Resolve Issues with Downloaded Student Response Files

Some issues with student response files can be resolved—it's possible that the missing or partial student response is not really missing. Follow these instructions to see if you can resolve the issue.

Blank PDF or PDF with Missing Content

If you open a PDF that appears to be blank or have missing content (this may happen if your student used the "Copy and Paste" option to submit their response on exam day), try these steps:

  1. Download the PDF and open it with Adobe Acrobat Reader DC.
  2. In the View menu, click Page Display, and select "Enable Scrolling."
  3. Click anywhere in the body of the PDF and select all text (Ctrl+A or Cmd+A).
  4. Copy the selection and paste it into a document, such as a Word doc or Notepad file.
  5. Ignore the formatting of the content, which can change when pasted from a PDF.

If this works and you're able to find the expected text, no further action is needed. This issue will not impact the scoring of students' responses in any way; we'll make sure the content is visible to AP readers.

However, if you're not able to find the expected text within a blank PDF, that means the student used the "Attach a Text File" option in the online exam and submitted a blank or incomplete response file.

World Languages: Inaudible or Incomplete Audio Files

If a student response file for a spoken AP world language exam is inaudible or seems incomplete, check the following:

  • If a student's response file seems too short or is cut off, make sure you have a stable internet connection and try downloading the file again. Disruptions to your internet connection while you're downloading responses can shorten a downloaded file. If using a PC, use Windows Media Player to listen to the mp3; on a Mac, use QuickTime. Other digital players may cause playback errors.
  • If you listen to a file that starts with silence, keep listening—your student's voice may have recorded properly even if you don't hear the exam prompt on the audio file. For the first task, a student's recording should begin approximately 25–40 seconds into the file. As long as your student's voice is audible, it's OK if the exam prompt isn't heard.

Other Issues

If the issue you see on the student response file isn't listed here, or if it's here but these steps didn't solve the problem, go to What to Do if You See an Issue with a Student Response File.