1.1 Online Exams
1.1.1 Why didn’t you offer multiple-choice exams?
We considered both multiple-choice and free-response questions for the exam. We chose free-response questions (FRQs) for several reasons. These questions require students to apply their knowledge of the course material and can’t be easily looked up online or in other sources. It was also most technologically feasible for us to design and deliver an FRQ-based exam.
It was also critical that the 2020 exam results be valid for credit and placement; psychometric analysis shows that student performance on these questions correlates well with performance on the overall exam.
1.1.2 Can a school split students in the same subject or class across the two test dates?
Students should test on the main testing dates, and most students we surveyed indicated a desire to test earlier rather than later in the year. The May exam weeks were designed to have no exam conflicts. An important benefit of testing in May is that it gives students an additional opportunity to test, in the event they have a technical difficulty on exam day.
Makeup testing should only be used when the student is unable to test on one or more of the May dates or has a technical difficulty on exam day. Students that wish to test on the makeup dates for reasons outside of schedule conflicts or a technical issue on exam day, should understand that if they encounter a problem on exam day they won’t have additional opportunities to test. These students are also more likely to encounter exam conflicts, as all subjects are offered over just five days in the makeup testing week.
1.1.3 If a school reopens, can they administer regular paper exams?
No. This year’s exams will all be administered online and according to updated schedule found here.
1.2 Understanding Online AP Exams
1.2.1 Is there a slide deck or any presentation materials I can share with my students prior to exam time?
Download the AP Testing Guide at cb.org/ap2020.
1.2.2 Is there a test preparation video I can email out to my students prior to exam time?
Review the videos at cb.org/ap2020.
AP Chinese, French, Japanese, German, Italian, and Spanish Language and Culture students will also be able to access a video walkthrough for those exams, available the week of May 4.
1.2.3 Will the testing guide also provide support for portfolio courses?
Portfolio courses (2-D Art and Design, 3-D Art and Design, Computer Science Principles, Drawing, Research, and Seminar) are not covered in the AP Testing Guide. These subjects do not have online exams this year. Students will submit performance tasks by the extended deadline of May 26, 11:59 ET, as outlined on cb.org/apschedule2020. Students, teachers, and administrators received emails with details about these subjects.
1.3 Practice Questions and Online Review Sessions
1.3.1 Will students in exam-only sections be given access to AP Classroom resources?
Students in exam-only sections can’t access to AP Classroom resources, which require teachers to assign them. However, they can access a new Optional Student Practice section that includes free-response questions from practice or released exams they can use to practice demonstrating their knowledge and skills. The LockDown Browser is not required, and educators don’t need to take any steps to enable student access to these questions.
1.3.2 Which questions are still considered “secure” and what does that mean?
A secure question can only be assigned in-class, where teachers can monitor student access and protect questions from being shared with other students. Typically, secure questions are assigned on paper as the best preparation for the paper-based AP Exam.
This year, students will take a digitally enabled, at-home exam. For this reason, Practice Exam free-response questions (FRQs) had their security restrictions removed to enable digital, at-home testing without restricting access to the internet from a LockDown Browser. This also applies to all FRQs in the Question Bank, including previous practice exams.
The blue shield icon indicates that students must answer questions in class on paper, or online using a LockDown Browser to restrict access to the internet.
1.3.3 Can AP questions be posted on school or district-managed software or websites?
AP questions should only be administered to students using AP Classroom, as only AP Classroom provides autoscoring of the multiple-choice questions and scoring criteria for the free-response questions to evaluate student responses. In addition, AP Classroom’s reports are designed to provide students and teachers with responsible feedback on areas of strength and improvement.
Non-secure AP questions can be shared with students in local systems for instructional and review purposes, particularly as we recognize the current importance of remote learning and support. Any secure AP questions, currently limited to Practice Exam multiple-choice questions, cannot be posted on any website.
1.3.4 Are the AP online lesson videos available on demand?
All of the online AP classes and review sessions are available on demand at youtube.com/advancedplacement. These lessons will remain available after the 2020 AP Exams.
