6. Security/Cheating

By registering for and/or taking an AP Exam, students agree to and are bound by the rules and policies set forth in the Terms and Conditions for the AP 2020 Exams.

6.1 Security

6.1.1 What is an exam security violation?

Students who submit exam responses that are not entirely their own are committing an exam security violation. Students’ exam responses should not include aid in any kind from external sources, including websites, social media, and any person. Aid includes, but is not limited to, advice, feedback, or actual exam responses.

Students who contact any other person during the exam—including online, in-person, by mobile or other device—are also committing an exam security violation. Contact with assistants approved by the College Board Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) office does not constitute a violation, so long as there is no inappropriate discussion of exam content.

College Board will not differentiate between actual giving or receiving aid from requesting or offering aid when assigning consequences.

6.1.2 Does a student’s response violate exam security if it uses an appropriate citation?

Students’ exam responses are expected to be entirely their own. AP Exam questions are designed for the student to apply concepts they have learned in their AP courses and exam rubrics do not reward the use of external data, research, or opinions, even if cited appropriately.

We advise students not to search for external data, research, or opinions when taking AP Exams. Properly cited resources will not answer the exam questions, and inappropriate use of resources will be considered an exam violation.

6.1.3 How will College Board determine if an exam security violation has occurred?

College Board will use a range of digital security tools and techniques to determine if an exam violation has occurred, including but not limited to plagiarism detection software and post-administration analytics.

In addition, each student’s AP teacher will receive copies of the work the student submits to us, enabling teachers to spot inconsistencies with students’ known work.

6.1.4 How do teachers or other education professionals report a suspected exam security violation?

We encourage anyone with knowledge of any dishonest behavior with respect to the Advanced Placement® Exams to contact College Board Test Security. Reports can be digitally submitted confidentially at our Test Security Web Hotline.

6.1.5 What are the consequences for an exam security violation?

College Board may apply several consequences for exam security violations, including but not limited to:

  • Score cancellation—students whose responses mirror online content or other students’ submissions will have their scores canceled.
  • Ban on College Board exams—students who attempt to gain an unfair advantage also may be prohibited from taking a future Advanced Placement Exam as well as the SAT, SAT Subject TestsTM, or CLEP assessments.
  • High school notification—if we determine that a student gained or provided an unfair advantage on an AP Exam, we’ll notify their high school so the school can choose to take necessary disciplinary action, as appropriate.
  • College admissions notification—if we determine that a student gained or provided an unfair advantage on an AP Exam, we’ll provide information about the incident to colleges or other organizations to which the student has already sent any College Board scores (including SAT scores)—or to which the student would send scores in the future.
  • Law enforcement—under certain circumstances, College Board may inform law enforcement of any incident to determine if prosecution of the test taker, or anyone assisting the test taker in misconduct, is warranted.

6.1.6 What if there are two students taking the same exam in in the same household?

It is fine for students in the same household to take the same exam. These students should make every effort to test separately—i.e., in separate rooms—and not discuss the exam in any way.

6.1.7 What is the protocol for AP teachers who have a child taking an at-home exam for the same subject that the parent teaches?

To avoid a testing violation, teachers should not provide any assistance to their children or discuss the exam with them.