD Online by January 18, 2024. If the request must be made after January 18 due to a change in a student’s accommodations status, contact the College Board SSD office as soon as possible. 

Braille Writer

For a digital exam, braille writing software should be used. If a student uses a manual braille writer and/or does not have access to braille writing software, they can:

  • test using a paper exam with the manual braille writer;
  • test using a digital exam using voice recognition (speech-to-text) software; or
  • test using a digital exam and dictate their responses to a writer/scribe.

Large Print, Magnification, Color

Large-Print Exam, Large-Print Answer Sheet, Record Answers in Test Book, or Magnification Device (electronic/nonelectronic)

Students will be able to take digital exams using their device’s functions (control +/- or command +/-) to zoom in and out.   

Color Overlay/Color Contrast

Students can use the color settings available through their operating system and/or device screen, or they can use a plastic overlay attached to their device’s screen.

Reading and Writing Accommodations

Human Reader    

Students approved for a human reader may:

  • take a digital exam using the screen reader functionality available through their device’s operating system (i.e., text-to-speech) or their own screen reading software; 
  • test with a human reader using a paper exam; or
  • test with a human reader using a digital exam.

Students approved for a human reader accommodation will receive a digital exam formatted to work with screen reader applications. If a student needs to take their digital exam with a human reader, their SSD coordinator should submit the request in SSD Online by January 18, 2024. If the request must be made after January 18 due to a change in a student’s accommodations status, contact the College Board SSD office as soon as possible.  

If a student is taking a digital exam and will test with a human reader, all reader criteria and requirements apply. See the AP SSD Guidelines for more information.

Students approved for a human reader will receive an exam format enabled with time and one-half (+50%) extended time. This extended time will be enabled whether the student ultimately chooses to test with a human reader or using screen reading software.

Note:

  • The digital exam cannot be accessed on multiple devices.
  • A human reader working with a student for a digital exam would need to sit close enough to see the exam screen on the student’s device for the duration of the exam.

New for AP Computer Science Principles:

If a student is approved to use screen reader assistive technology with their digital exam for AP Computer Science Principles, they will need to have a human reader assist them only for reading the Personalized Project Reference during Section II. An accommodations request needs to be submitted through SSD Online for any student who needs to be assisted by a human reader during Section II of the exam and who does not already have an approval for a human reader on record with the College Board SSD Office. See AP CSP: Questions About Accommodations for more information.

Students approved for a writer/scribe may:

  • take the digital exam using their own voice recognition (speech-to-text) software;
  • test with a human writer/scribe using a paper exam; or
  • test with a human writer/scribe using a digital exam.

Students approved for a writer/scribe accommodation will receive a digital exam formatted to work with speech-to-text applications. If a student needs to take their digital exam with a human writer/scribe, their SSD coordinator should submit the request in SSD Online by January 18, 2024. If the request must be made after January 18 due to a change in a student’s accommodations status, contact the College Board SSD office as soon as possible.

If a student is taking a digital exam and will test with a human writer/scribe, all writer/scribe criteria and requirements apply. See the AP SSD Guidelines for more information.

Students approved for a writer/scribe will receive an exam format enabled with time and one-half (+50%) extended time. This extended time will be enabled whether the student ultimately chooses to test with a human writer/scribe or using voice recognition software.

Note:

  • The digital exam cannot be accessed on multiple devices.
  • All exam responses must be entered on the student’s device being used for testing. A human writer/scribe would need to type on the same device the student has used to access the exam.

Prerecorded Audio (MP3 via streaming)     

Students approved for prerecorded audio may:

  • take a digital exam using the screen reader functionality available through their device’s operating system (i.e., text-to-speech) or their own screen reading software;
  • test with a human reader using a paper exam; or
  • test with a human reader using a digital exam.

Students approved for a human reader accommodation will receive a digital exam formatted to work with screen reader applications. If a student needs to take their digital exam with a human reader, their SSD coordinator should submit the request in SSD Online by January 18, 2024. If the request must be made after January 18 due to a change in a student’s accommodations status, contact the College Board SSD office as soon as possible.

If a student is taking a digital exam and will test with a human reader, all reader criteria and requirements apply. See the AP SSD Guidelines for more information.

Students approved for prerecorded audio (MP3 via streaming) will receive an exam format enabled with time and one-half (+50%) extended time. This extended time will be enabled whether the student ultimately chooses to test with a human reader or using screen reading software.

Note:

  • The digital exam cannot be accessed on multiple devices.
  • A human reader working with a student for a digital exam would need to sit close enough to see the exam screen on the student’s device for the duration of the exam.

Assistive Technology

Assistive Technology Software and Configuration

Students will be able to take a digital exam using approved assistive technology software. Some types of assistive technology may require specific configuration steps to be done before the student tests. Review details about necessary configurations for different types of assistive technology and share this information prior to the exam administration with students who will be testing using assistive technology. 

On exam day, after checking in to the Bluebook testing app (and before entering the room code), students will be able to access configuration instructions through the Help menu and complete any configuration steps if needed before beginning the exam. 

It’s important for students planning to test with assistive technology to try test previews in Bluebook so they can explore sample AP Exam questions with the assistive technology they’ll use on exam day. This will help them prepare and make sure their assistive technology works as expected with the digital exams. 

Assistive Technology–Compatible (ATC) Test Format     

Students approved for an ATC test format may test using an accessible format of the digital exam. 

If a student is unable to test using the digital exam during the regularly scheduled exam administration, ATC-format exams are also available during the regularly scheduled exam administration and the late-testing exam administration.

Word Processors, Calculators

Computer Word Processing (for essays only) 

Students approved for computer word processing (essays only) may: 

  • test with the digital exam; or
  • test with the paper exam using a school-issued computer to type their essay. 

Four-Function Calculator     

Students approved by the College Board SSD office for use of a four-function calculator may use one for the AP Computer Science Principles Exam.

Calculator use isn’t applicable to other 2024 digital exams. 

Limited Time

Limited Time, Multiple-Day Testing

Digital exam options will be available to support students approved for limited time or multiple-day testing. Exam administration instructions will be provided to schools with students who are eligible to test with these accommodations.

Audio

Auditory, Amplification/FM System

Students approved for this accommodation may use their FM system.

Accommodations with No Exam System Requirements 

Accommodations that don’t involve assistive technology or a change to exam timing or breaks don’t require a special format of the digital exam. Examples of these types of accommodations include permission for small-group testing, food/drink/medication, and permission to test blood sugar. These types of accommodations can be used by students with approvals from the College Board SSD office. 

Temporary Supports  

A student who has a temporary medical or physical condition (e.g., a broken hand) may request temporary assistance if it's needed to complete the exam. This process should be used only for students who don't have a disability but who need support during the test due to a temporary physical/medical condition. Requests must be submitted to SSD via the request form. Follow the instructions on the form. 

The deadline for submitting requests for temporary assistance is 10 calendar days before the scheduled digital exam date.