1.4.1 Should districts/schools whitelist a specific URL to allow access on district devices?
They should whitelist collegeboard.org. If the district or school has been using College Board tools such as AP Registration and Ordering and AP Classroom, College Board sites have already been whitelisted.
1.4.2 Will there be a technology run-through before the test day?
By the week of May 4, students will have access to a demo of the online exam experience at cb.org/ap2020. It will allow them to practice the different ways to submit responses and test that the exam will run on their device and browser on exam day.
AP Chinese, French, Japanese, German, Italian, and Spanish Language and Culture students need to download an additional world language exam app to test (available the week of May 11). Before the exam, they can use the app’s practice mode to try out features, test their device, and preview the sound quality of audio recorded on their device. A video walkthrough for these exams will be available the week of May 4.
1.4.3 Can I use my smart phone for all my exams?
Smart phones can be used for all exams. A student can use their smart phone to log in to their exam, view the questions and exam countdown timer, take a photo of their handwritten responses, and submit their responses. We encourage students to familiarize themselves with the different device and submission options before making a final decision about which device to use.
1.4.4 Do I need to download an application to take the exam? Can I test out the application before test day?
A web browser application is needed to view the questions on your exam and to submit your response.
If completing the exam on a laptop or tablet, a second application is needed to craft your responses to the exam questions. That second application can be any kind of word processing application, including but not limited to Google Docs, Microsoft Word, Notes, or Notepad.
AP Chinese, French, Japanese, German, Italian, and Spanish Language and Culture students need to download an additional world language exam app to test (available the week of May 11).
1.4.5 How does a student take the AP Exam if they don’t have access to a device and/or connectivity?
We provided a form where students and educators could identify technology and connectivity needs by April 24. We conducted direct outreach to students and families and were able to connect thousands with resources needed to take this year’s exams. Unfortunately, there isn’t an offline testing option this year, so any student that is unable to test will not be charged any exam fees.
Students that have technology needs specific to world language and culture will be able to request assistance through a form on the cb.org/ap2020 website beginning the week of April 27.
1.4.6 If students don’t have a computer or internet or cellular service, is there an option to return the response by mail?
No. We recognize that some students may not have access to the tools and connectivity they need to review AP content online and take the exam. Schools will not be charged any exam fees for students who are unable to test.
1.5 E-tickets, College Board Emails, and Student Accounts
1.5.1 How do students update/correct the school code on their College Board accounts?
Students can easily correct the school code by logging in to My AP (myap.collegeboard.org), clicking My AP Profile, going to the Registration tab, updating the School You Attend field, and clicking Save. AP coordinators can help by downloading their student roster in AP Registration and Ordering to check students’ school codes for accuracy, and contacting any students who need to correct their school code. AP coordinators can view a short video on YouTube that walks through this process.
1.5.2 What’s the plan if an email containing the AP Exam ticket bounces back (read: is identified as undeliverable to a student)?
Students who aren’t getting emails from College Board can get their exam e-ticket by logging in to My AP (myap.collegeboard.org).
1.5.3 Can a student start the May exam, decide they don’t want to take it, and still get a June e-ticket?
No. Once a student starts the exam, unless they encounter a significant technical or other disruption, they will not be approved for makeup testing.
1.6.1 What direct customer service will be available during testing if students have tech issues?
Students should not call if they encounter issues. Customer service centers are operating at extremely limited capacity due to the pandemic. If a student lost too much time to a technical problem, wasn’t able to connect to your exam, or experienced some other serious disruption, they can request June 22−30 exception testing.
1.6.2 Is there a phone number for the student to request makeup testing in case the issue during testing was connectivity and so an online form could not be submitted?
Students have a few days to request an exception test. The AP Exception Testing Request Form will be available June 1 through June 7, 6 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, so they should try again when their internet connection is restored. If their connection remains down for an extended period of time, students should call AP Services, who can submit the form on their behalf.